Dyeing Yarn With a Blank

Dyeing yarn with a blank is a way of getting interesting-and potentially self-striping-yarn with little work.

This project created a marled, semi-solid yarn for the Inferno project. This is yarn #9 (which, luckily, means I just need to finish spinning for Phoenix).

Dyeing yarn with a blank

1. Pick out your yarn. When dyeing for socks or other lightweight projects, a lot of people will buy or knit a machine-knit blank. For this project I did a deliberately rough spin of some off white pencil roving. There’s not a lot of it but I don’t need a lot of it either.

2. Knit (or purchase) a blank. This is a fairly small blank, much wider than long. The length and width of your blank will determine your patterning but I’m going for semisolid so I’m okay with whatever happens.


Try to knit fairly loose, at least several needle sizes larger than what you think your yarn needs-you’ll see why in the finished photos.

3. Soak your blank for at least 20 minutes.


4.Dye your yarn-I used a stovetop method instead of my normal crockpot dyeing. Since my parent’s area of the state is calling for snow today (cough) I didn’t get a chance to try solar dyeing like I was hoping for (I really liked the effects I got for Doyle).

I added way too much green, which is okay because Ridicule is pretty brown. Remember,  a little green will amp red. Too much green in a red bath will make…brown.

5. Let your blank dry and see what effects you’ve gotten. What’s cool with this blank is each side has different colors-one side is very red/brown, the other has patches of green/red.

back front

6. When completely dry, unravel your blank and see what effects you’ve gotten. If you want a nice, managable skein rewash, reset, and reskein…or you can be like me and just wind it onto a ply ball.


Because the blank was actually fairly tightly knit (the yarn was heavier than I thought), there are consistent white spots throughout the yarn. I would overdye it at this point, but I like the pattern so I’m going to let it be.


Solar Dyeing Wool

Solar Dyeing Results

Finished Dye Projects

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