Best Dye for a Beginner?

OK, so I have a couple of skeins of Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool in my stash, and I’d like to try my hand at dying it. I have a couple of questions for you dye experts out there…

What is a good type of dye/brand for a beginner such as myself?

Should I wind the yarn into smaller hanks? There is a LOT of yarn in those skeins (465 yards per skein).

I would recommend Koolaid. It’s cheap for a first timer (to see if you really like the process - which I’m sure you will), smells great, and is lots of fun to watch! :thumbsup:

How much yarn you want to deal with at once partly depends on what you want to knit with it. I dyed about 300 yards in a really large corningware dish in the microwave. It worked fine. Others could probably give you more well-tested advice about “to divide or not to divide.”

I second Kool-Aid. It smells yummy and is non-toxic of course. Here is my method: I take two chairs and set them as far apart as I can, then wrap the yarn around them and tie off every few inches to help keep it from tangling. Then I soak it in some lukewarm water for about 20 minutes until it is well saturated (pushing/squeezing into the water will get it started). I have a 20 quart stock pot that I fill with a couple of inches of water, then mix the Kool-Aid in regular mason jars. Then I put the jars into the pot and then distribute the yarn in sections into the jars of Kool-Aid. Then I put the pot on the stove and let it come almost to a boil, then turn off the heat and put on the lid. Once it has cooled enough to handle I take out the yarn and rinse with lukewarm water. Squeeze out the excess water and then I just drape mine over one of those wooden clothes racks until it is dry. The colors stay in pretty well, I made a felted bag with yarn dyed this way and the colors stayed pretty much the same. I have done single skeins (Patons Merino) and also joined two skeins to dye at once. I thought the two skeins at once was a bit much yarn to handle, so I prefer to do single skeins and use for small projects.

I agree with KCC about tying it off. Do you have a niddy noddy? I made one out of PVC. It’s really easy and CHEAP. While I’ve got my yarn on the NN, I tie it off with kitchen cotton (which I somehow have an extreme abundance of). It always gets a little curly in the corningware, but that’s cool. I love wet-thwacking. You know, taking out all that built-up teenage angst on your washing machine with your wet, dyed yarn before hanging it up to dry. :teehee:

THanks for all the information everyone, and thanks for the information on the niddy-noddy too, LadyViolet. I had never even heard of that…

I have read a little about using a crock pot to dye stuff as well. I am thinking about looking for one at a thrift store.

My husband is going to live this, considering he, myself and my teenage stepson live in a small apartment with a tiny kitchen. :smiley:

I have been looking at some of the undyed yarns for sale at

Is there a particular fiber that takes the kool-aid dye better than others?

Natural fibers. It’s been a while since I did mine, so I don’t remember what I used. :aww: I’m thinking BFL or Corriedale. Maybe I should go try to remember…:teehee: