Another dyeing failure - black bean dyeing (fail)

I’m beginning to wonder if the sheep that were sheared last year wore acrylic fleece instead of wool.


For my latest attempt in natural dyeing, I was sure this was going to work. There were great instructions over at Knit By A Hen Shop. She used black bean “water” to dye her yarn and they turned lovely shades of blue.  I desperately want those colors!!

I followed the instructions relgiously this time, including letting the yarn soak in the dye for 48 hours after being heated. We rotated the jar several times a day to make sure the yarn was well-coated. - black bean dyeing soak

Because of the advice on the blog, I wasn’t concerned when it didn’t turn from purplish to blue … at first. But I just knew when I pulled the yarn out to rinse it that it hadn’t dyed at all. - black bean dyeing (fail)

AT. ALL. folks.


So, I’m back to doing dyeing this yarn with non-natural colorants – probably food coloring again. Oddly enough, I just discovered this post by Love Knitting: “How to dye wool and other fibers with food coloring“. They recommend adding some vinegar to the dye bath as well as soaking in a vinegar solution. I still don’t think that would have helped in this latest attempt.

I don’t fault the black bean dyeing process; I’m thinking there is just something “off” with how I’m doing it, or with this wool.

I do have some non-mystery wool in my stash that is un-dyed and could be experimented on, but I’m reluctant. It’s one thing to have a “failure” with this wool I don’t care about and completely another for hoarded stashed wool :-).

I have some exciting news to share: I’m hoping to open an Etsy shop in the near future! I have been making stitch markers for friends for almost a year now and want to be able to share these with the rest of the world! - large stitch markers

This style of large stitch markers is one of my favorites. And it all resulted from an accidental purchase – I thought those colorful rings where going to be different than what they were.  I found a way to make them work, and love the bright, fun colors they offer! - stitch marker drying board

I’ve also been playing with some polymer clay stitch marker designs. I made these several months ago, but this week I finally constructed a drying board so I can put a finish coat over them. It doesn’t look pretty, but I wanted something inexpensive and easy to set up in case this is a one-time event LOL. Those are straightened paper clips I’m using for hooks; the beading wire I bought ended up to be far too thin for good support. And who doesn’t have 1,000 spare paper clips lying around.  Well, actually we don’t … now!

3 Replies to “Another dyeing failure”

  1. Sorry it didn’t work out! That’s very disappointing, after all your effort.
    I’ve wondered about changing the pH of the dyebath for my next Black Walnut experiment, because it doesn’t need a mordant (one of the reasons I love it so much) so pH is the main thing I can play around with. I bought some test paper but I’m warmer weather, so I can do most of it outdoors.
    One factor you probably know about is superwash vs. “regular” (I’m sure there’s a better term for that) yarn. I think I posted a dye test swatch of 6 different yarn samples on my blog last year, where the differences between the six yarns – especially the difference between superwash and not – were very dramatic!

    1. Sorry about the missing words – I am not “warmer weather” but I am waiting for it! Gah.

    2. I should try Black Walnuts – lord knows we have plenty of them to experiment with! They just have to be able to dye this yarn, or there’s something wrong with it LOL. I should follow your example and take little bits to see how they dye up; that would be a fun experiment! (I’d forgotten you had done that – thanks for the reminder)

Leave a Reply