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How to overdye yarn!


Admit it. You have a skein of yarn in your stash that isn’t your favorite color. You might not even be sure how it got there…

What’s a girl to do? Overdye it!

How to Overdye

I’m a huge fan of Kool-Aid Dyeing yarn, but when you’re trying to cover up an existing color… Kool-Aid just isn’t strong enough.

Dyeing yarn with Rit Dye

To overdye yarn (which basically just means dyeing over a color), you’ll need a fabric dye like Rit. You can see my not-favorite-color skein above as well as a package of black dye.

The dye needs heat to set and can be abrasive, so you don’t want to use your normal cooking pots. I used the saucepan that I use for making soap (which I don’t use for food!).

To dye your yarn, follow the instructions on the packet (which are basically: add yarn, water and dye to a pot and heat):

dyeing with Rit

If you’ve dyed with Kool-Aid before, you’ll notice that the Rit dye takes a little longer. The package says up to a half hour… but I got the results I was looking for in about 10 minutes.

And it’s that easy! Take out your yarn, rinse, and hang to dry! And you’ll have a newly-colored skein of yarn!




  1. Maxelyn SAYS...

    I haven’t dyed much loose yarn but for years and years have used Rit to dye fabric and clothing – usually black. So I’d like to add that the higher the cotton content the more stubborn it is to accept dark or rich colors of dye. I combat that by adding about a half a cup of salt to the dyebath before adding the goods, and have had great success. Silks are better in a special cold-water silk dye. So Google the fiber content to ensure no mishaps! Hope your vacation is a-m-a-z-i-n-g!

    • ECDabus SAYS...

      Thank you, Maxelyn! I have inherited an 80 year old, cotton, crocheted tablecloth made by my great grandmother. It has two large purple-to-pink stains which I cannot get out. I want to dye this black. It should look stunning. Her work is beautiful.

      • ECDabus SAYS...

        Sorry, I forgot to thank the writer of this article; it is JUST what I’ve needed. Good instructions and a dose of confidence. I’m off to buy a kettle and some more table salt.

  2. Seniye SAYS...

    Thank you so much Stacey:) Its very useful..