Yarn dyeing!

I’ve done a little yarn dyeing lately. I really do enjoy it. I started out dyeing because I wanted to create beautiful hand-dyed multicoloured yarn of the type that sells for much more than I am willing to pay.


I decided when I started dyeing I chose Landscape dyes and bought a mixing set Chamomile (warm yellow), Wattle (cool yellow), Grevillea (hot pink), Desert Pea (fire engine red), Marine (blue), Kingfisher (turquoise), and Currawong (black). I also bought a how to dye guide from Three Irish Girls. It was well worth the money. There is a lot of dyeing information online but having a well researched, comprehensive instruction set was a great place to start.

The base I used is Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 8ply. My aim was 300g of green yarn to make a jumper (sweater) for Julian. I was aiming for leaf green and ended up with this pallid lime.


I used the Kettle Dyed Solids method with extra measures to increase marbling in the skein – dry yarn, a hot dye bath and no salt. You can see that the three skeins each took the dye quite differently.


I used 6L of water and 6tbsp of Wattle stock solution and 1tbsp Turquoise stock solution.

The other 100g is earmarked for a hat for Althea. The plan was a red and purple multicolour using the method for Kettle Dyed Varigated Colours which is a low water method. I’ve had a lot of trouble getting good dye penetration into the skein using this method and this was no exception.


Yuk. I used three different colours using different quantities of Desert Pea and Marine: Red (3tbsp Desert Pea and 1tsp Marine); Reddy Purple (2tbsp Desert Pea and 1tbsp Marine); and Purple (1tbsp Desert Pea and 1tbsp Marine).

I was really disappointed with both yarns so back into the pot they went!



The green I over dyed using the same method but 8L of water, 18tbsp marine and 16tbsp chamomile. I really much prefer the greens made with a pure blue rather than turquoise. Tealy blue-greens are so much more appealing to me than lime-yellowy greens.


The purple-red I over dyed using one deeper dye bath with 3L of water and 7tbsp grevilla and 3tbsp marine.


I think Althea will much prefer this pinky purple than the cool purple I made before. The red patches show through the overdying in a subtle way that I like. Overall I am now very pleased with both yarns.

Even better, I got to play with a yarn swift and ball winder for the first time! Thanks so much Renee and Megan!!






6 thoughts on “Yarn dyeing!

  1. Lovely! I experiemented with yarn dyeing for the first time recently, and also had problems with dye penetration: it was explained to me that as I was using “white”/”off white” yarn (also BWM yarn) rather than “bare” yarn, the dyeing process it had already gone through made it thirstier. So the standard quantities of dye weren’t going to be enough for the skeins I’d made. D doesn’t mind the white-ish patches to her yarn, and I over-dyed E’s skein, so thankfully it’s not an issue in the end, just something I’ll “bare” in mind for later.

    And. GORGEOUS dye jobs! I might have to commission some… once I work through my stash… *cough*

    • Thanks! I have had better success with more dye now I come to think of it, so the bare/dyed factor could definitely be at play. It had been nearly a year since I have done any dyeing. I also found that application by syringe not jug and lots of very careful checking for white spots was needed to get out the white spots, which is really hard to do at the bottom of a pot! I had better success applying the dye onto the yarn in a shallow dish and microwaving. I keep trying to get the pot to work as it’s faster and easier but I guess I should give up, at least for the multicolours. I’m feeling more love for semi solids right now anyway!

  2. Pingback: A cardigan for the upcoming baby | accidentlykellystreet

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