Yarn Dyeing

An earlier version of this tutorial was previously published on Think Crafts!

Want to make a unique yarn in your favorite color? Or want to try hand painting to produce a one of a kind yarn? This tutorial is a great step into entering the wonderful world of home yarn dyeing. It’s fun and a great summer project!

Materials

Natural fiber yarn – ideally wool yarn or roving (Cotton yarn works well with Jacquard dyes but not with Kool-Aid)
Jacquard Procion MX Dye
Kool-Aid
Rubber gloves
Face Mask
Buckets, rice steamer, pots, wooden spoons (Once you use them for dyeing they are not safe for food preparation.)
Sponge Brush
Plastic wrap
Dye Instructions (if applicable)
Towels and sponges for clean up

Instructions

This is a messy project so plan ahead. A friend and I covered her work table with garbage bags for easy clean up. Wear rubber gloves and a face mask to protect yourself.

Wind your yarn into skeins beforehand. Tie them with scrap yarn to minimize tangles. Acrylic yarn works best as it won’t take up the dye.

Kool-Aid dyeing is a lot of fun! We picked up a handful of fun flavors. We heated up some water on the stove. We used thrift store pots-they’re cheap and didn’t ruin our food safe cookware. How much water? How many packets? This is the finicky part since it’s so subjective. It really depends on how much yarn you’re dyeing and what shade of color you want. We added enough water to completely submerge our skeins. To get the desired color we added more Kool-Aid packets until the color we wanted was achieved. Don’t add sugar. We bought a dozen packets of each color.

Soak the yarn until it’s saturated. We soaked our yarn for 30 minutes in hot water. Rinse in cool water until water runs clear. The Kool Aid smell fades over time.

We also tried handpainting yarn.

For this we mixed up small batches of Jacquard Dye. (Instructions are on the jar.) We stretched out plastic wrap and laid out the skeins on top. Using the sponge brushes we painted the yarn. Lift up the yarn to see if you need to turn it over to paint the other side. Firmly push the sponge onto the yarn to make sure the color saturates completely. This will prevent the need for a second coat.

After painting we rolled up the yarn in the plastic wrap. Then we steamed them in the rice steamer for 30 minutes. Afterward we rinsed with cool water and hung up the skeins to dry.

Our Kool-Aid yarn turned out beautifully!

Our handpainted yarn turned out lovely as well.

The yarn at the top of this post was also handpainted.

Craft on!

Elf Booties

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I’ve wanted to make these booties for years. They’re a free Ravelry download and an enjoyable pattern.

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After felting I sewed non-slip suede bottoms to keep them extra warm. Now Josh and I have elf booties to keep our feet toasty this New England winter!

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One pair of booties took two wash cycles to felt while the other took three. Lamb’s Pride consistently felts well and Noro just felts up beautifully.

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Living abroad meant I had to downsize my needle collection so I didn’t have 6.5mm double pointed needles needed to make gauge. I decided to treat myself and bought these wooden metal tipped needles. They are a joy to work with.

Last month my friend Helen came to visit! She took us to an art and protest parade and we took her on a tour of Harvard. One huge perk of being Stateside again is seeing old friends.

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Name: Elf Booties
Pattern Source: Ravelry
Craft: Knitting, Felting
Yarn: Noro Kureyon, Lamb’s Pride Worsted
Needle Size: US 10.5/6.5 mm
Size: Custom

Capris + Shirt = Cute Skirt

My friend Carrie gave me these cute capris. Besides having a fabulous wardrobe Carrie blogs over at My Several Worlds about travel and chronic illness. I highly recommend checking out her site.

The fabric was super cute but I don’t wear capris so grabbed my trusty seam ripper and got to work.

I cut up an old black tshirt that was wearing out and added triangle sections to make a flared skirt.

The capris had a pocket that I transferred over. I’m so happy with how it turned out. And I think of you Carrie when I wear it!

This project was completed last September. Grad school has kept me far away from blogland. The next month I made a bold move and cut my hair.

I’ve joined the pixie club and love it!