Dye Self Striping Yarn without Special Tools

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Easy Yarn Dyeing Techniques. How to Dye Self Striping Sock Yarn 


Here’s an easy method for dyeing self striping sock yarn that does not require special, expensive special tools.

Have you ever tried to dye self striping yarn? Ever notice that you need complicated (and expensive) tools like a warping board used with a loom?


How to Dye Self Striping Yarn, FiberArtsy.com


Well, I figured out a way to do it very inexpensively and without special tools. All you need is some over the door hangers! So, let me show you how to dye self striping yarn.

Did you see my other yarn dyeing posts?
Beginner’s Guide to Hand Dyeing Yarn?
Dyeing Wool Yarn with Speckles


Dye Self Striping Yarn with this easy yarn dyeing technique


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How to Dye Self Striping Yarn

What exactly is Self Striping Yarn?

The definition according to Crochet.About.com is “Self striping yarn is a type of variegated yarn which has two or more colors. Often there are long lengths of each color before the color changes to the next. When you crochet or knit with self-striping yarn, the yarn will typically create a striped project on its own without the crafter having to do any color changes.”

I would also add that the color patterns repeat continuously and predictably throughout the knit or crochet project.


Why is Self Striping Yarn so different to dye?

The main difference is the need for long color runs. The average adult knitted sock takes approximately 15 – 20″ of yarn per row. So, say want 4 rows of midnight blue, you need to dye about 60″ (5 feet) of the yarn midnight blue. As you can see, if you plan to use multiple colors, your yarn skein has to be very long.


Yarn Dyeing Supplies:

– Yarn – s.a. Bare Stroll Fingering Sock Yarn
Over-the-door Hooks (4) – (check the dollar store)
Acid Dyes (For protein fiber yarn)
Foam Brushes
– A Door
– Plastic cover for your table
– Scrap yarn
– Pots and Pans for dyeing
– Vinegar
– Plastic wrap (optional)
– Stove or Hot Plate

How to Dye Self Striping Yarn final


How to Dye Self Striping Yarn, FiberArtsy.com


Prep the Yarn for Dyeing

Attach the hooks onto the door, two at the top corners, and two at the bottom corners.


How to Dye Self Striping Yarn


How to Dye Self Striping Yarn final


Tie one end of the yarn to one of the hooks, then begin wrapping the yarn from hook to hook, all around the door until you get to the end. If you have more than one skein, tie the ends together to form one large skein. Yes, you will get some exercise doing this!


How to Dye Self Striping Yarn, FiberArtsy.com


To keep this very long skein from becoming a tangled mess, you’ll want to tie pieces of the scrap yarn in figure 8’s at about 8-10 places all along the skein. (Here’s an example).

Now, very carefully remove the yarn from the door. Fill one of your dye pots with a few inches of warm water and add 1 cup of white vinegar. Place your skein of yarn in the pot and let it soak for about 30 minutes. Remove it from the water and squeeze out the excess water


Dye Self Striping Yarn

Now you have to decide how many different colored stripes you want and how wide each stripe should be. I used 4 different colors: Cranberry, Turquoise, Chartreusse and Yellow Sun.

My skein measured 14 feet and I wanted the Cranberry and Turquoise stripes to be twice as wide as the Chartreusse and Yellow Sun. I divided my skein as follows: Cranberry 56″, Turquoise 56″, Chartreusse 28″, Yellow Sun 28″.

I covered my table with plastic wrap and then partitioned my yarn as pictured:


How to Dye Self Striping Yarn, FiberArtsy.com

There are many different methods of dyeing your yarn, and I decided to hand paint it with my sponge brushes. Usually, I use squirt bottles, but superwash yarn tends to suck up the dye very quickly and the sponges allow me to apply the dye more evenly to a larger area than the squirt bottles.

You can see the full step by step instructions for dyeing the yarn and setting the dyes in my How to Hand Paint Yarn Tutorial.


Easily dye self striping yarn without using expensive tools


Hand Dyed Self Striping Sock Yarn


How to Dye Self Striping Yarn, FiberArtsy.com


Learn how to dye Self Stripe Yarn with this easy Hand Dyeing Tutorial


If my yarn had been fingering weight instead of DK, I would have more rows per color but I’m very happy with the way the stripes turned out. Now, I just have to start knitting some socks!

Here’s a great article on Self Striping Yarn for Crochet.



Related Yarn Dyeing Tutorials:

How to Hand Paint Yarn
How to Kettle Dye Yarn or Wool Fiber

Dyeing Wool Yarn with Speckles

And if you’re interested in Natural Dyes, here is

Natural Dye from Plants: Dandelions

How to Naturally Dye Yarn with Black Walnuts

Dyeing with Acorns

How to Dye with Black Beans


How to Dye Self Striping Yarn without special tools. Learn how to dye your own self striping yarn with this easy yarn dyeing tutorial.


How to Dye Self Striping Yarn without special tools

How to Dye Self Striping Sock Yarn

Dye Self Striping Yarn without Special Tools

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