My First Yarn Dyeing Adventure

Back in the day, before Photoshop was my artistic tool of choice, I loved to paint. Oil, acrylic, watercolor and charcoal delightfully muddied up my bedroom. These days, my home is cluttered with a different method of creative expression: yarn dyeing! yarndyeing
I started with a just a few colors in Greener Shades Dye, several skeins of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Superwash Bare yarn and this trusty guide: Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece. I’m not gonna lie; I was intimidated by the whole process. I felt the ‘blank canvas’ paralysis of days gone by returning. However, after I took the plunge (or rather, my first skein took the plunge), the fear vanished and the fun began!


The first skein was a sort of test so I could get the feel of how the yarn interacted with the dyes, how much dye to put into the pot, etc. I experimented with many different methods: full immersion in pot, half immersion in pot for a tonal look, drip method with old soap bottles, speckling with an eye dropper, paint brush and even my gloved hands! It was delightful fun.


Word to the wise, from my most painful lesson of this adventure: DO NOT ignore the instructions to add multiple yarn ties around the skein. This girl thought she didn’t need them, which led to the greatest yarn tangle debacle Portland, OR has ever witnessed. My poor husband (may his soul be blessed forever) spent 4.5 hours untangling the mess. Also, make sure to soak/wash the yarns in a wool wash soap at the end, or the yarn will be very scratchy and bleed, if it gets wet.


I can’t wait to use my new skeins! I thought creating a handmade garment was fulfilling; try making a handmade garment with yarn you dyed! Feelings of accomplishment and joy abound 🙂

If you’re interested in yarn dyeing, we have the tools here to get you started. Have you tried yarn dyeing? Would love to hear about your experiences!


  1. Meredith MC / July 8, 2016

    Gorgeous and inspiring results!

    • Heidi / July 11, 2016

      Thank you so much, Meredith! I can’t wait to knit with it!