Working with hand-dyed yarns


Hand-dyed yarns are unique to every dyer. Each dyer has their own techniques, dye space, and colour preferences. That’s what makes hand-dyed yarns so special! At the same time, this means that sometimes they require a bit of extra planning when purchasing and extra care when knitting, wearing and washing.

Be sure to order the amount you need for your project, as I can’t guarantee that future batches will match. All of my yarns are hand dyed and, as much as I may attempt to match, every batch is one-of-a-kind.  Product photos are updated each time a new batch is made to ensure you are seeing the most recent skeins.

While Knitting/Crocheting…
When using hand-dyed yarns in a project that requires more than one skein, it is strongly recommended to alternate skeins every other row of knitting/crochet to even out any differences.

Lastly, with any hand dyed yarn, please expect minor imperfections and some variation from skein to skein (even within the same batch), as each skein is individually hand painted.

My Process
I set my colours by allowing my yarns to sit on heat even after they have exhausted their dye baths. Then I allow them to cool naturally, usually overnight. As I typically dye a lot of saturated and/or heavily speckled yarns, they require a lot of dye and I want to be sure that the colours have set.
The next day, I rinse the fibre in a mix of warm water and an eco-friendly scent free wash.  

Bleeding vs Crocking
What is crocking? It’s another way to refer to dye transfer (similar to the warning tag you often see when buying new jeans telling you that dye may transfer when wearing).  Crocking can be caused by the PH value of your skin affecting the dye molecules (this can also be due to hand creams etc that you use) and it happens with dry yarn or fibre. This doesn’t happen because the dye isn’t fixed properly, but is due to excess dye particles which loosen as the yarn rubs against your fingers. You may see a bit of colour transfer onto your hands. A minimal amount isn’t necessarily a fault with the yarn or fibre.

Bleeding is an issue that all dyers deal with. Each one of us is responsible to avoid it as much as possible. Bleeding is similar to crocking but it occurs when fibre or yarns are wet and colour is appearing in the water. Again, minimal bleeding isn’t necessarily a fault with the item.

A few rinses should take care of either of these problems.

Of course, and as mentioned in my FAQ, if it continues to bleed and bleed, please contact me.