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Tie Dyeing Spun Yarn

I wanted scary yarn for Halloween socks but you could try more attractive colour schemes such as those described below.

I decided I simply must make some Halloween socks this year (nope, I don't know why...) and thought it would be a great opportunity to try tie dyeing some wool. Of course, you don't need to dye yucky colours like black and orange, you could make a very attractive yarn with natural white and soft pink, or white and navy blue, the sky's the limit!. I've been thinking of tie dyeing white yarn with orange, then re-tying it and dying black over the top for yarn to knit a marmalade cat.

Here's how I did it:

  1. Tie your yarn into skeins (I used a commercially produced orange DK wool)
  2. Take some extra yarn and tie it very tightly around sections of the skein. I tied mine randomly but you can achieve very predictable colour repeats by measuring the distance between ties, and the length of the tied section.
  3. Soak in hot water with dishwashing detergent for half an hour.
  4. Next, I mixed a solution of one teaspoon black Ashford brand acid dye dissolved in hot water and added 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the solution.
  5. I then added enough water to fill the jar I was mixing the dye in (a total of about 300mls).
  6. I then put enough water to cover the yarn in a microwave proof container. I removed the yarn, added the dye and stirred.
  7. Next I added the yarn again, making sure it was totally immersed in the dye and cooked it on high in the microwave for 35 minutes, checking at regular intervals to pick the skeins up out of the dye and place them back in carefully so that the dye would be taken up evenly.
  8. I rinsed, spun the water out in my washing machine, and the result was some pretty scary Hallowe'en wool!

Copyright © 2000 Sarah Bradberry