How to Dye Yarn in the Microwave: The Ziploc Bag Method

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This is one of my favorite ways to dye yarn. It is a lot like steaming vegetables in a bag. I like that you can seal the bag to minimize mess.

Supplies:

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Glass Pyrex bowl
  • Wool – Yarn I used Lion Brand’s Fisherman’s Wool, but any 100% wool can be used. You can also use some wool blends. I have had success with blends with 80% wool. You can also use a super wash wool and not have any worries about felting.
  • Wilton Icing Colors – I used Kelly Green and Royal
  • 2 Pyrex measuring cups
  • Gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Aluminum foil
  • Ziploc heavy duty freezer bag gallon size

    How to Dye Yarn in a Microwave - Ziploc Bag Method
    Yarn Prepared for Dyeing

Step 1

Prepare your yarn. In order for us to dye the yarn we need to wind your yarn into a hank, or a large ring of yarn. You can do this with a nitty noddy if you have one. If you don’t have a nitty then you can use my tutorial on how to tie your yarn into a hank with a chair.

Step 2

Prepare your work space to protect your counter tops. I like to use aluminum foil to cover my work area. I also laid down paper towels. Keep the paper towels close by for a quick clean up. Gather your supplies. Don’t forget to wear the glove to protect your hands from staining.

Step 3

Soak your yarn in a water and vinegar solution. For this batch I used a ratio of 1 part vinegar to 6 parts water. Let soak for at least 30 minutes.  You can mix your dye while your yarn is soaking.

Preparing Yarn to Dye
Let the Yarn Soak in the Vinegar and Water Solution for at Least 30 Minutes

Step 4

Mix the dye. Fill Pyrex measuring cup with 2 cups of water and1 tablespoon of vinegar. Dip a fork inside of the icing color of your choice. Stir into the measuring cup. You can also add some food coloring if you like. I decided to mix two dye colors for this batch. I used two forks full of Royal for one of the measuring cups, and 2 forks full of Kelly Green for the other measuring cup.

 

Mixing the Dye
Add One Tablespoon of Vinegar to Two Cups of Water
Dyeing Yarn with Wilton Icing Colors Ziploc Bag
Add a Fork Full of Dye
Dyeing Yarn in a Ziploc Bag in a Microwave
Use a Paper Towel to Check the Color Saturation
I Used Two Forks Worth of Dye for Each Color

Step 5

Microwave your dye for 2 minutes. Stir again to break up any chunks of icing color that still need to dissolve. Set aside for at least 40 minutes.

Step 6

Transfer your yarn into a Ziploc bag.  Gently squeeze out the excess water, but do not wring it out.

The Yarn in the Ziploc Bag

Step 7

Pour dye into the Ziploc bag a little at a time.   I poured the blue on the left side and the green on the right side.  You can use a spoon or your gloved hand to make sure the dye reaches the inside of the hank.  I ended up using all of the dye.

Dyeing Yarn
Pouring the Blue Dye
Dyeing Yarn in a Ziploc Bag
Pouring the Green Dye
The Yarn is Ready for the Microwave

Step 8

Place the bag in the microwave, and microwave for two minutes, then let it rest for two minutes, and then microwave for two minutes.  Repeat microwaving and resting at two minute intervals until the water in the bag is clear.  I had clear water in four cycles.

Dyeing Yarn in a Ziploc Bag
When the Water is Clear the Dye is Set

 

Step 9

Wash your yarn in the hottest water that will come out of your faucet.  Use a few drops of dawn dish detergent, gently swish yarn, and rinse well. Be careful not to let the water flow directly onto the yarn.  Too much agitation and dramatic temperature changes can cause your yarn to felt.  Hang the yarn to dry.

Dyeing Yarn in a Ziploc Bag
Hang the Yarn to Dry

 

I hope that you enjoyed this post, and will create your own colorways.  Please help other people find my blog by sharing this post on Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter!

How to Dye Yarn in the Microwave: Ziploc Bag Method

Dyeing Yarn with Wilton’s Icing Colors – Microwave in a Pyrex Bowl Method

Dyeing Yarn with Wilton Icing Colors

The Yarn Bucket is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.  If you purchase from Amazon using one of these links I may make a small commission at no additional charge to you!

Dyeing yarn gives you the freedom to create your own amazing colorways! Using Wilton Icing Colors is a fun and inexpensive way to start. They are non toxic and intended for dyeing cake icing. This method can be done in your everyday cookware. I do not recommend that you use vintage Pyrex for dyeing yarn. because it is way too precious. Use a contemporary clear glass Pyrex, so you do not risk possibly staining your vintage Pyrex.

Supplies:
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Glass Pyrex Bowl
  • Yarn – I used Paton’s Classic Wool, but any 100% wool or Alpaca can be used. I have had success with blends with 80% wool. You can also use a super wash wool and not have any worries about felting.
  • Wilton Icing Colors – I used violet and royal
  • Food Coloring – I used McCormicks
  • 2 Pyrex measuring cups
  • Gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic wrap
  • Aluminum foil

Step 1. Prepare your yarn. In order for us to dye the yarn we need to wind your yarn into a hank, or a large ring of yarn. You can do this with a niddy noddy if you have one. If you don’t have one then you can use a chair. Tie your yarn around the back of the chair, and wind it around until the whole skein of yarn is wrapped around the chair. Then take some crochet cotton and tie your yarn if a few places to keep it from tangling.

Step 2. Prepare your work space to protect your counter tops. I like to use aluminum foil to cover my work area, because it is reusable, Keep paper towels close by for a quick clean up. Gather your supplies. Wear gloves to protect your hands from staining.

Step 3. Soak your yarn in a water and vinegar solution. For this batch I used a ratio of 1 part vinegar to 6 parts water. Cover with plastic wrap and let soak for at least 30 minutes.

Dying Yarn
Gently Press the Yarn to Remove Air Bubbles

Step 4. Mix the dye. Fill Pyrex measuring cup with 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Dip a fork inside of the icing color of your choice. Stir into the measuring cup. You can add some food coloring if the mood strikes you. I added a about 6 drops of blue to the violet, and 10 drops of blue to the royal. I decided to mix two dye colors for this batch. You can check the saturation by dipping a scrap piece of yarn or a paper towel into the dye batch. You can mix as many dyes as you like, but I think more than three per skein would get too muddy.

Wilton Icing Colors

Step 5. Microwave your dye for 2 minutes. Stir again to break up any chunks of icing color that still need to dissolve.

Step 6. Microwave the vinegar/water solution with your yarn in it for 2 minutes. Take your yarn out of the vinegar/water solution, and let the water drain off of it. Gently squeeze the excess liquid out. Pour out the vinegar water solution, you can save the vinegar/water solution for another dye batch if you like. Place your yarn back into the Pyrex dish.

Pouring the Dye-Violet Mixture
Pouring the Dye-Royal Blue Mixture
Pressing the Yarn to Help Soak up the Dye
Wilton Icing Dyes-Ready to Cover and Microwave

Step 7. Now for the fun part! Pour the dye onto your yarn a little bit at a time.For this batch I poured half of the blue purple dye batch on the left, and half of the blue dye on the right. It doesn’t look like there is much of a difference at this point, but if you look closely at the purple side, you can see little bits of redish purple. The colors in the dye will absorb at different rates, so can get some really cool results. Press down gently to help the yarn absorb the dye.Step 8. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 2 minutes. Then let the yarn rest for 2 minutes in the microwave. Continue microwaving and letting the yarn rest in 2 minute intervals until the water is clear. When the water is clear, the dye has set. This method took me four cycles to set.

Wilton Icing Dyes
Finished Result
Wilton Icing Dyes
Finished Result

Step 9. Rinse wool in the hottest water out of your faucet. Add a few tiny drops of liquid dish detergent to help neutralize the acid.. Be careful not to agitate your yarn too much, or it could felt. Do not let the water change temperature. Extreme temperature changes can cause felting.Step 10. Hang yarn to dry.

I recommend checking out www.dyeyouryarn.com. This site has formulas for just about any color you can think of, and it is a fabulous resource!

How to Dye Yarn
Dyeing Yarn with Wilton’s Icing Colors-Pyrex Bowl Method

 

 

 

How to Wind Yarn into a Hank for Dyeing Yarn-Chair Method

How to Tie Yarn into a Hank for Dyeing

Dyeing yarn is so much fun!  Before you can dye your yarn, you will need to wind it into a hank to keep it from getting tangled. You can create a hank with a tool called a niddy noddy, or you can use a chair.  Winding your yarn around a chair will make your yarn easy to manage.

Supplies:

  • Yarn
  • Chair
  • Box

1.  Take your yarn and place in a box to keep your yarn from rolling around. You can sit the box on the chair or on the floor.

2.  Take one end of the yarn and tie it around the chair.

How to Tie Yarn into a Hank for Dyeing

3.  Wrap yarn around the chair until you have the desired amount of yarn wound around the chair

4.  Tie the end to keep it from unraveling.

5.  Use crochet cotton yarn to tie your yarn in a few places.  I like to weave the crochet cotton in a figure eight method to keep the yarn from sliding.

How to Tie Dye Yarn into a Hank for Dyeing

How to Tie Yarn into a Hank for Dyeing

How to Tie Yarn into a Hank for Dyeing

How to Tie Yarn into a Hank or Dyeing
The Hank is Ready to Dye!

Now you are ready to dye your yarn!  You can get started using my tutorial on dyeing yarn with Wilton Icing Colors found here.