June 9th, 2014

Dyeing Yarn with Sharpies!

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If you’ve spent any time on Pinterest you’ve probably seen the posts about dyeing t-shirts with sharpies, our Customer Service Supervisor, Theresa, wondered if it could be done with yarn, and it can!

Dyeing yarn with Sharpies! You'll need yarn, sharpies and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle

You’ll need yarn, your choice in colors of Sharpie markers, and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle – it takes A LOT of the rubbing alcohol, we used almost 12 fl. oz for this project. Place skein of yarn on swift and untie the securing threads, if your yarn is not in a hank you can wind it onto a swift to make the dyeing process easier.

Dyeing Yarn with Sharpies on the WEBS blog

Color your yarn being careful not to damage the strands, and make sure you flip the skein over to color the other side! Then spritz with alcohol, on both sides, until the colors begin to bleed. Set your yarn aside to dry. You may want to take this in stages letting the yarn dry completely between colors.

Dyeing Yarn with Sharpies on the WEBS blog

My final yarn color reminds me of my sister’s favorite fun-fetti cake mix! Give it a try and let us know how you do.

Tiny Tea Leaves Cardigan knit with Valley Yarns Charlemont, dyed with Sharpies

Theresa chose Valley Yarns Charlemont in natural and used her dyed yarn as an accent for a Tiny Tea Leaves cardigan and blanket for her new granddaughter.

 

Sara

Marketing Coordinator at WEBS - America's Yarn Store
Sara learned to knit and crochet as a child and added spinning and weaving to her skills after being hired at WEBS in 2007. While crochet is her #1 love, she is also very fond of her husband and 2 daughters.

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  • Linda

    I think covering the spindles of a wood swift with aluminum foil might be a good idea.

  • Judy Rosen

    i would love the pattern for the blanket….where can i find it??
    thanks so much!

  • Michelle Defarge

    Any idea if this is colourfast?

  • Gayla

    I’m assuming the yarn needs to be washed after it dries from the alcohol, right?

  • IrishEyes

    My one question is, don’t you have to ‘set’ the color with white vinegar?

  • Katherine

    aren’t sharpies toxic and flammable? Is this a good idea for baby clothes?

  • Sara Delaney

    Hi Katherine,

    Once you’re done the yarn is rinsed and heat set, only the color remains much like the normal dyeing process for yarns.

  • Sara Delaney

    Hi IrishEyes,

    You will have to heat set once you’ve washed and rinsed the yarn but no vinegar is needed.

  • Sara Delaney

    Hi Gayla,

    Yes, a few rinses until the water is clear and a soak in Eucalan before heat setting.

  • Sara Delaney

    Hi Linda,

    If you don’t have a metal and plastic swift then it would definitely be a good idea to cover your wooden one!

  • Sara Delaney

    Hi Judy,

    Theresa wove the center portion of the blanket on her Schacht Flip loom in plain weave and then used a modified version of the edging from Ysolda Teague’s Hap Blanket

    http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/hap-blanket

  • Sara Delaney

    Hi Michelle,

    Once the yarn is rinsed and heat set the colors are permanent.

  • Phyllis

    Can dyeing with Sharpies be done on all fibers, or does it need to be protein only or plant? Can acrylic blends be used?

  • Judy Rosen

    it’s just beautiful! thank you for the information but i think it might be a little too advanced for me……

  • Sara Delaney

    Judy,
    The original blanket pattern has a simple garter stitch center section :) Theresa just loved the edging and added it to a piece she had already woven.

  • Judy Rosen

    well, maybe i could try, i could just knit a square ….does Theresa have an actual pattern for the edging as i notice the corners are a different pattern than the rest of the edging? her edging is so unusual and much prettier than the original blanket…. :) thanks again

  • Marion

    Im wondering what heat setting exactly is and how it is acheaved ?

  • Sara Delaney

    Sorry Judy, she improvised as she went along.

  • Sara Delaney

    Hi Marion,

    Once the yarn was rinsed and dry we heat set the dye with a steamer, the same way you would block with steam.

  • Sara Delaney

    Hi Phyllis,

    We used Valley Yarns Charlemont which is a 60%Wool/20%Silk/20%Polyamide blend, not sure how it would work on 100% man-made fibers but give it a shot and let us know!

  • Judy Rosen

    very impressive, indeed….thanks!