EXPERIMENT: Dying my own yarn (part 1)

After making my felted slippers and a pair of felted mittens for my kid I am pretty hooked on it. I love how fast they are to knit (slippers made in one day, mittens made in one evening) and I love the texture and warmth of the felted items. Plus, tossing these extra huge items in to the washer and just hoping they turn out is thoroughly entertaining, though nerve wracking. So far I have only used the basic Lion’s Brand Fisherman’s Wool in Oak Tweed and the end result in terms of colour is a bit blah. Fine, but not exactly exciting. I have decided to turn this up to eleven and use different coloured yarns for felting. But not only that, I am dying my own yarn! SHABAM!

If you mind having your hands turn colours you may want to wear gloves when do dye. My hands are bright green at the moment because I did not.


I’m being far from scientific or exacting with this, but I did record some basic values.

  • 4 balls of Fisherman’s Wool (Oak Tweed), each ball weighing 40g
  • Blue dye (1 tsp Wilton’s blue dye, 3 cups of hot water, 1 tbsp vinegar)
  • Yellow dye (1 tsp Wilton’s yellow dye, 3 cups of hot water, 1tbsp vinegar).
Looks pretty disgusting, frankly...

Super classy and professional dye method! ha ha ha

I briefly soaked the balls in water to try to saturate them a bit and then placed them in ziplock baggies with the dye, 2 in each bag. I let them sit there in the dye for ~15 minutes, squishing them occasionally to try to get the dye to penetrate but being very careful not to agitate them too much in case they felted. I then took them out of the dye (which I have saved in jars for later) and put them new baggies (one for the yellow balls, one for the blue balls). I microwaved the wet dye soaked balls for 1:30minutes each and they are now sitting in their baggies at home cooling off and (hopefully) having the dye really take.

Everything I have read online says that dye bonds with wool at 180 degrees Fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius) and that you must make sure your dye reaches that temperature.

I’m vaguely concerned over how much the blue will take, I have read a number of things that indicates that blue can be tricky. Fingers crossed though. I can’t wait to get home this evening to see what I have made!


Part two of my yarn dying experiment

Part three of my yarn dying experiment