Tuesday, November 29, 2016

My Quest for Speckled Yarn

I have some really loyal fans over on the ChemKnits Tutorials YouTube Channel.  I love how many supportive comments I receive as soon as I post a new video.  I really wish I was more consistant about posting videos but I can assure you that I am frequently thinking about what I want to try and share with all of you.

I've had "Speckled Yarn" on my "videos to make" list for a LONG TIME now.  I've thought through many different techniques to add small specks of color to my yarn, I just needed to find the time to get it done.  Well after multiple requests for help from all of you, I decided to finally give it a go!

In the following video, I apply dye to yarn, presoaked in a water/vinegar mixture, with an eye dropper.  I heat the yarn in a steamer on my stove top to set the color.  I've never heated yarn this way before, but I wanted to share something different in this experiment.  You can always wrap up the yarn and heat it in the microwave like I usually do with hand painted yarns.

Dyeing Conditions:

  • KnitPicks Stroll Glimmer (Bare) yarn - 70% superwash merino, 25% nylon, 5% stellina
  • Yarn presoaked overnight (although 30 min would be sufficient) in 16 cups of water + 3 T white vinegar
  • Dyes - 6 drops of food coloring in 1/4 cup of water.  (For darker colors increase the food coloring drops or decrease the volume of water.  I had a lot left over.)
  • I squeezed out most of the water before applying the dye. 
  • I steamed the finished yarn in a steamer for 30 minutes over a boiling mixture of water with a big dash of salt.
  • After cooling, I washed the yarn with some liquid dish soap and luke warm water.  

I created a speckled yarn!  I have some other techniques that I want to try out but I'm happy that I finally finished a project I'd been hoping to do for so long.

A photo posted by ChemKnits Blog (@chemknits) on

Do you want sneak peeks of what I'm working on?  Follow ChemKnits on Instagram.  I share many pictures in real time of what is currently on my needles or in the dye pot.  Plus there are sometimes super cute pictures of my kids.  Enjoy!