How to Rescue Bleeding Yarn

How to Rescue Bleeding Yarn: What to do when your indie dyed yarn is bleeding

Late last year I participated in #getyouryarnwishesgranted on Instagram. I wished for a skein of something indie dyed and within minutes I had two perfect strangers offer to send me some yarn. I love the fiber community! One of the skeins even fit perfectly into my favorite colorways, turquoise and lime. It was love at first sight.

Then I started knitting a gauge swatch and my hands turned blue. I was heartbroken. I hid the yarn at the bottom of my stash for nearly 6 months. It was so pretty that I couldn't throw it away, but I didn't want to use it for fear it would lose all its color as soon as I washed it.

Luckily, there is a great LYS, Grandma's Spinning Wheel, on our side of town. Vicky, the owner, talked me through the process of how to save my yarn. I set to work as soon as I got home.

My yarn was already wound into a ball, so the first step was to skein it to maximize the surface area of the yarn. I'm not a dyer, so I don't have a fancy tool to do this. Instead, I taped the end of the yarn to the top of a dining room chair.
Then I wound the yarn around the chair back and when I was done I used a couple thick pieces of string to secure both yarn tails and hold the skein together.
As you can see, after doing this, my fingers were blue.
My skein looked pretty good, though.
Next I soaked the yarn in a mixture of very hot (almost boiling) water and white vinegar until the water cooled completely.

I was a little worried when I lifted the yarn out because the water was still crystal clear.
I gave the yarn a good rinse with cool water.
After rinsing I used a towel to blot out as much moisture as possible.
Then the skein sat overnight on my sweater drying rack.
Once it was completely dry I wound it back into a ball.

Even though I have a yarn ball winder, I don't have a swift, so I resorted to another low-tech solution. I draped the skein over my studio trash can to keep the yarn from tangling as I wound.
And finally the true test. I knit up a swatch and this time my fingers weren't blue. Now I can happily knit up my next favorite pair of socks.

How to Rescue Bleeding Yarn: What to do when your indie dyed yarn is bleeding

So thank you Vicky for your advice and helping me rescue my bleeding skein of yarn!

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