Yarn Dyeing – All bare yarn colored boo hoo, need more yarn

I spent most of the weekend making, soaking and dyeing yarn blanks or yarn cakes. Definitely loving dyeing.   These first photos show the yarn I dyed as yarn cakes, basically dyed in a center pull ball.

The turquoise and orange ball actually was dyed with natural dyes made from beets and red cabbage. The beet juice which started out a brilliant red washed out and left a yummy orange, the red cabbage looked to be a royal purple but left a turquoise when the yarn was washed. While this is not what I thought I was going to get I am extremely happy with the result.

The second cake dyeing was done with a tightly wound ball of lace weight yarn. I dyed this using grape and blue raspberry kool-aid. Because it was so tightly wound a lot of the yarn did not get dyed so there is a lot of white with hints of light blue and dark purple. Not sure if I will leave it like this or if I will over dye it.

The Red, Green and Blue were dyed using kool-aid and McCormick food coloring, turned out very bright.


The burgundy, purple, green and mushroom was dyed by putting segments of the yarn blank in a dye bath on the stove and img_0457over dyeing transitions. The mushroom color in the middle was produced from boiling down the beet leaves. The burgundy and purple was produced from boiling beets and red cabbage to extract color. Vinegar was added to the soak bath for the yarn and directly to the dyes. Observation – the natural colors look wonderful in the jars but don’t produce anything close to what you see in the jar and much of the color washes out.


The rust colored balls were laid out on the counter and color was poured over the yarn blanks and kneaded in, once color was set the yarn blank was transferred to a glass bowl and microwaved.

I also had some yellow lace weight yarn that I thought was way to bright so I decided to use the remaining beet juice to see what I got, one ball was more tightly wound than the other so one is now more orange and one is a toned down yellow. In both cases I think they are better than the original yellow. What do you think?

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