Hand Dyeing Yarn! This can’t be addictive right?

An innocent looking box had sat in my craft room since Christmas. A box from It’s A Stitch Up and is available for £27 and it contained everything I needed to dye my own skein of yarn. I was so excited when I got this and wanted to get started straight away but I was pretty nervous. I had heard that dyeing yarn was a difficult and lengthy process. I didn’t have an awful lot of spare time, what with a business to run and a toddler at home. So the box sat on the shelf until now, when the UK went into lockdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Contents

The kit was bought for me by my other half after I asked for one. Even told him the one that had been recommended to me and in what colourway I wanted. I had chosen the peacock colourway. You can also choose the Primary colourway or the Flame colourway too. The kit itself contained

  • Little Book Of Yarn Dyeing – a full-colour beginner’s guide
  • 100g skein DK superwash British Bluefaced Leicester yarn
  • 3 x 0.5g vials Procion MX reactive dye pigment
  • 10g citric acid crystals
  • 200ml dropper bottle
  • Wooden stirrers
  • 1 pair disposable gloves
Soaking the yarn

Other than this all I needed was a stainless steel or glass bowl and a microwave (or a veggie steamer) The colours were absolutely stunning. So much more vivid than I imagined.

The book that is supplied is incredible! It explains everything so clearly and in so much detail.

Yarn Spaghetti!

The first step was to soak the yarn in the citric acid and just leave it for half an hour. My little toddler loved watching the process and really enjoyed wearing the skein as a necklace for a few minutes. (She didn’t touch any of the other components or the yarn until it had been finished and dried as the citric acid and the dye pigments can cause skin irritations) After that it was a case of gently squeezing the skein of excess solution and placing it into my sink. At this point it resembled a vast amount of very long spaghetti!

Speckling The Colour

Now came the fun part! I chose to use the speckling method of dyeing the yarn which meant using a fine metal sieve to carefully speckle the dye on the yarn, but other methods were very clearly explained. I could have dip dyed the yarn, painted or immersed the yarn into the dye as they all create very different results.

I found it quite hard to be controlled with the speckling as I just wanted to speckle the whole thing, and I feel that I may have overdone it slightly with the purple but the results were gorgeous regardless. You can see the dye hit the yarn almost instantly and it takes about 10 minutes for it to fully soak into the yarn. You can literally see the colour developing as you watch.

Wrap To Steam
The Finished Skein

The final part of the process is to ‘fix’ the colour. The book recommended steaming it and because I didn’t have a veggie steamer I used the microwave. It was as simple as wrapping it up in cling film, poking a hole in it (gently as you don’t want to wreck your yarn) and blasting it in the microwave for a minute at a time until it starts to steam. Leave it to cool down completely and then hang to dry.

I loved the whole process. It was so easy and quick too. In fact I may have been rather disappointed that I only had 1 skein of yarn to dye as it was all over far too quickly. I now know that if I ever purchase a kit again (which I most definitely will) I can add further dyes and yarn to my order to make the fun last longer. I love the finished skein and I cannot wait to crochet it up into something truly unique. I’ll upload a photo when I have done so!

You can buy your own kit from the It’s A Stitch Up website

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