Dyeing Gradient Yarn

Do you ever wonder how to make gradient yarn? Well look no futher because I will be posting how to in the coming days so that you do not need to spend money to purchase a book, but rather spend it on more fiber!! I"d post a picture BUT BLOGGER IS NOT UPLOADING FOR ME!!!!!!! AAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

I went to a knit-all-night last night (6-11) and I took a break from knitting to read the book Yarns to Dye For. Well, needless to say, I memorized a few techiques to avoid buying the book (because I am soooooo broke).

The procedure goes like this:

  • You will need two containers, one with the dye bath (prepare as usual), and one filled with rinse water, and gloves to protect your hands from being dyed. Heat the dye bath till warm but not so hot you cannot put your hand into it. You don't want to activate the dye just yet but the warm water helps the yarn to obsorb it since it is not pre wetted. EDIT: You want the dye to be active otherwise the dye will come out in the rinse water. So heat to just below boiling and hold it there.
  • wind your yarn into a non-center pull ball, do not pre-wet the yarn. EDIT: Some fibers are hard to wet so prewetting with a few drops of Synthrapol added to the water will help (rinse soap out before dying), THEN wind into a non-center pull ball.
  • Place the ball into the dye bath, holding it down till it sinks if nessecary
  • Right away, take a five foot length of yarn (more or less to suit your needs), and while pinching it through your finger tips on one hand-draw it out of the dye bath, through the pinch, and let it fall into the rinse water. Leave it were it lay in the rinse water DO NOT AGITATE, PLAY OR OTHERWISE DISTURB THE YARN IN THE RINSE WATER, as this will tangle it and make it very hard to wind back up later. If you prefer some white in the beginnin of the yarn, pull that from the ball before submerging it into the dye bath.
  • Wait five minutes (or a time that suits your needs), and repeat the above step.
  • Continue with the last two steps until all the yarn as been pulled over into the rinse water-letting the end of the yarn hang off the side of the rinse container so you can find it without agitating the water.
  • Wind your wet yarn out of the rinse water onto a niddy-noddy (it will stain so be sure to protect your niddy noddy or use a low-cost PVC one) and tie it off in four evenly spaced places.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap EDIT: Place in freezer zip-lock bag, close all but an inch, and zap in microwave in two to three *30 seconds to 2 minutes rest* cycles or place in a stovetop steamer for 20 minutes. (Microwave ovens will vary so watch closely so you don't scortch your yarn. Once steam starts to build up in the bag-enough zapping has occured. Let rest and zap again).
  • Place freshly steamed yarn in an out-of-the-way place to cool off to room temp
  • After the yarn has fully cooled, unwrap and hang somewhere to dry.
  • You can also do gradients in other color combinations. Say you want to do a yellow to red to almost black combination. Pull out your desired amount of yarn for the first color gradient (yellow), add red or orange dye to the dye bath (yes while the ball of yarn is still in there), let it sit for five minutes, pull some more yarn and when ready add a small pinch of black dye and let it sit for five minutes.

    If you let it sit and resist the urge to stir, it should create some interesting dye effects for an even more unique yarn.

    Ta-da! I'll post my results of both techs soon!

    Until next time...


    1. This is very intersting post and I found it very useful for me.


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