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Autumn Blend with RIT Dye

By Amy Reader on October 14, 2021

Fall is upon us and it is the season to break out your knitting needles and crochet hooks and whip up something cozy before winter. Today on the blog, we are going to dye up a warm and cozy autumn blend inspired by the fall leaves changing colors. We will be using three shades of RIT Dye to create these MARSHMALLOW WORSTED skeins that are reminiscent of autumn foliage.


RIT Dye is readily available at your local craft store and the liquid bottles come with plenty of dye so you can easily dye several skeins and colorways with one bottle! Additionally, since RIT Dye is a composite dye, it can be used to dye a variety of fibers so you could use a bit to dye a skein of yarn and then dye a t- shirt with the remaining dye.


  • RIT Dye in Tangerine, Wine, and Lemon Yellow
  • Chafing dish with lid
  • Citric acid or white vinegar
  • Tongs or chopsticks
  • Tablespoon
  • Zip ties (optional)
  • Small cups (option)
  • Regular setup for heat setting yarn


Loop the zip ties around each of the skeins. Fill the chafing dish with two inches of cool water and stir in a tablespoon of citric acid or white vinegar. Submerge the two skeins under the water in the chafing dish. Allow the yarn to fully absorb the water. This usually takes about an hour.



While the yarn is presoaking, measure out the dye. Shake the RIT dye bottles before using. Into three separate cups, measure out one tablespoon per cup of each dye color. One cup with a tablespoon of Wine, one with a tablespoon of Lemon Yellow, and the third with a tablespoon of Tangerine.

Once the yarn is finished presoaking, it is time to add the dye! Starting on one end of the chafing dish, slowly pour the Lemon Yellow across the width of the dish. The Lemon Yellow will take up one third of the dye bath.

Using tongs or chopsticks, work the dye into the skein of the yarn so it is evenly distributed. Lift up sections of yarn to allow the dye to flow underneath and around the skein of yarn. The dye will look concentrated at first, working the dye into the yarn will even out the color to a bright lemon yellow.

Pour the Tangerine dye across the middle third of the dye bath.

Using tongs or chopsticks, repeat the same process as before to work the dye evenly throughout the middle third of the dye bath. Take the Tangerine right up to the edge of the Lemon Yellow section, but don’t let them bleed into each other too much.

Pour the Wine dye across the final third of the yarn. Repeat the same process to evenly distribute the dye throughout the last third of the dye bath. Take the Wine dye right up to the edge of the Tangerine in the middle third without letting it bleed into the Tangerine section too much.



Cover the chafing dish and heat set using your preferred method. RIT Dye can take a little bit longer than acid dyes to fully exhaust so keep an eye on the yarn while it sets. A dye bath is exhausting when the water is clear and the yarn is dyed. This means that all of the available pigment has bonded to the yarn fibers and the yarn is ready to be removed from the heat. This usually takes around an hour on low to medium heat. Avoid boiling or simmering yarn during the heat setting process.



Once the dye bath has been fully exhausted, remove the dye bath from the heat source and allow it to cool completely. Take care when handling hot dishes and tools. Once the yarn is fully cooled, rinse it thoroughly under cool, running water. Squeeze out the excess water and hang the yarn to dry.


Now that your yarn is dry, it is ready to be knitted into a fall cowl, crocheted into a cozy hat, or gifted to a friend! Tag us on social media to show off your dyed yarn and finished projects with #knomadyarn. We can’t wait to see what you make!


Amy Reader

Amy Reader is a fiber artist based in Portland, OR. She learned to sew when she was six years old and quickly fell in love with textiles of all kinds. With the help of her grandmother, Amy learned to knit and crochet shortly thereafter. Amy started dyeing with kitchen safe dyes and was immediately hooked. She loves working with bold and playful colors and primarily dyes yarn for her line of hand-embroidered jewelry.

2 responses to “Autumn Blend with RIT Dye”

  1. Michelle Campo says:

    I’ve dyed using Kool Aid and a microwave to set the yarn. Would RIT be ok in the microwave, or would that make it not hospitable for food after? I’m very interested in dying with other dyes, but don’t want to have tools that can never be used for other purposes, like food, after using them for dying yarn. Thanks!

    • Knomad Yarn says:

      Hi Michelle!

      The RIT website says that you can do so as long as you clean the microwave thoroughly with bleach afterwards, but it is definitely something to be careful with as you would want to make sure the entire interior surface is thoroughly cleaned and dried afterwards. Any bowl/vessel that you use to dye would also need to be sanitized after use too just like the microwave. See the RIT instructions here:

      Hope that helps!

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