How to Dye Speckled Yarn

I took a little break from fiber last week with my funky, colorful alcohol ink switch plate covers – did you see them? That post went crazy on Hometalk! In case you’re interested, here it is… Anyhoo, back to yarn this week with a tutorial on how to dye speckled yarn. Speckled, sprinkled, spotted yarn – whatever you want to call it – is all the rage these days. With good reason, it’s a super cool way to dye yarn. I love the random, sprinkled effect.

Did you see my other yarn dyeing posts?
Beginner’s Guide to Hand Dyeing Yarn
How to Kettle Dye Yarn
How to Hand Paint Yarn

How to Speckle Dye Yarn, a FiberArtsy.com Tutorial



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Since I was just experimenting with this yarn dyeing technique, I used Kool-Aid drink powder instead of my usual professional Jacquard Acid Dyes. Kool-Aid makes a great yarn dye with a variety of bright colors. Plus, it’s non-toxic so a good option for dyeing with kids.

Here’s a basic tutorial for Dyeing Yarn with Kool-Aid

Safety Note: If you do use professional acid dyes, keep in mind that you need cookware dedicated to dyeing only. It will no longer be safe for regular food use. Also, make sure to wear a dust mask and cover all of your work surfaces.

Supplies:

Wool Yarn (Sheep, alpaca, etc. – not synthetic!)
Kool Aid Drink Packets (various colors)
– Baking or Casserole Dish
Gloves (optional)
– Fork
– Water
– Microwave (and plastic wrap) OR Oven (and aluminum foil)

How to Speckle Dye Yarn, a FiberArtsy.com Tutorial

Prepare The Yarn:

Fill your baking dish about half way with very warm water. Add the yarn and carefully push it down. Try not to move it around too much as that will cause the yarn to felt. Let the yarn soak for at least 30 minutes.

Speckle Dye The Yarn:

Once the yarn has soaked, remove it from the dish and squeeze out most of the excess water. You don’t want the yarn to be dripping wet. Empty the water from the baking dish and place the yarn back in the dish, spreading out the strands.

Now the fun starts! Open a packet of Kool Aid and slowly sprinkle some of the powder on the yarn. Since the yarn is fairly dry, it may take a minute or so for the color to show up. Take your time with this. It’s easy to add more dye but once it’s in there, you can’t take it away. Repeat with the other colors.





How to Speckle Dye Yarn, a FiberArtsy.com Tutorial

Use your fork to carefully move the yarn to expose the undyed underside. Add more dye powder.

How to Speckle Dye Yarn, a FiberArtsy.com Tutorial

How to Speckle Dye Yarn, a FiberArtsy.com Tutorial

Heat Set The Dye:

If you’re using the microwave:
Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and pop it in the microwave. Heat on high for about 2 minutes, wait 2 minutes and nuke it again. I don’t have a microwave (weird huh) so this is an educated guess but that should be long enough. With normal yarn dyeing, you watch for the water to clear but we are dyeing damp yarn so it’s hard to know for sure).

Remove from the microwave and leave it to cool completely. Carefully rinse the yarn with luke warm water and hang it to dry.

If you’re using the oven:
Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and set it in the oven. Turn the temp to 350 degrees and cook it for 45 minutes. Remove the dish from the over and leave it to cool completely. Carefully rinse the yarn with luke warm water and hang it to dry.

That’s it! Your beautiful speckle dyed yarn is now ready to use. If you have more bare yarn showing that you’d like, you can repeat the entire process and add more dye.

How to Speckle Dye Yarn, a FiberArtsy.com Tutorial

How to Speckle Dye Yarn, a FiberArtsy.com Tutorial

How to Speckle Dye Yarn, a FiberArtsy.com Tutorial

Have you tried speckle dyeing yarn? How did it turn out?
Enjoy!
Annette
FiberArtsy

Beginner’s Guide to Hand Dyeing Yarn
How to Kettle Dye Yarn
How to Hand Paint Yarn

How to Speckle Dye Yarn - a FiberArtsy.com tutorial
How to Speckle Dye Yarn - a FiberArtsy.com tutorial





Comments

  1. In your Kool-Aid tutorial you said that the yellow Kool-Aid (lemonade) was not a very strong color and you suggested that the dyer either uses a lot of the powder or just some food coloring if they were looking to dye their fiber yellow. Would you give the same advice here? Or does this process allow the yellow Kool-Aid to dye the yarn better / deeper/ more brilliant?

    • Hi Mary,
      Yellow Kool-Aid contains almost no color. In this tutorial, I used orange which came out a deep yellow/orange. Thanks for visiting!

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