Posted by: Moggle | March 30, 2009

Spiral dyeing yarn

Over on Ravelry I got inspired to start a Dye-along. The chosen technique was ‘spiral dyeing’ – dying a length of roving without repeating the colours. I don’t want yarn dyers to be left out and came up with this technique. (I doubt that I’ve invented something new, but I’ve never seen it before)

Materials I used:

1 skein superwash bfl/nylon sock yarn

Niddy Noddy (for re-skeining – you could also use the back of chairs)

Dye (I used Landscape dyes)

Yogurt pots

Cling film

Using only two arms of my niddy noddy (or you could use the back of a chair, or a book), I re-skeined the yarn in to 5 smaller skeins. I twisted them up her to stop them getting tangled while I got them wet.


I then soaked the mini-skeins in water for about 10 minutes (longer probably would have been better but I’m impatient). I then squeezed them out and laid them on a long length of cling wrap on the kitchen bench.


I’m now all set up and ready to dye. You can see at the top of the picture the yogurt containers I use with the measured amount of dye in them. I opened the first skein out ready to take the dye.


Because it was superwash wool, I worked quickly to try to get the dye massaged in quickly. Superwash wool really sucks up the colour and I think I need to try a different technique. I was going for graduations from light to dark and this was the lightest colour.


Once I’d applied all my dye I wrapped the first mini-skein up in the cling wrap.


Then on to skein 2


And 3, 4 and 5. I twisted the cling wrap on the last couple like sausages because I did not want to take the chance of the dye spreading. If I were using non-superwash wool, I’d probably do this with all the little parcels.


I then spiralled the skein in to one of my dyeing containers (hence the technique being called spiral-dyeing) and microwaved it. I carefully rinsed out the yarn and pegged out each mini-skein.


The finished skein. I wound the mini-skeins from the back of a chair in to a centre pull ball, and then re-skeined on to my knitty noddy. This was actually the longest part of the process. I’m really happy with the result! Next time I might double-strand the little skeins so I could get two matching socks.




  1. Lovely tutorial and result, thank you!

  2. That looks really interesting. It will be fun to see it made up too.

  3. This is soooo pretty! I’m not normally a pink fan, but this is my kinda pink. Beautiful work.

  4. Ah I wondered how you were going to do it. It’s a pretty colour 🙂

    I nominated your blog for a scrappy award too if you stop by mine 😉

  5. Ooo, that’s beautiful! Two mini-skeins would make completely fabulous socks.

  6. […] so I thought I’d have a go. I’m using a few online tutorials (Diane Mullholand’s, Moggle’s, and Picperfects) and adapting them. Unfortunately my camera is canoeing in Wales this weekend so […]

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