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5 Reasons Crocheters Should Dye Their Own Yarn

Updated on March 11, 2011

I often try to find new hobbies to learn about when I’m at the local library. I browse through my favorite aisles of the library and search for a section that interests me. Recently I found myself in a section on yarn dyeing. It’s not something that I’ve ever done before but the colorful yarn on the covers of the instructional books that I saw there made me intrigued about this option. I’m a crocheter and I certainly have a passion for yarn but I’d never thought about dyeing my own before. To be honest, I’m still not sure that I’m going to – at least not yet. The books definitely described a craft that intrigued me and it’s certainly on my “to learn” list for sometime in my life but I haven’t actually decided to do it yet. I thought that perhaps sharing some of the reasons that dyeing your own yarn is great for crocheters (and knitters, for that matter) would encourage me to get on that goal so here they are … the five top reasons to dye your own yarn if you’re someone who crochets or otherwise crafts with yarn.

1. Stash Busting. Most crocheters have a yarn stash. And most of those yarn stashes have yarn in them that the crocheter doesn’t actually like the color of.

There are many reasons that this may happen to you.

· You liked the yarn when you first bought it but now you don’t know what you were thinking.

· You bought the yarn because it was on sale and thought you could convince yourself that the color wasn’t that bad.

· You liked the yarn before you started working with it but found that you didn’t like it once it was on the hooks.

· Your color tastes changed over times. Anyone who crocheted as a teenager and / or crocheted in the 1970’s should be familiar with this.

· You got the yarn in a yarn lot, as a castoff from someone else’s stash or in some other free/ cheap form that made you not think about the color.

Learning to dye your own yarn will assist you with stash busting. You can take all of those ugly colors that you don’t like anymore and turn them into something beautiful.

You may also be able to do some stashbusting if the problem is that you don’t have enough of a single color of yarn or even of complementary colors in order to complete a project that you want to make. Instead of going to the store to get more yarn, you can dye the yarn you do have to create matching colors (although it takes some skill if you’re dyeing different yarns to get the same color).

2. Create a Yarn in a Color You Love. There are hundreds or thousands of different colors of yarn out there in the market. And yet sometimes it seems impossible to find the exact color of yarn that you want to make. Maybe you can find the color but not in a fiber that you like. Yarn dyeing allows you to take the yarn that you love and turn it into a color that you love so that you can really get the exact item that you’re interested in.

3. Save Money on Projects Requiring Lots of Yarn Colors. Imagine that you want to create a blanket that requires three dozen different colors of yarn. You probably won’t need a full ball or skein of yarn for each color that you want to include in the blanket. However, if you buy your yarn from the store then you will need to buy three dozen different colors, which can end up becoming very expensive. In contrast, if you dye your own yarn then you can buy fewer balls of yarn, divide them up into the smaller lengths that you need for each color and dye the different colors yourself. Although you do have to pay for the dye, this can be a much more affordable option for some projects.

If you want to save money on yarn check out these 20 tips!

4. Your Creativity Will Really Come Through. Most people who crochet do so at least in part because it’s a great form of creative self-expression. Even if you choose patterns that other people have made (instead of designing your own) your project selection, yarn choice and color decisions are ways of expressing your own personal tastes. The creativity level really gets strengthened when you elect to dye your own yarns. You get involved in making creative decisions at such a basic level of the project that your self-expression shines through no matter what you make with the yarn!

5. You Will Be More Likely to Complete Your Projects. I was reading a book about hand dyeing yarn by Gail Callahan that said the following:

I strongly believe that the more you are part of the creative process, the more invested you become in any project you undertake. A recent survey confirmed that people who’ve taken part in some way in creating their own yarn are more likely to complete their projects than those who did not, whether they’ve raised the sheep, spun the fiber and / or dyed the yarn.”

I haven’t been able to actually locate the survey that is referenced in this book but I believe that it’s probably true. I think that dyeing your own yarn makes you more committed to your work as well as more enthusiastic about it and this results in more completed projects, a great thing for those crocheters who enjoy starting projects but have some trouble finishing them!

If you’ve ever dyed your own yarn, I’d love to hear your story! And if you happen to be a crocheter on Twitter you might want to check out my recent article on 60 crochet folks to follow there!


Submit a Comment

  • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

    Susan Hazelton 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    I have never before thought about dying my own yarn but you have made such good points for it that I have to look into it. Rated up and useful.

  • chspublish profile image


    7 years ago from Ireland

    That seems a really worthwhile project. I once tried dyeing some yarn first with boiled onion skins and then I tried beetroot. The colors were okay, but not very inspirational. I gave it a go though and I think that fits in with what you're saying here.

  • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

    Patty Inglish MS 

    7 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

    Very, very good Hub. Rated Up and Awesome!


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