Don’t Trash Your Stash— OVERDYE!

Box 'O Crayons, 24.5

Box ‘O Crayons, 24.5″x69.5″
Designed and hooked by Judy Taylor

One of the easiest ways to jazz up your leftover wool yarn is to overdye it.  Even if you never do any other dye project, you will want to try this one.  It is easy and fool proof, and you won’t believe how beautiful the results will be.

Take the Box ‘O Crayons rug (above).  I had put together an assortment of yarns for my book Joy of Hooking (With Yarn!), in every type and texture I could find, to show the huge variety of yarns available that make great rugs.  When I finished photographing this multi-colored bundle of yarns, it seemed a shame to just put all the skeins back on the shelf.  So I decided to make Box ‘O Crayons.

Well, as you might imagine, I ended up with approximately 80 balls of leftover yarn.  Rather than make skeins out of each one (and then have to cross-tie each one so it wouldn’t get tangled in the process), I wrapped them on my niddy noddy one after another.  When I came to the end of one ball, I just tied it to the beginning of the next ball, and kept going until I had several very large, multi-colored skeins to dye.  There was no rhyme or reason as to which color went with which, I just wrapped them randomly.

Box 'O Crayons leftovers, tied together and wrapped into skeins, ready to be overdyed

Box ‘O Crayons leftovers, tied together and wrapped into skeins, ready to be overdyed

I separated the skeins into three groups and put them into three very light dyebaths; Mountain Aqua, Key Lime and Very Hot Pink.  I ended up with yarn that was lightly overdyed, not too much, so the yarns all looked distinct from one another, but just enough to make them look like they “matched.”  With my new set of colors, I hooked Crown of Thorns.

Crown of Thorns, 36

Crown of Thorns, 36″x22″
Designed and hooked by Judy Taylor

Leftover yarns from Crown of Thorns, wrapped into multi-colored skeins ready to overdye

Leftover yarns from Crown of Thorns, wrapped into multi-colored skeins ready to overdye

Well, don’t you know, I ended up with a lot of leftover yarn.  So I wrapped up all my leftovers into skeins, just like I did before, but this time, I dropped them all into a light Mahogany dyebath.  I then separated my overdyed yarns into piles of light, medium and dark, and hooked the background for Cozy Rose.  I used the lighter samples for the inner background, the medium colored skeins for the middle background, and the darker skeins for the outside border.

Cozy Rose, 22.5

Cozy Rose, 22.5″x32.5″
Designed and hooked by Judy Taylor

But, you guessed it, I still had leftovers!  Back to the niddy noddy, all the leftover yarns from Cozy Rose got wrapped up and overdyed with Royal Blue, giving me a whole bunch of blue/purple colors to work with.  I used them to make the penny background for Haleema.

Haleema, 27.5

Haleema, 27.5″x34.5″
Designed and hooked by Judy Taylor

So when you look at Haleema, you are looking at yarn that has been overdyed at least three times (more if the original yarn was dyed or overdyed!).  Each time, I ended up with a completely different color palette to work with.

There’s really no risk to using this dye method.  As long as your dyebath is light enough, even if you don’t like the way it turned out, you can keep on overdyeing it until you get what you want!

Now for the newsy stuff:  October is a busy month.  I’ll be at the Schafer Medows Fiber Festival in Elma, WA Oct. 9-11, then Fiber Fusion in Monroe, Oct. 17-18, and the Best of the Northwest in Seattle, Oct. 23-25.  If you’re in the area, come on by!

Don’t forget that for every $50.00 you spend at Little House Rugs between now and November 25, you will be entered to win the Victorian Santa!

Hand-hooked Victorian Santa, with mohair beard.  34"x20", designed and hooked by Judy Taylor

Hand-hooked Victorian Santa, with mohair beard. 34″x20″, designed and hooked by Judy Taylor

The blog subscriber special is a new kit that I designed for a class that I taught at Oregon Flock and Fiber last month.  It features all cotton yarn, which shows that you don’t have to use only 100% wool yarn in your rugs.  You can order the kit for 20% off during the month of October at http://hstrial-jtaylor9.homestead.com/blog-special-october-2015.html

teapot sampler for web

Happy Hooking!

Judy

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4 thoughts on “Don’t Trash Your Stash— OVERDYE!

  1. Robin says:

    GREAT idea and wonderful to see the end results…thanks. I noticed your yarns are smiliar in weight. I am an old knit store owner and still have lots of odds and ends but in different weights. How would you handle this?

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    • Normally, I hook with yarns that are worsted weight to bulky, but you can certainly work with finer yarns, by doubling them up (two strands in each hole), or simply hooking your loops closer together. The main thing to be aware of is that your skinny loops are high enough not to get swallowed up by your fat loops. Other than that, as long as all your loops are the same height, you can work with thin or thick, or fabric strips, all in the same project. Also, avoid yarns that are too slippery. Save them for knitting or other projects.

      Like

  2. Pingback: Easy Ways to Create Shading in Hooked Rugs | Hooking With Yarn

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