Natural Yarn Dyeing

This summer I’ve spent quite a bit of time experimenting with yarn dyeing.  I’ve watched a few YouTube videos and read some good reference books and blogs to learn some tips and tricks.  The easiest way for me to learn a new thing is by doing it. I could take classes, but half the fun for me is trying to figure it out on my own.  I started with food safe dyes–Easter egg color tablets to be exact. I’ve also used McCormick’s food coloring. So far, I’ve had good results with food dyes. The results are quick and the color seems to be color fast.  I’m also fascinated with plant dyes. This has been more trial and error–I don’t always get the color I’m looking for, but it’s always a nice surprise. 😉

Here are just a few examples of my results dyeing with food safe dyes (the pink Zinnia below was for color inspiration–I didn’t use it to dye this yarn) …

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Dyeing with plant material requires a bit more time and patience. I used hibiscus flowers and instead of the pink I was expecting, the result was an olive green (which I speckled with food safe dyes).

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My next attempt was using Marigold flowers. This turned out exactly as I had hoped–a warm golden yellow.


My most recent attempt was using dried Echinacea and Rudbeckia flowers and leaves.  Again, I was pleasantly surprised with the lovely sage green result.


This is such a fun new hobby–it’s very satisfying to crochet with yarns I’ve dyed myself.  I sourced the plant materials from my own yard and I’m thinking about planting a ‘dye garden’ next Spring to achieve more variety of colors. If you want more details on how to dye yarn with the methods I used, I recommend watching ChemKnits on YouTube or pick up a copy of the book Wild Color by Jenny Dean.

 

 

 

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