Fun with Tie Dye

Skeins of Undyed Lace Yarn

I recently ordered a bunch of skeins of lace yarn with the intention of dying it myself.  I had been watching a lot of YouTube on the subject and decided to give it a shot.  Even if it didn’t work out, I would still have a bunch of natural/almost white skeins to make socks with.


I decided to try the Tie Dye method since it didn’t require simmering on the stove but I knew going in it would be a lot more time-consuming since it’s a 6-hour wait period while the dye does its magic.

I got out a marbling tray that I had bought a while back when I was planning some other projects (which I never got to, but we’ll ignore that part).   I covered it with plastic wrap to keep things clean and got to dyeing my yarns.


My main goal was to make rainbow yarn.  I’ve seen a lot of beautiful rainbow yarns out there but I wasn’t willing to pay the high price for most of these hand painted yarns.  I started squirting color on the yarn but all it did was bead up on top on top of the yarn and wouldn’t soak in. Tapping/Dabbing it into the fabric seemed to work but took forever.   Most yarn dyeing involves pre-soaking your yarn in water, but Tulip’s instructions didn’t say to do that.


Since I prepared a bunch of skeins I was planning on trying a bunch of different methods.   On the second skein, I presoaked the yarn and dyeing went very quickly and the color bled very easily through the fibers.

I also tried soaking a skein in the dye (see bowls in the picture) but that really didn’t turn out.  It dyed the outermost layers, but the inside of the skeins was completely untouched and dry.  So yeah, don’t do that.   I’ll have to re-dye them later in a darker color and see if they can be saved.  Right now they look awful.

After 6 hours of waiting, I rinsed them out and hung them up to dry.  I’ll show you two of my favorites.  The rainbow yarn turned out amazing:


While pushing the dye into the yarn took a long time, it gave me a great amount of control.  The dye didn’t bleed at all, so the color only went where I put it.

When the yarn is pre-soaked, it pretty much does its own thing, but that can also be amazing.


The picture makes it look pretty dull, but in real life, it came out like a shiny oil spill.   I don’t know how well that will translate into socks, but it was still fun to create.

Last, I got to unwind these knitted ‘blanks’ and turn them into balls of yarn ready to knit.

hand painted rainbow yarn being wound

multicolor "oil spill" yarn being wound

Once I saw them being wound I got pretty excited to use them.  Unfortunately, the sock machine is still being used for sock yarn and I’m not ready to switch over to lace yarn just yet.   So these are being put aside until I work my way through the enormous pile of sock yarn still waiting to be turned into socks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *