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Ocean Blue with RIT Dye

By Amy Reader on September 10, 2021

RIT Dye is an easily accessible dye that is a lot of fun to work with. You can find RIT at your local craft store and it comes in a variety of colors and premixed into liquids! Today on the blog we are going to be transforming two skeins of PRISM 85% Fine Superwash Merino Wool, 15% Mulberry Silk into a dreamy seascape using three colors of RIT dye. In this blog, we are using the premixed liquid RIT dyes and we will only be using a tablespoon of each, so there will be plenty left over to dye more skeins of yarn!


One interesting fact about RIT dye is that it is a composite dye. Composite dyes have the ability to bind to a number of fibers, depending on the additives in the dye bath. Since we are working with yarn that is primarily wool, which is a protein fiber, we want to add acid to this dye bath to ensure the protein fibers bond with the pigment. Read more about this process in the blog post “The Science of Yarn Dyeing.


  • Two Skeins DUO 80% Superwash Merino Wool 20%
  • RIT dye in Teal, Aquamarine, and Kelly Green
  • Tablespoon
  • Gloves
  • Slow cooker or stock pot and stove top with lid
  • Tongs or chopsticks
  • Citric acid or white vinegar
  • Zip ties (optional)

*when using RIT dyes, the tools that are used to dye should be reserved for dyeing and not used on food again*


Loop a zip tie around each skein if you are using them. Zip ties help keep the yarn from tangling in the dye bath and provide an easy loop to grab onto. Fill the slow cooker or stock pot a little over halfway with cool water. Add a dash of citric acid or white vinegar and stir to dissolve. Add in the two skeins of DUO and press them under the water to submerge. Leave the yarn to soak until the water is fully absorbed. This takes about 30 minutes to an hour.


If you are working on a surface that you want to protect from dyeing, cover the area with a plastic tablecloth and a layer of newspapers to absorb any potential splashes.


Put the lid on and turn on the heat and bring the water with the yarn in it to just below simmering. The lid should be full of steam but there should not be consistent bubbling. Put on gloves. Once the yarn and water are hot, add one tablespoon of Aquamarine RIT dye to one third of the dye bath. Use chopsticks or tongs to work the dye into that one section by lifting up small sections of yarn.

Wait about ten minutes and then add a tablespoon of Teal RIT dye to the second third of the dye bath, next to but not overlapping with the first third. Use tongs or chopsticks to work the dye down into the yarn.

Wait about ten more minutes and then add a tablespoon of Kelly Green RIT dye to the final third of the dye bath. This should cover the remaining undyed yarn. Use tongs or chopsticks to work the dye down into the yarn.


Cover with a lid and let the yarn heat set until the dye bath is fully exhausted. Avoid boiling your yarn. This takes about 30 minutes to an hour. A dye bath is exhausted when the water is completely clear. This means that the yarn has absorbed all of the pigment.


Turn off the heat and remove the lid and allow your yarn to cool fully. Then rinse the yarn, and hang it to dry! Now your freshly dyed yarn is ready to use! The twisty texture of DUO absorbs the blues and greens in such a beautiful, textured, way that it is practically begging to be on your needles for your next project!


Share what you make with us on social media using #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.

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