I was starting to have trouble finding yarns with colors I was excited about. Most yarns that are variegated or self-striping are the thinner yarns like sport weight or fingering. A lot of sock yarns that are superwash have the bright colors and the speckles. The heavier yarns, like worsted and bulky weights, are more often plain colors, drab and not exciting. I am not saying they are all like that, but the ones I was finding locally had no pizzazz or were the wrong color. I like color. I like my mittens to be different and fun. For the most part, I use the heavier yarns and I was getting discouraged.
One of the owners at my LYS (Local Yarn Store) said "You should try dyeing your own yarns." An interesting thought and yet another project for me to try. I love tie-dyeing shirts with my kids so why not try it with yarns? I ordered my first dyeing kit from KnitPicks, www.knitpicks.com. It was their Greener Shades Beginner Yarn Dyeing Kit. It was a splurge but we were going away for the summer and I needed a project. It came with an awesome book, 3 full sizes of Bare yarns, 9 colors of dye and citric acid. I honestly had the most fun. When the three hanks that came with the kit were done, I immediately went back to the website and ordered more bare skeins. KnitPicks is awesome because they have so many choices for yarns to dye. They have superwash, alpaca, wool, cashmere, cotton....you name it, they probably have it and the prices are pretty decent as well. The best thing is that if you buy $50 worth of stuff, shipping is free.
As you can see from the picture above, I love color. I also have a hard time planning and what I do plan, usually gets changed half way through whatever I am doing. I was happy because I was now getting the cool, awesome color choices in the yarns I normally use. I can buy the plain colored skeins and then pair it with one of my variegated skeins. I have been so happy with the outcome. I also have so many hand dyed skeins of yarn I am now able to sell them at local craft fairs. They are one skein wonders in that there are no dye lots. There have been a number of times where I look at the skein and think "Meh, this is not what I had in mind at all" but when I knit it up, the difference is amazing. Many of my customers seem to feel excited when they purchase one of my skeins.
If you are looking for something new to try I highly suggest trying to dye yarns. You have been warned though....it is extremely addicting and talk about the yarn stash....!