Overdyeing Yarn

JPaul's picture

I recently made a trip to the Goodwill in search of sweaters to recycle and it was an excellent day for hunting.  I purchased three sweaters and a vest, all 100% 2-ply cashmere.  I knew I was taking a chance on the vest because it had buttons down the front, so if anything, the back would be the only useable portion.  But the yarn was so loosely spun that I couldn't unravel it without the yarn constantly breaking.  I gave up.  It was really soft, so I was a bit disappointed, but it cost next to nothing and I ended up with 6 vintage mother of pearl button, so it wasn't a total loss.

The other sweaters, I believe, will be much easier to unravel.  I've finished one, and have two left.

 I also found a sweater that was  85% silk/15% cashmere and the yarn is soft and silky.  But it's pink.  It's not a horrible pink, but it still needs to be a different color, so I'm wondering if any of you have advice on overdyeing?  I don't want the yarn to go too dark, but I'm thinking I might be able to get a nice blue or light purple color.  I'm new to dyeing, so any advice or recommendations will be helpful.

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altivo's picture

You need to take up

You need to take up spinning. If the yarn is so loosely spun that it pulls apart, that suggests that it could be deliberately combed apart and respun into new yarn. Not something I'd bother with for ordinary wool but might be worth the effort for really nice cashmere.

Felting is another possibility for some fibers, but not all will felt well and some may hae been treated to prevent felting.

JPaul's picture

That's a great idea, Martin,

That's a great idea, Martin, although I don't know if I'd make a bag.  I've been keeping any pieces of sweaters that won't unravel in one piece (like the upper front on v-neck sweaters), but haven't given much thought to how I'll use them.

Can you felt the vest & make

Can you felt the vest & make a bag? 

Knit away, knit away