Wilton’s Dye Fest

Elizabeth, Tracey, and I got together the other week for a fabulously fun Wilton’s dyeing party. We spent the afternoon transforming ho-hum yarn into brilliant hues every shade of the rainbow. Tracey lent her expertise by walking us through the steps of both kettle dyeing on the stovetop and microwave dyeing. (A detailed tutorial can be found here.)

We had plenty of yarn to dye, including seven skeins unwound from a thrift store sweater. (What a bargain!) We dyed everything in the microwave, except for one large dye pot on the stove.

Lovely skeins of yarn recycled from a thrift store sweater.

Our very large pot of Delphinium icing dye being heated on the stovetop.

A bowl filled to the brim with yarn and Kelly Green dye ready to be microwaved.

The finished products (from left to right): Brown, Moss Green, Kelly Green, Delphinium, Black, Cornflower, Burgundy, and Red Red.

From left to right: Dephinium (kettle dyed), Brown, Lemon Yellow, and light brown yarn overdyed with Leaf Green.

A skein of bulky yarn dyed with Kelly Green Wilton's icing dye.

We also learned a lot during the process. Here’s what we observed:

  • Wiltons icing dyes produce very saturated, solid colors except for any color containing purple, which will separate and flash set. These include black, delphinium and cornflower. Expect a lot of variegation if you use these dyes.
  • A skein dyed with black Wilton's icing dye.

  • Adding more room and liquid in the microwave bowl or dye pot reduces color variations.
  • Combining yarn of different bases in the same dye pot results in uneven results, because the more absorbent yarn will steal dye intended for the other skeins.
  • Dyeing one skein of yarn at a time also leads to less variation/variegation.

We hope this inspires you to start hand dyeing your own yarn! It’s very fun and easy. Happy dyeing!

– Reported by Erica, who can’t wait to knit up her hand-dyed yarn, with contributions from Tracey and Elizabeth.


About purljamsf

We're a group of knitters, crocheters, spinners, and weavers, who meet on Tuesday nights at 7 pm at Tart to Tart in the Inner Sunset. Please join us!
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2 Responses to Wilton’s Dye Fest

  1. Tracey says:

    thanks for the write-up erica!

    here’s a great tutorial for stovetop dyeing with wilton’s icing paste:

  2. Pingback: Crazy Cat Ladies Unite! | Purl Jam SF

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