Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Yarn, food coloring, and a crock pot

I'm in the process of trading my knowledge of magic-loop knitting for some really fine 2-ply wool or alpaca yarn. There's 150 grams of it, it's on a cone, and it's clearly mislabeled, so I honestly have no idea what I'm working with.

So, I decided I might as well dye it! Here's my process and results...

I had to first wind the yarn from the cone into a hank that I could work with. Then I put the yarn in my crock pot with just enough 50/50 water and vinegar to barely cover it. Then I turned it on high.

After 30 minutes of heating up I added my "dye" (two 1/2 cups of water--one with 10 drops of green and 10 drops of blue, and the other with 12 drops of red and 8 drops of blue).

365 - 038

I carefully poured each cup onto half of the yarn in the pot, then I popped the cover back on and let it ride out until bed time, which was barely an hour. The water was already clear though, meaning the color had sucked into the fiber, so I wasn't too worried. After a very careful and thorough rinse I dried it by pressing it between two junk towels (unnecessary, it didn't bleed any color at all) and then I hung it to dry!

Here it is wound into a cake this morning...

365 - 039

Looking back I would make sure to arrange the hank more carefully in the crock pot so that all of the yarn was spread evenly in order to allow the dye to get to all the nooks and crannies. I don't mind the white bits though in this round--adds character!

I'm happy I have a ton more yarn left on the cone, and I'm also happy that this method of dying is SO easy! I've already had another go at some random Fisherman's Wool I had lying around, and the color turned out even more vivid (I used more water and more food coloring, plus I let it soak for longer while heated). Pictures of that yarn to come soon!


  1. Thanks for sharing. It sounds like something I should try.

  2. How fun! That looks like it turned out really well. I never thought about using my crockpot to dye yarn. Luckily I got a new crockpot just last week. I wonder what my husband would say if he came home to a crockpot of yarn. :-)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...