Hand Dyed Yarn for Needlepoint

natural yarn hanks for dyingRather than buy a bunch of yarn for my new hobby of needlepoint, I decided to dye my own yarn from a spool of 50% wool 50% silk yarn that I already had (I’m almost done with the sweater I’ve been knitting out of the yarn, slowly but surely). I measured out lengths of yarn in different size bundles corresponding to the different amounts of each color in my finished design. (Having never actually needlepointed before, I took a wild guess as to how much yarn I would need and figured better too much than too little).

pot of fabric dye before and afterI made a pot each of red, blue, and brown dye (adding vinegar to each one) and boiled my yarn hanks for different lengths of time to get different colors. It was really neat to see how dark the pot was when I started and how all the dye had been soaked into my yarn when I finished.

hand dyed wool silk red and blue yarnFor my red and blue yarn, the left-most hanks were dipped in the fresh pot and immediately pulled out. The middle hanks were boiled for 30 min in the dye, and the right-most hanks I got wet and then dipped into the pot at the very end.

brown yarn dyed different timesFor the brown, the left-most hank was dipped in the fresh pot, the second-from-left was boiled 30 min, and the second-from-right was dipped while wet at the very end. I then added a couple of drops of blue to the pot and dipped the right-most hank because I wanted it to be a bit grey. (After taking this picture, I ended up adding a bit of blue and a drop more brown to the second-from-right hank because it stood out too much from the others.)

needlepoint hand dyed yarn

I’ve started stitching up the lightest hank of brown and I’m in love with the results. The color is just what I wanted and it has a bit a depth to it because the dye didn’t take completely evenly across the whole hank. I think this will make it blend in beautifully with the colors around it.





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