DIY, Knitting/Crocheting

Dying Yarn with a Kit

The other day I was at Ross and I found this pretty cool yarn dying kit. It was the Tulip Custom Color Lab dye kit. There were two options at Ross, and I went with the ‘modern’ colors, which included yellow, a lighter blue, a slightly darker blue, and a gray. I’ve used Tulip dyes before to tie dye t-shirts, but I didn’t know they had yarn dye (not that I’m surprised). So I picked it up for a couple of bucks.

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I went to Walmart and picked up some cotton yarn. When I got home, I opened up the package to see what came with the kit. In it were four colors of dye, three pairs of gloves, and some basic instructions. I didn’t really know how I wanted to dye the yarn, I just wanted to dye it before working with it. So I went to the source of all knowledge, the internet, Pinterest to be exact. The first thing I noticed was Tulip also sold cotton yarn specifically for the dye kits, just not in the kits.

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Since I bought the kit at Ross, the yarn wasn’t also being sold with it. I wanted to dye the whole skien of yarn that I had, but I didn’t know if the amount of dye I had would do that. After finding the Tulip yarn being sold online, I looked at how many yards there were in a skien. 138 yards. The skien I had had over 700 yards. I was going to measure each yard out with a tap measure (I like doing things the difficult way), but I soon realized my arm span is a tiny bit over a yard. So, I just stretched the yarn between my hands 138 times. It sounds like a lot, but it didn’t take too long. The only unenjoyable part was that my muscles where getting a workout.

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Once all of that was measured, I had to untangle it. When I was looking for ways to dye yarn, I found this post about self striping yarn. The author used a really cool technique for making an organized skien of yarn. I happened to have two over the door hooks, I used two instead of the four she used because it was late and I didn’t want to spend money. This was also a workout. Up the the top of the door, down to the bottom, and back up to the top. It took a while since the yarn was tangled but for some reason, I’m really good at detangling yarn. Once it was all wrapped up, I tied a couple of small lengths of yarn around the skien in a few places, to keep it from getting tangled.

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I put some trash bags on the table to keep from staining the table and laid the yarn down in a plus shape. I put a pair of gloves on, filled the dye bottles with water, and shook them to mix. I had four colors and four dyes so I just jumped right in. I started with the yellow; it was the lightest color so if it got on the other parts, it would be covered up. At first, I didn’t use the whole bottle, but after using the full amount on other colors, I went back and added to the yellow. I’m glad I only used 138 yards, but a few more yards of yarn probably wouldn’t have hurt. There was some excess dye around the yarn that would have been soaked up with more yards.

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The dye instructions say to wrap in plastic and let sit for 4-6 hours. Here is where I probably messed up the most. I wrapped each color in plastic wrap. I didn’t want the colors to touch. This was fine. Then I took the trash bag it was on and wrapped it around the whole thing. This was mostly fine. I had wiped off most of the remaining dye, but there was probably some that mixed with the other colors. Then I flipped the trash bag-wrapped-yarn over so it would stay closed. I feel like this was the mistake. The underside of the yarn hadn’t been wrapped in the cling wrap as well as the top and moving the yarn made some of the dyes move into other colors. Oh Well.

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Since it was late, I did fall asleep before the 4-6 hours were up. It ended up soaking for like 8(ish) hours. I’ve left tie dye shirts to soak overnight and this dye is almost the same. I think the quantities are just different and marketed to different people. When I woke up the next morning, I took the plastic lump to the sink and began the rinsing process. This took quiet a while and stained my hands blue. I had run out of gloves when I was wrapping the yarn. When the water finally ran clear I laid the yarn on a trash bag that didn’t get dye on it the night before to let it dry.

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I was supposed to let it air dry but that evening the yarn was still damp. It was probably because I live in a very humid climate; I don’t think anything is ever really dry around here. So I put the shoe drying rack attachment in my dryer and laid the yarn on that. I had to do a couple of cycles since the air was mostly dry inside the dryer, but I finally got it! Overall, I’m pretty okay with how the colors turned out. There’s a few splotches and the yellow wasn’t nearly as bright as it had been but I don’t mine. I like the calmer green that replaced the yellow. I think most of the faults I can find with this product are user error. I think if you do anything with yarn, this is a fun afternoon project to do.

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Thanks For Reading!

With Love,

Wendy

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