How to Make Mini Yarn Skeins for Custom Dying

How to Make Mini Yarn Skeins for Custom Dying

Prepping Mini Yarn Skeins for Dying

Later this week I will be sharing a tutorial for Kool-Aid dying yarn. Before dying my yarn, I had to divide it into mini yarn skeins. Yarn that comes in a hank can be left as is, but if you bought yarn that is already wound in a ball, you will need to unwind it and wrap it into a hank. For this project I used a natural colored yarn that was readily available. Just be sure that the main fiber content in whatever yarn you buy is an animal fiber. Plant fibers require additional chemicals to absorb the dyes.

This tutorial uses 2 balls of Lion Brand Sock-Ease yarn 75% wool in the Marshmallow colorway. From these two balls of yarn, I was able to make 8 mini yarn skeins.

Mini Yarn Skeins Natural Color Wool Yarn

Determining Length of your Mini Yarn Skeins

For this yarn, each ball was 438 yd long and 100 grams. I decided to divide it into 4 skeins. So 438 yd/4= 109.5 yd long mini skeins or around 25 grams each.

If you have a yarn swift, you can use it to create a hank. If not, don’t worry. I do have one but find it easier to use a more stable object to create my hanks. There are many other objects around the house that you can use. You can wrap the yarn around a thick binder, cereal box, storage cube, or table legs. I used a small side table that was flipped on its side. Ideally you want an object that when you wrap your yarn around it, a single wrap is about 1-2 yards long.

To start, you will need to do a little math. Nothing scary I promise. Decide how long you want you mini skeins (see my notes above).

Measure the distance it takes to wrap a single strand of yarn around your wrapping object. Then divide the mini-skein length (109.5 yd * 36 in = 3,942 in) by the wrapping distance (62 in). In my case, I found that approximately 63 times around would give me the right size skein, leaving a bit extra for ties.

Wrapping Mini Yarn Skeins and Making Yarn Hanks

Mini Yarn Skeins Wrapping Object

Tape one end of the yarn to your wrapping object. Wrap the yarn until you reach your desired length.

Cut the yarn and tie of the loose end.

Cut two small scraps of yarn and loosely tie the hank in two spots.

Mini Yarn Skeins loose hank

Undo the tape and carefully slide your hank off the wrapping object. You now have a loose hank that is perfect for dying.

If you are ready to dye your yarn now, you don’t need to do anything else with the loose hank. If you are going to store your hank for any length of time you will want to twist it. Grab the two ends that have been tied. Twist the hank in one direction until it has been spun all the way to your fingers.

Mini Yarn Skeins making twisted hank

Fold the twisted hank in half. When you let go of the middle, the twist will wrap the two sides together. Tuck one end of the hank into the loop created by where you were holding the yarn while twisting.

Mini Yarn Skein

You will now have a twisted hank of yarn that you can easily store without it becoming a tangled mess.

Mini Yarn Skeins Twisted Hanks


Michelle ~ Wee Folk Art

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