Any Dyers out there?

Hi there!
I have recently become addicted to hand dyed sock yarns (Who isn’t right?) so I decided to try to make some of my own. I got my bare yarn and dyes last night and proceeded to whip one out last night. I think the colors turned out really pretty but they bled a lot into each other. I was wondering if there was ay way to prevent this?

I soaked my yarn for about an hour, wrung it out and laid it out on saran wrap. I then painted it with foam brushes in short repeats(about 5-6 inches). I used purple, kelly green and chartruse. I then wrapped the saran up around the skein and steamed it. When I took it out the darker green had almost completely taken over the light green. Should I have tied the skein off between the colors to minimize the bleeding? I had to squish the skein a lot to get the dye to completely penetrate, but there was still a pretty good color definition before I steamed it.

I am looking to get short color repeats with little or no bleeding between colors.

Any hints?


Martha :wink:

What I do is use the microwave for the steaming, and when I paint I do it quickly and get it in the micro as quickly as possible. You’re still going to have some bleeding sometimes (look at Lorna’s Laces), but that’s part of the fun. :slight_smile:

I think I read in one of the dyeing books recently to space the dyed parts farther apart, even leaving a little blank space in b/t to account for bleed. Also to use less dye, so it won’t soak over. Keep us tuned in w/your next results, am curious!

I ditto nuknitter. Leave a little white space and the dye will bleed there instead of into each other so much.

You could try to paint it slower. Add one color at a time, let it travel and bleed into the yarn then go back and add the other colors? Not sure if that would work.

Yet another idea:
Resist dying. Take strips of plastic bag (like a thick garbage bag) tie around sections of the yarn. Knitty Gritty did something similar.

I think however, bleeding is gonna happen and I personally love it. It makes a wonderful transition between the colors. I try to pick two colors than when combined make a totally different color. Like a blue section running into a yellow section will make a green bleed section. Or I try to do a gradient effect. Yellow bleeding into orange making a subtle orange between the two.

In any event, practice will make for the results you’re looking for. Try joining the dye list groups on yahoo maybe?

Best of luck!

Thanks for your suggestions! I have been busy dyeing up some more sock yarn. The first picture is the one that I wasn’t that happy about, but now that I see it wound I am liking it more!

This next yarn is the follow-up. I made two changes. 1. I made the skein about 3x longer than the original. It helped me eliminate the need to keep squishing the yarn because the hank was thinner. 2. I sent the skein through the spin cycle before I started dyeing it. I think this helped the dye not travel as far away from the intended section due to wicking action. Please let me know your thoughts!! :slight_smile:


sorry no advice on dying yarn but i just wanted to say that your yarns are beautiful. What kind of yarn and dye is it? i’ve only use kool-aid but i think if i use a “real” dye my colors might turn out a little better.

:heart: Beautiful just Beautiful :heart:

I second KBLUE ( the secret knitter organizer:) :teehee: I know who you’re secret pal is BTW and Im not telling :roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard:

Anyhoo: YOU’RE YARN IS YUMMMMY~!! :cheering: :happydance: :cheering: :happydance:

Hey Martha! The new skeins look really lovely - both of them! Did the suggestions make a difference? Any chance we could see the ones you weren’t happy with before for a comparison? :wink:

Glad YOU are happy with the new batch, THAT’s what matters!! :cheering:

To keep the colors from running together you can not put the dye right to the edge of the next color as was mentioned and when you heat the yarn put the light colors on top so gravity is helping you. That’s probably harder with very short color repeats. Your pictures look great. :slight_smile:

Thanks to everyone for your kind words! I can’t wait to get these knitted up!!
I really wish I could have gotten in on the yarn swap, but I was too late. :oops:
Oh, well maybe next time!

Kblue: I used knitpicks superwash sock yarn and Jacquard Acid dyes. These were just as easy to use as kool-aid and come in some great colors.

niknitter: The first skeins were the ones that I wasn’t originally very happy with. They were supposed to have more of the chartruse green in them, but I think they look OK now. I think that inconsistencies in the yarn show up more when you are looking at the yarns in the hanks that you dyed them in rather than the finished skeins. Just my opinion. I did try the suggestion of microwaving to heat set and I think that worked out pretty well.

Thanks again!

Oh yeah, once you reskein them they always look much better.

What color Jaquard did you use for the green in the first skein? It looks amazing!

Yarn Mommy: I used Jacquard Purple, Chartruse and Kelly Green on the first skeins. The Kelly Green wicked a lot into the Chratruse though so You might want to use both if you want the same color. I had to squish the section with the Kelly green a lot because it turned aqua blue on the bottom of the skein and I kept adding dye to get rid of the blue.

I glad you like it!!


I don’t know anything about dyeing but your dye job looks Great!!

I hope we get to see the socks the beautiful yarn makes. :thumbsup:

I can’t see your pictures!

Here is my newest creation. My Mom is a huge OSU buckeyes fan so I made this for her in Scarlet and grey. (The color is a little bleached out due to the flash)
There is a long section of scarlet followed by a verigated section of natural, scarlet and grey and then a long grey section. Let me know what you think!


that is gaaaawwwgeous! :flirt:

We need to be seeing some pics like this and then pics of it knitted in a swatch. I’m fascinated to see how it knits!

Thanks Jeanius!

Me too Carmen!! I stayed up WAY past my bedtime last night to start a pair of toe-up socks with the purple and green yarn. I only got about 6 rows done before my eyes were crossing and I had to call it a night. :wall:
I am going to see how much I can get done over the weekend and post updated pics then.


All of your yarns look amazing!! They look like something you would buy in a fancy LYS.

I’m about to buy some of the same yarn from KP but i wanted to ask how it feels? I’ve ordered a worsted weight wool from KP for dying and felting and to me personally it wasn’t as “soft” as i would have liked but since it was being felted it was ok in the end. :teehee: