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How To Dye Speckles on STRATUS

By Gina Rockenwagner on May 29, 2021

 

how to dye yarn

As soon as KNOMAD launched, STRATUS quickly became one of my favorite yarns in the line. This unconventional blend of non superwash merino wool and nylon has a soft, dry hand, perfect for all kinds of garments and weather. This Spring, I want to knit a tank top to wear with jeans and skirts. I thought STRATUS would be the perfect yarn for a tank! I designed this simple speckled colorway for STRATUS. Try it out for yourself and make sure to share your finished creation using #knomadyarn so we can see it!

 

MATERIALS

  • 3 skeins of Knomad STRATUS yarn – 80% extra fine merino wool, 20% nylon. We designed this project for STRATUS, but it would work well on any of our yarns.
  • Dharma Trading co dye for silk and wool. I used the colors BABY BLUE EYES, SAPPHIRE BLUE, and INDIGO.
  • Gram scale
  • 3 cups to mix the dye in
  • Citric acid powder
  • Metal chafing pan at least 3 inches deep – We need to dye in something with a lot of surface area in order to get nice speckles.
  • A tablespoon
  • Tongs
  • Your regular set up for heat setting yarn
  • Optional: 3 zip ties

 

SOAK THE YARN

Loop a zip tie around each skein of yarn, if you are using them.

Soak the yarn in lukewarm water with a dash of citric acid for about 1 hour.

 

MIX AND MEASURE THE DYE

Make sure to always protect yourself with gloves and a respirator whenever you work with dye in its powder form. A dust or surgical mask is not enough protection to safely work with dye powder!

 

1st CUP – 1 gram Sapphire Blue+ 1 Tablespoon citric acid powder

2nd CUP – 2 grams Baby Blue Eyes  + 1 Tablespoon citric acid powder

3rdCUP – 1 gram Indigo + 1 tablespoon citric acid powder

Mix each cup well.

 

DYE THE YARN

how to dye yarn

Remove the skeins from the soaking liquid, gently squeezing the excess liquid out of the yarn. You want them to be damp, but not sopping wet. Place the three skeins side by side in the pan, pressing them down and spreading out the skeins so as much surface area as possible is exposed.  Your yarn should look like the image above. Add 2 cups of the soaking liquid to the pan.

 

how to dye yarn

Use a spoon to lightly sprinkle about half of the BABY BLUE EYES dye powder mix over the skeins. Go easy here and add it little by little. You can always add more, but it’s hard to take away dye once you’ve added it to the yarn.

When you have enough blue speckles for your liking, cover the pan and heat for 10 minutes. Allow the yarn to cool for about 15 minutes.

 

how to dye yarn

Use tongs to gently move the yarn around, flipping and turning the skeins to expose more of the bare yarn. 

If the yarn seems a little dry to you, use a cup to add 1-2 cups of the soaking liquid to the pan.

Use the spoon to lightly sprinkle about half of the SAPPHIRE BLUE dye powder mix over the skeins. Try to focus the powder on the bare areas of yarn.

Cover the pan and heat the yarn for 10 minutes. Remove the cover and allow the yarn to cool for 15 minutes.

 

how to dye yarn

Use the tongs to flip over the skeins to expose more white areas of yarn. Repeat the above steps one more time, using up the remaining BABY BLUE EYES and SAPPHIRE BLUE dye powder mix.

 

Use the tongs to move the yarn around one final time, again exposing as much bare yarn as possible and adding more liquid if the yarn seems dry. 

 

Use a spoon to lightly sprinkle the INDIGO dye mix over the yarn. I tried to concentrate the indigo speckles on the bare areas of the yarn so they really pop.

 

how to dye yarn

Cover the pan and heat for 10 minutes.

Allow the yarn to cool completely.

 

RINSE AND DRY

Rinse and dry the yarn as you normally would.

Enjoy your finished yarn! Make sure to tag us using #Knomadyarn so we can see all your fabulous projects.

 

how to dye yarn

how to dye yarn

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Gina Rockenwagner

Gina Fama Röckenwagner (she/her) is a color-obsessed knit designer and textile artist based in Los Angeles, California. Her work has been featured in Vogue Knitting, Pom Pom Quarterly, and Purl Soho’s eponymous blog. She founded her line of soft, comfortable, and size-inclusive clothing, SOFT HAUS, in 2015. When not working on yarn-related endeavors, Gina can be found quilting, biking, baking and watching trashy tv with her cats, Paloma and Blooper.

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