Learn how to Dye Yarn with a Slow Cooker. This is an easy way to heat set your wool or yarn dyes using a slow cooker (or Crock Pot) dyeing technique.
Over the years, I’ve explored many different methods of how to dye yarn and I just realized that I never shared the crock pot or slow cooker yarn dyeing technique.
Dyeing yarn in a Crockpot or slow cooker is simply another heat setting technique. It’s very useful if you only need to dye a small amount of yarn (one or two skeins), if you don’t have a lot of room to make a mess or if you would rather not stink up the house by dyeing yarn in your oven.
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*** Important safety note … once you use your Crockpot with chemical dyes, you will no longer be able to cook food in it. Also, any utensils s.a. spoons, measuring cups, chopsticks, etc. will not be safe to use for food prep. That does not apply to dyeing yarn with food coloring or Dyeing Yarn with Kool Aid, though.
There are two ways you can use a Crockpot to dye your yarn: Hot or Cold … Fast or Slow Striking. (Those are not official dyeing terms lol).
Fast striking simply means that the yarn and water are hot when you apply the dye so that it strikes (adheres) quicker than when the yarn and water are cold.
Slow striking means you apply the dye to cool or warm yarn/water which doesn’t strike until the water gets hot. This gives the dye a longer time to move around.
For this dyeing tutorial, I used the Hot/Faster Striking method. I wanted some of my colors to be brighter and less diluted.
Yarn Dyeing Supplies:
Mulberry Silk gives this yarn a lovely sheen.
Prepare The Yarn Dye:
If you wish to use the dye in liquid form, go ahead and dissolve the powder with water according to the instructions on the label. This step is optional.
Soak The Yarn:
Add a couple inches of water and a cup of vinegar to your slow cooker. Place your yarn in the slow cooker and gently push it down into the water.
Since the water is cold, the yarn won’t absorb it at this point. Don’t worry about that. It’ll absorb water as the water in the crock pot heats up. Turn the slow cooker on high and leave it to heat for about an hour.
Apply the Dye to the Yarn:
First, I added some of the liquid silver grey dye. I wanted a somewhat neutral base of grey instead of white. Use your chopstick to gently lift and move the yarn so the dye goes sort of where you want it.
Needless to say, be careful as the crock pot and the yarn are HOT!
Next, I picked up some of the Jade Green dye powder with a spoon and gently tapped it with a chopstick to sprinkle the yarn with the dye powder. (Wear your dust mask).
Repeat with other colors:
At this point, just leave it alone for a few minutes so the dye can be absorbed into the yarn. I accidentally dropped too much Jade Green in the pot so it took longer to strike.
Once the water is mostly clear again, gently turn your yarn over using the chopsticks or old metal spoons. Don’t move the yarn around too much or it might felt.
Repeat sprinkling dye on the other side of they yarn.
Finish the Yarn:
Put the lid back on your crock pot and let it cook for about an hour or until the water is once again clear. Turn off the crock pot and let it cool completely.
Gently remove your yarn and rinse it with room temperature water. Try not to manipulate the yarn or drastically change the water temp as this can cause felting. Squeeze out excess water and hang your yarn to dry.
Once the yarn is dry, it’s ready to use!
Now that you know how to dye yarn with a slow cooker, you can dye up lots of pretty colorways to knit or crochet your favorite patterns. I especially enjoy knitting socks with my hand dyed yarns. It’s fun to see the different patterns you get in each sock.
I hope you enjoyed this slow cooker yarn dyeing tutorial. If you try this technique, I’d love to see your results! Share photos of your hand dyed yarn in the comments.
Have you tried dyeing yarn with a crock pot or slow cooker? How did it turn out?
Related Yarn Dyeing Tutorials: