As some of you may have noticed, I am a serious yarn hoarder. This relates of course, to the fact that I’ve been a serious knitter/crocheter for many years now, and this old hobby of mine sure does require an insane amount of yarn because I’m always working and creating new stuff. other than that I weirdly enjoy knowing that the pretty bed throw I just finished knitting was once attached to a sheep somewhere in Scotland. Baaaaaaaa.
I’m also obsessed with colours almost as much as i’m obsessed with yarn, so hey why not mix both, right?? right!
I’ve been experimenting with dying my own yarn for the past few month which is something I always found fascinating, and I finally found the time to make a little tutorial of it! For this tutorial I used 2 skeins (each for every method explained) of 100% Ultrafine Sustainable “New Merino” Yarn in ARAN weight from my favourite spinners over at YARNUNDYED. None of their wool have been sourced from farms that employ the Mulesing system and with their “New Merino” types they have formed a unique supply of sustainable Merino where the farms involved take particular care to ensure that the animals are well kept, that the grading is of the very highest standard and that the land is sustained in an environmental way.
I can’t praise their wool enough and it is simply perfect for the job!
What you’ll need:
- A skein of yarn, 100% wool of your choice
- A few sachets of KOOL AID in your favourite colours (I got mine from Amazon.uk)
- Cling film
- Disposable gloves
- Microwave and Microwave safe dish
- Plastic fork
- Disposable plastic cups
- A large plastic container
- A brush
- Disposable plate
Rainbow Ombré –
First we need to hand wash our skeins in luke warm water with a mild detergent to remove any excess natural oils and allow the yarn to relax and bulk up prior to dyeing. soak them for at least 2 hours in the plastic container, then take out and wring gently in order to keep them slightly moist still. Put your gloves on and cover your work counter with cling film. a lot of cling film, them little kool aid sachets will stain the fuck out of everything in your life.
Line up your plastic cups and empty each sachet into it. fill with warm water, the more water you mix with the lighter the colour will be. for intense colours put only a small amount of water.
Pour your desired colour to a smaller bowl (that way you have control over the amount applied) and using the brush, dip and paint every section gently, making sure to rub it in so it’ll cover the yarn from all sides evenly.
Mix the dye as you go along to create new shades which will make an ombré effect.
Once you’re done applying the colour lay the skein in a circle on the cling film and then wrap it inward making sure it’s well covered and no bits of yarn is left exposed.
We’re now heating up the yarn which will make it absorb all the colour. Move your wrapped skein onto a plate and put it in the microwave for 2 minuets. CAREFULLY take it out as it’s super hot to touch. let cool for 30 seconds and then pop it back into the microwave for another 2 minuets –
take it out and set aside to cool for 20 minuets.
While it’s cooling we can move on to our second method of dyeing which is super fun! in this method we don’t use a huge amount of kool aid dyed water – we mainly just use the powder. Empty a small amount of powder onto a disposable plate and on the side prepare a small bowl with clean water.
Dip the plastic fork in the water and then immediately dip in the powder. with the tip of the fork make random speckles on the yarn. remember, LESS IS MORE. once you finished dyeing the entire skein wrap in in cling film as well and put in the microwave like you did with the previous skein. take out and cool for 20 minuets.
Unwrap the skeins and let them cool completely, fill your plastic container with soapy water and wash the skein throughly then rinse it under the tap until the water runs clean and wring.
Hang to dry over night.
By morning your beautifully dyed skeins should be completely dry – notice the colours may change slightly now that they’re dry. for example, when I applied the Black Cherry dye it seemed completely grey, but once dry it turned into the nicest shade of purple!
& now, let the knitting commence!! ^_^