Sunday, October 25, 2020

How To Dye Yarn: Berry Fade Set


Hello! Today I have something really cool to share with ya'll. I dyed yarn for my crochet pattern for the Furls Crochet Blog Hop 2020, and I put together a video tutorial and written instructions too! Plus, I have a new free crochet pattern to go along with it! Scroll down for the video tutorial, written instructions and the link to my free crochet pattern!

Sometimes things don't go as planned but that doesn't mean the new plan can't be better. This year has been one of those years where it seems nothing is going by the plan. It's been a hard year, but that doesn't mean it can't be a good one too. I've learned a lot this year, and I think I've grown a lot too. When the world is in chaos, I pick up my crochet hook and I sit peacefully, happily while I create something beautiful or cozy to wear. 


I've been planning my pattern for the Furls Blog Hop 2020 for most of a year now, but when I found out that the yarn I needed, was not currently in stock thanks to the pandemic, I was asked if I wanted to reschedule or use undyed yarn. I immediately opted to use the undyed yarn so that I could dye my own yarn. I used to dye yarn quite frequently but I haven't dyed any yarn in about 2 years so I was extremely excited for this new opportunity and I switched my design plan around to fit my idea of how I wanted to dye the yarn.

I have been eyeing and drooling over the beautiful hand dyed "faded sets" that I've seen floating around on instagram and facebook and I've been dreaming about the day I would get to play around with a "fade set" of yarn. Since, I have been obsessed with the look of those yarns lately, I decided to try to make my own fade set, and I am happy to report that it turned out exactly as I had hoped and it wasn't hard at all. I totally forgot how fun it is to dye yarn and then crochet something wonderful out of it!


After I created this "fade set" I asked my instagram followers for some name suggestions. One of my long time followers suggested Pinkleberry for one of the yarns. As soon as I heard that name, I knew it was my new favorite word and I was in love with that name for my yarn. Thank you girl, you rock! That name then inspired the other 2 names as well.

So, without further adieu, here is the Speckle Berry Fade Set!




This first colorway is named Snowberry. I think this name fits it perfectly with the solid white background that is speckled with pinks, purples and blues. This is such a fun and pretty colorway!



The next colorway is named Pinkleberry. This yarn has a tonal pink background that is then speckled with pink, purples and blues. This colorway was a little more time consuming but well worth it!



The last colorway is called Wineberry. This yarn is a tonal yarn full of purples, blues and some hot pinks too! I absolutely love it!



And if you would love a FREE Tunisian crochet pattern to go along with this yarn, click here for my Beginner Tunisian Cowl! This cowl works up quickly and it's so cozy you'll never want to take it off!


Now Let's Get Started Dying Yarn!





Supplies Needed


What Kind Of Yarn Can I Use?

Furls Whims Merino yarn is 50% fine superwash merino wool and 50% nylon. You can substitute with a different animal fiber based yarn. In my experience it does need to be at least 50% animal fiber but some mixes of fibers work better than others.

How To Prepare The Yarn

Before starting, prepare the skein of yarn by making sure it has ties spaced evenly around the yarn. You can use a different yarn or some people prefer to use trash ties or even shower curtain hooks. Today I'm using my preferred method, some cotton yarn. Make sure not to tie the ties too tightly or it will be harder to dye in those areas.

The Heat Source

Today I will be using my stove top. All 3 of these colorways are heat set with a inexpensive steamer basket (mine was $6.57 at Walmart) in a large pot with a lid. This is my favorite way to heat/color set the yarn because there is so much less of a chance to felt or ruin the yarn with steam than putting the yarn directly in simmering water. Every skein I have dyed this way, so far has remained soft and beautiful.

Snowberry Colorway

Step 1. Soak the yarn in a bowl of 8 cups of water mixed with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar for at least 30 minutes. This will allow the colors to soak into the yarn at the same rate. 

Step 2. Mix up the dyes in small cups with 1/2 a cup of hot water in each cup.
  • Blue = 5 drops of blue
  • Pink = 5 drops of pink
  • Purple = 1 drop of red + 2 drops of blue + 10 drops of pink
  • Pinkish purple = 20 drops of pink + 1 drop of blue
  • Blueish purple = 10 drops of pink + 1 drop of blue
  • Dark blueish purple = 3 drops of pink + 5 drops of blue
Step 3. Protect the counter or whatever surface you are going to be using to dye your yarn, by laying out parchment paper, plastic wrap or a garbage bag.

Step 4. After the yarn has soaked in the water and vinegar mixture, for at least 30 minutes, gently squeeze out the excess water and then lay it out on the protected surface.

Step 5. Dip the fork into a dye solution and start speckling the yarn. Take turns using the different dye colors and then flip the yarn and spread out the strands to make sure all of the yarn has been speckled, but do try to leave a white background. 

Step 6. Add 3 cups of water to the pot and let the water come to a slight simmer. Put the steamer basket into the pot and then lay the yarn in the steamer basket. Put the lid on the pot, turn the heat down to low and let the yarn steam for 30 minutes. 

Step 7. Turn the heat off of the stove and allow the yarn to set in the steamer basket until it cools. 

Step 8. Wash and rinse the yarn in luke warm water (so the yarn does not get shocked and felt) mixed with a little bit of dish detergent. Rinse until the water runs clear. 

Step 9. Hang the yarn to dry. Showers work great but I used my backdrop stand with a towel under it to catch any drips.

Pinkleberry Colorway

For this colorway, we will not be soaking the yarn first, so that the dye in the dye bath will soak into the yarn at different rates, giving the yarn a tonal look. 

Step 1. Add 10 cups of water and 3 tablespoons of white vinegar to a pot and heat until the dye bath is luke warm.

Step 2. Add 13 drops of pink and stir until it is mixed into the water. 

Step 3. Add the yarn and push down on the skein with a spoon or other utensil. The yarn will float and gradually sink down into the dye bath, also giving it a tonal look. Keep the heat on low so that the dye bath stays warm but does not get hot. We are not heat setting the yarn at this point, just trying to get a good tonal base before speckling the yarn. Let it soak for 5 minutes.

Step 4. After 5 minutes, flip the yarn over and push down on the skein of yarn with the spoon and let soak for 10 more minutes. 

Step 5. After 10 minutes, put the lid on the pot, turn the heat off and let soak for 25 more minutes.

Step 6. After 25 minutes the dye bath should be clear or almost clear and cool. If the yarn isn't cool enough, wait until it is. Take the yarn out and gently squeeze out the excess water. Place the yarn on the protected counter surface.

Step 7. Using the same dyes as the first skein of yarn, speckle the yarn with a fork. Remember to turn the yarn over and separate the strands to make sure all of the yarn is speckled.

Step 8. Add 3 cups of water to the pot and let the water come to a slight simmer. Put the steamer basket into the pot and then lay the yarn in the steamer basket. Put the lid on the pot, turn the heat down to low and let the yarn steam for 30 minutes. 

Step 9. Turn the heat off of the stove and allow the yarn to set in the steamer basket until it cools. 

Step 10. Wash and rinse the yarn in luke warm water (so the yarn does not get shocked and felt) mixed with a little bit of dish detergent. Rinse until the water runs clear. 

Step 11. Hang the yarn to dry.

Wineberry Colorway

For this colorway, we will not be soaking the yarn first, so that the dye in the dye bath will soak into the yarn at different rates, giving the yarn a tonal look. 

Step 1. Add 10 cups of water and 3 tablespoons of white vinegar to a pot and heat until the dye bath is luke warm.

Step 2. Add 35 drops of pink + 6 drops of blue + 1 drop of red, and stir until it is mixed into the water. 

Step 3. Keep the heat on low so that the dye bath stays warm but does not get hot. Add the yarn and push down with a spoon. Soak for 25 minutes.

Step 4. Do not flip the yarn. Put the lid on, turn the heat off, and let the yarn soak for 1 hour.

Step 5. Take the yarn out of the dye bath and gently squeeze out the excess water.

Step 6. Pour out enough water so that the water does not flow into the steamer basket when added to the pot. I used a chop stick to measure the height of the water I needed. Let the water come to a slight simmer. Put the steamer basket into the pot and then lay the yarn in the steamer basket. Put the lid on the pot, turn the heat down to low and let the yarn steam for 30 minutes. 

Step 7. Turn the heat off of the stove and allow the yarn to set in the steamer basket until it cools. 

Step 8. Wash and rinse the yarn in luke warm water (so the yarn does not get shocked and felt) mixed with a little bit of dish detergent. Rinse until the water runs clear. 

Step 9. Hang the yarn to dry.

The End!



Disclaimer: Furls did send the yarn and hook for me to design with. Some links in this post may be affiliate links.

I hope you love this tutorial and this yarn as much as me! If you dye your own yarn, I would love to see or hear about it! Tag me on social media or comment below!

Until next time,
bye! 
and happy crocheting!
<3Alex


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