Welcome to Jimmy Beans Wool's Guide to Hand-Dyed Yarns!

Hand-Dyed Yarn: Pashmina Worsted
Everyone here at Jimmy Beans Wool is simply head over heels for hand-dyed yarns. We love the exquisite beauty and delicate care with which each skein is dyed by hand, and delight in the unique, one-of-a-kind-ness each skein lends to our knitwear.

However, individuality can be frustrating when we're using more than one skein for our projects, or the colors aren't playing nice with a pattern. Thus, we created this little page for you to use as your personal guide to hand-dyed yarns!

Please feel free to browse our list of hand-dyed yarns that we carry, our personal tips and techniques in our instructional videos, and an always growing list of great printed resources which will help you master the art of knitting and crocheting with hand-dyed yarns.

And don't forget to use our new attributes search feature! This lets you search by type of dye method used in coloring the yarn so you can find that perfect shade (ro shades) for your next project!

Be sure to also check our Hand-Dye Catalog featuring hand-dyed yarns from Madelinetosh, Lorna's Laces, and Misti Alpacas. You can download the PDF for free! This issue not only features some of our favorite hand-dyed yarn but also includes tips, techniques, and fun tidbits about working with hand-dyed yarns (from one of your favorite knitters, Sandy)!
Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted


  • Characteristics: multiple colors (usually 3 or more), often in sequence (meaning the colors are repeated in the same sequence as you knit with the yarn) in high-contrast color combinations.
  • Pros: Saturated, vibrant color with a one-of-a-kind look
  • Challenges: As your project changes size or shape, the colors "line up" differently over the rows - and if too many rows of the same color stack up together, you get pooling or unwanted striping.
  • Other variegated favorites: Baah Yarns, Lotus Yarns
Tosh Merino Light


  • Characteristics: yarns have a more tonal variation, with multiple shades of the same or similar colors blending together in the yarn
  • Pros: easy on the eye; "watercolor" effect adds visual interest without being overwhelming
  • Challenges: each skein is unique, so there can be much variation between skeins of the same colorway
  • Other tonal favorites: Unraveled Designs Yarn, Swans Island
KPPPM


  • Characteristics: dye is applied by hand, so each skein has subtle variations; the dyer completely controls color application and can create truly unique combinations and effects
  • Pros: instantly recognizable as hand-crafted; very artistic look
  • Challenges: larger projects can be difficult due to variation between skeins
  • Other hand-painted favorites: Artyarns, Misti Alpaca
Malabrigo Rios


  • Characteristics: a soft-blend effect between multiple colors of yarn on the same skein, achieved by adding different-colored dyes to the dye pot at the same time
  • Pros: even high-contrast colors are able to intermingle beautifully for a unified effect
  • Challenges: colors are placed at irregular intervals on the skein, so it can be difficult to tell exactly what it will look like when knit up
  • Other kettle-dyed favorites: Manos del Uruguay, The Fibre Company
Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande Hand Dye


Vice Blurred Lines


  • Characteristics: yarn is dyed in very long color runs, so your knitted project has color shifts that gradually blend from one to the next
  • Pros: you can create gorgeous, ombre-effect knitting without switching between skeins of different colors
  • Challenges: choosing the right project to show off this uniquely-dyed yarn
  • Long-striping favorites: Vice Blurred Lines and Freia Fine Handpaints

Reference Material

Videos:
Hand Dyed Yarn 101 Hand Dyed Yarn 102 Hand Dyed Yarn Techniques
Hand-Dyed Yarn 101 - Instructional
Hand-Dyed Yarn 102 - Instructional
Hand-Dyed Yarn Techniques - Instructional

Books:
Arful Color Mindful Knits Wrapped in Color Knits from a Painter's Palette Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece
Laura Militzer Bryan - Artful Color, Mindful Knits
Maie Landra & Taiu Landra - Wrapped in Color
Maie Landra - Knits from a Painter's Palette
Gail Callahan - Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece
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