The Frustrations of a Knitter: Dye Leakage

First off and mostly unrelated to this post’s title, I have a couple finished objects already to show you this week. The first is my Be Simple Shawl. It turned out really well actually, I was a bit worried that the yarn would be too much for a while but now that it is finished I actually quite like it.

I also made myself a pair of slippers this week as I had been wanting something to keep my feet warm around the house at night that wasn’t socks. I just made these up as I went along with the idea of the garter foot with stockinette toe that I have seen around on the internet lately. I really like these actually, they are maybe a bit big, but very comfortable and warm. I made these out of some super bulky wool yarn that had been in my stash for so long that I have no idea what it is but was great to use for something finally but I am thinking that I want to make a pair of these out of worsted weight soon as well.

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I have been working on my Amethyst Feathers shawl today and yesterday as I am trying to finish up all of my works in progress right now. But it has been leaking dye all over my fingers like mad, now on its own this wouldn’t really annoy me that much but the Be Simple Shawl had that same problem, and the yarn I used for my Campside Shawl as well, not to mention a large number of my pairs of socks. It just feels like almost everything I have knit with this year has dye leakage problems. These are my fingers after knitting for a couple of hours today, (they got worse by the end of the night and are still that colour even after multiple washes). I also think its so strange that they’re a raspberry colour because the yarn isn’t really that colour at all.

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And here are some pictures of socks that I am washing tonight and that I have to wash individually because they let off so much dye (these aren’t the only pairs, just the ones I am washing right now). This pair is only on the first wash (I had a hunch) so maybe it will get better yet.

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This pair however, has been washed many times already and shouldn’t really be leaking dye at this point (it doesn’t seem to affect the colour of the socks somehow though so its not the end of the world).

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I’m just so sick of always having the dye from the yarn getting on my hands so I look strange, and of having to be careful of how I wash things but not because of felting them. I’m almost considering pre-washing my yarn before I knit with it to try and eliminate the dyed fingers problem but I’m wondering if that’s a bit overkill since maybe it’s just chance that the last few yarns I have used have this problem.

5 thoughts on “The Frustrations of a Knitter: Dye Leakage

  1. The only time I’ve had this problem with dye leakage or crocking (is what my dying friends call it) is on hand dyed skeins. My indigo was really bad about this and so is some logwood I worked with. Are the commercial? That would frustrate me too. I am willing to tolerate it on something I know came out of my or a friends dye pot. Not so much on something I bought.

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    • Most of the yarns that I have been working with lately are indie dyed so that is likely why, but at the same time I have worked with many other indie dyed skeins that have not bled on me the same way. The socks that I have washed multiple times and are still leaking are commercial yarn though, and so is the one that I just washed for the first time. If I was working with yarn that had come from a friend’s dye pot I would definitely expect and be fine with dye leakage because its small and special but if it is commercial yarn I don’t really expect dye leakage to be such an issue.

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  2. Oh dear, that is a lot of bleeding indeed. Have you tried soaking them in white wine vinegar for a bit? I’ve read above that this has happened to indie dyed yarns, but blimey, how much dye are they using?! I’ve never had any yarn bleed on my like that, ever – it’s usually just the reds that bleed a bit more, but other than that, it’s pretty discreet. Good luck with your next skeins!

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    • Ya it really is, I haven’t done the vinegar yet but I am planning on trying that soon. It seems like a huge amount, I don’t really mind it bleeding when I wash it so much but it really annoys me when it comes off on my hands like that because then I just look strange. Thanks, hopefully the next ones will be better!

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