Hooked on Needles

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Easy Way to Wind Yarn into Hank for Dyeing

Quite some time ago, I purchased a number of 4-ounce balls of Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn for the purpose of dyeing it into fun and different color combinations. They have been sitting in my cabinet for far too long! You can see them on the top shelf in the first open-cabinet picture of THIS POST from way back in October 2011! I'd say it's way past time to do something fun with them, wouldn't you?

I have been researching different methods of dyeing cotton yarn and have not yet landed on the one I will actually use, but they all seem to start out the same way, that is, winding the yarn into hanks. I have been pondering this task and trying to come up with an easy way to get this...

...ball of yarn...

...turned into this tied hank of yarn, without having to purchase an expensive gadget. So I did a little more research and discovered that there is a simple tool out there called a niddy noddy that is easy to make and does the trick in a flash!

I'm sure you can buy fancy wooden ones, but I found this website that showed how to make one for practically nothing using pvc, one of my favorite materials for building lightweight structures.

As it turns out, I had all the pvc I needed already in the house! One trip to the attic to pilfer two t-joints off my tomato stake structure that I'm not using in the garden this year, and one trip to the basement to abscond with the length of 1/2 inch pvc pipe my son uses to hold his model rockets when my husband spray paints them (hence the red mark on the center piece of pvc), and then a few quick cuts of the miter saw from a piece of scrap pvc to get the four 6-inch pieces and I was in business!

I discovered that the end caps are not really necessary for the functionality of the niddy noddy, unless I was wanting to wind more than a 4-ounce ball. Then I think they would come in handy for keeping the yarn from sliding off the ends.

It took me about five minutes to wind that 4-ounce ball of cotton onto my new gadget. I was quite pleased with it!

Before I removed the yarn from the pvc structure, I used some scraps of acrylic yarn to tie it in a few places, then after removing the cotton, I tied it in a few more places before twisting it up into the hank you saw above. Acrylic yarn is good to use for tying because it won't absorb any of the dye or release any of its own. Tying loosely is also important so that the dye can reach the areas of cotton under the tie and not leave them white.

The next stage of my yarn dyeing adventure will be to mix up my dye and figure out how to administer it to the yarn. Stay tuned!

Happy Stitching!

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