My needles are staining my yarn?

I am a very new knitter, so bear with me. I’m going for a scarf and so far am about 1/3 of the way through. It was going very nicely, but now my yarn (acrylic) is looking grungy and my hands get dirty whenever I knit. The needles I’m using are probably pretty cheap (I don’t know much so I just chose what looked best) though they weren’t super cheap when I bought them. They were blue, but naturally the ends that hit together when I knit are losing the color and I’ve found it’s staining my yarn a dingy blue so it is starting to look pretty bad. Of course, to make matters worse my yarn is a pretty cream color and looks great at the bottom but is now looking awful.

I know I can switch the needles out at this point, but is there anything that can be done for the already-stained yarn? Any way I can soak it when the scarf is finished? Or any way I could dye it so that it doesn’t show? I’d really prefer to not start over as I’ve come so far.


What kind of needles do you have? I ask because different needles could do this for different reasons. I think I would try actually washing a small part of what is stained to see if it comes out. Since it’s acrylic yarn, I think you stand a good chance of it working. I hope so.

Yikes! What needles are these so we can be warned? I’m not sure there is a any way of knowing without washing it…what kind of yarn is it?

Thanks for the answers so far.

These are the exact needles I bought. I purchased them from Hobby Lobby:

I also bought the yarn there but can’t get the link to come up. The packaging says it is “Caron Simply Soft” and that it is 100% acrylic.

Hopefully it comes out or at least lightens. It’s not an obvious blue that it’s being stained, it just looks grungy. I guess I should have noticed it would happen once I saw my fingers were getting stained but I didn’t :/.

I’ve never had that happen with metal needles, even though I have some old ones where the color has faded off the tips, it’s never gone onto my yarn or project. Just the opposite in fact, I did a shawl with a turquoisey yarn and my bamboo needles got a little bluish.

Yes, you can put the stitches on some scrap yarn and try washing it; even just washing by hand with a little soap or detergent should help somewhat. Then see what it looks like after it dries.

They look like the Boye’s I have, packaged under a different brand. It’s really odd that the color came off on your yarn. I suggest that you contact the seller and see about a refund on the needles. They may or may not cover the cost of the yarn. If the seller won’t refund, contact the manufacturer and complain. If you bought them on line, is there the option of leaving a comment and warning others before they buy them? Before you work any more, try to find out if the color will come out. Having gone this far and have it messed up is bad enough, doing the whole thing to find out it’s ruined would be that much worse. I’ve knitted and crocheted with aluminum needles and hooks and never had that happen. My 2 cents, FWIT or not. HTH

Denise rainbow needles are reported to transfer color to some yarns in some circumstances but apparently it’s not a permanent staining. That’s part of the reason I asked about what needles you have.


Hopefully it comes out or at least lightens. It’s not an obvious blue that it’s being stained, it just looks grungy. I guess I should have noticed it would happen once I saw my fingers were getting stained but I didn’t :/.

Did it wash off your hands with soap and water? That might indicate how well it will come off the yarn. Acrylic doesn’t soak up dyes or any liquids like natural fibers, I think there is hope.

Thank you so much :slight_smile: I am going to wash it and see how well it goes - hopefully it works out but will let you know.

Yes it washed off my hands really well and I’ve heard that acrylic doesn’t dye so fingers crossed. After looking more carefully at what is happening, it’s almost as if it’s not so much the color coming off onto the yarn as the metal is staining my yarn. I really don’t know if that’s possible but my hands were getting sort of a metallic smell to them. But, who knows.

EDIT: I washed it this morning in cold water with a little detergent. It washed right out! I am so relieved. Thank goodness I went with the acrylic!

I switched over to plastic needles that aren’t quite as easy to work with but are encased in a clear plastic that, at least, won’t stain. They’ll work to finish the project. I didn’t buy these needles online, but yes, I think I will be writing a review.

Thanks for all the help.

Thanks for the update. I’m so glad your project isn’t ruined. I hope you can return them. You said you got them at Hobby Lobby, I’ve never been there because there isn’t one near me but I think they have a good reputation and since the needles are defective a return shouldn’t be an issue.

Thats great! Glad it washed out.

As needles go those are really inexpensive so if you can’t return them you’ve learned something. :thumbsup:

I’ve never had that happen to me, but glad to hear it washed right out. The only staining I have had happened was my yarn staining my Clover needles to a pinkish color.