I started to take pictures of this process so I could show my grandpa how I create the self-striping yarn. Then I realized that I should just post it here as a tutorial so maybe it can help someone else too.
1. Determine how many inches of yarn each stripe needs to be.
I dyed this yarn for my cousin, who is going to make mittens. So, I crocheted up 2 rows (which is what I wanted each color stripe to be). Then I ripped it all out and measured that length of yarn. It ended up being 2 yards.
We made my warping board (which you can easily make with a piece of wood and some dowel rods - just drill the holes and stick in the dowels) so that one wrap around the pegs is 1 yard. (So the pegs are 18 inches apart).
2. Wrap the Yarn!
- Start with a slip knot on the top right peg. I knew I had to do 2 wraps per set of pegs (per color). So, following the arrows on the next picture, wrap the whole ball of yarn onto the pegs. Note that on the bottom set of pegs, I only wrap 1 1/2 times and then the other 1/2 goes up the side of the board to start over again at the beginning.
So you end up with one side (the right side in my pictures - where you went from the last peg back to the first peg) like this:
And the other is the side that goes from peg to peg:
3. Tie it Good!
- It's very important to tie this up well since it will create a huge mess to untangle at the end if you don't tie it enough (Trust me! I found out the hard way the first few times!!).
I use scrap pieces of yarn to tie the yarn together in a figure eight pattern. Tie these fairly tight, you don't want them moving!!
On the corners, I tie in the pieces coming from the previous peg. Like this:
So, the right side ends up like this:
On the left side, I remove the peg (or if you mount your pegs permanently, remove the yarn off the peg) and tie the figure eight right into the center of all the overlaps.
So you end up with this:
- Dye with whatever dyes you prefer. I used ProChem dyes. You could (probably easier than what I did) dip dye them by soaking each piece into jars of the different colors. I hand painted the dyes on with squirt bottles, since I already had my dyes in bottles. I lay out plastic wrap and then place one section of yarn onto it and paint. The pieces between the sections, I just go half way with each color.
Then I wrap each colored section individually.
So, I end up with 6 packets of 6 different colors of yarn!
Then wrap them all up together in another piece of plastic wrap and steam (or whatever you do to set your dye).
5. Finishing up
- So after you steam, let cool, rinse, then dry the yarn you're ready to turn it back into a ball so we can finally make something with it!
I put my pegs back into my warping board on the closer holes (since yarn shrinks after dyeing). Then I put the yarn back onto their pegs. The blue would not stretch enough to get onto it's peg. I think I need to drill another set of holes a bit closer.
Then wind it into a ball and you're all set!