Introduction: DIY Striped Yarn Slippers

About: Teacher by day, nerd by night!

Striped yarn is one of my favourite things. However, sometimes it is hard to get the colours you want... or it is just too pricey for a good custom dyed yarn... SOLUTION! Dye your own. This instructable shows you how to dye your own yarn, and then throws in a pattern for really simple slippers just for good measure.

You will need:

100% wool yarn. It is imperative that you get 100% wool, as synthetic fibres don't dye well. I have a 10ply yarn here.

Dye. I used RIT powder dye in Pearl Grey.

White Vinegar - this makes the dye adhere to the wool.

Plastic bucket.

Stirring device. (I have a whisk)

Warm water

For the slippers:

5mm straight knitting needles

Darning needle

The yarn you made in the first step.

Step 1: Dying the Yarn

Start with your ball of yarn. I used 100gms of Southlander yarn in Oatmeal. The main thing is to have a light colour yarn. It is a lot easier to dye from light shades. Wind your yarn around your arms (or chair legs, or any other 2 things really) in a figure of 8 pattern. The length of your loops will dictate how long your stripes are.

Tie the centre of the loop in string. I used a synthetic string simply so that it wouldn't take the dye and I could easily find it again later.

Prepare your dye bucket. I made 10 litres of dye (which was the instructions for the packet of Rit dye I used). However, this was clearly too much for one dye project. As I was dying other things (not just yarn) this was fine. You could easily make up a litre of dye in a tall jug which would be plenty for one ball of yarn. I have a stainless steel tub in my laundry room which is perfect for this. I 1/4 fill the large sink with warm water, then place the dye bucket into the sink as well. This keeps everything neat and out of the way (of mainly nosey beagles around here, but would also keep out of the way of small children)... this also reduces the chances I could stain something I don't want coloured. Add a cup of white vinegar to 10 litres of dye- which helps the dye adhere to the wool.

Soak the yarn in warm water. It needs to be really well wet all the way through. Squeeze out the yarn until it isn't dripping, but it is still damp.

Holding one end of the yarn loop, dip the other end into the bucket. I tend to dip in about 1/4 of the way, then come out of the dye, wait for a bit, then dip to the centre tie, come out of the dye, wait for a bit, then dip about 3/4 of the yarn in and come back out. This gives a softer edge to the dyed sections.

Hang your yarn over the edge of the bucket as shown in the image.

Using light colours (such as my pearl grey) you will need to allow the dye to work for longer. About 25 minutes soaking brought out a great colour in pearl grey. For darker shades you will need less time. When your yarn is the shade you desire, submerge it into the water completely. Rinse the yarn. I like to use a wool wash at this point and clean off the excess dye.

When the yarn has been washed, squeeze out excess water by hand. Then lie the yarn loop on an old towel. Roll up and squeeze out as much water as you can. It should now be damp, but not dripping wet.

Hang your yarn to dry. This will drip-dry in less than 24 hours, or can be hung on a washing line in the sun. Do not put it into the drier.... unless you plan on making a birdsnest.... as this is what will happen.

When completely dry, wind into a ball. Do not rush this step... as if you roll it damp, it will become mouldy or get mildew. You definitely do not want this.

Step 2: Making a Pair of Stripey Slippers

Once you have your yarn, the world is your oyster.... but why not make a pair of slippers. They are easy, and always a handy gift, that with hand dyed yarn will be a completely unique thing.

Here are 3 sizes of slipper. Sizes are approximate, as everyone has a slightly different tension. Different sizes are written as Small (Medium, Large). Where only 1 instruction is given, this is the same for all sizes.
Small - up to size EU 38
Medium - up to size EU 42
Large - up to size EU 46

You will need:
5mm straight needles
10ply Aran striped yarn
Darning needle

Remember to make 2 slippers.....

Cast on 29 (32, 35) stitches.
Row 1: Knit all stitches
Row 2: Knit 9 (11, 13), purl 1, Knit 9 (11, 13), purl 1, Knit 9 (11, 13)

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until you have finished 38 (40, 42) rows.

Row 3: {Purl 1, knit 1} repeat {curved bracket section} 5 (6, 7) times, knit 10 (12, 14), {purl 1, knit 1} repeat {curved brackets} to end of the row.
Row 4: {Knit 1, purl 1} repeat {curved bracket section} 5 (6, 7) times, knit 10
(12, 14), {knit 1, purl 1} repeat {curved brackets} to end of the row.

Repeat rows 3 and 4 until you have finished 18 (20, 22) rows.

Knit 2 together over the whole row, knitting the last stitch on sizes small and large. This will leave you with 15 (16, 17) stitches remaining.

Purl the whole row.

Cut yarn with about 30-35cm remaining on the tail. Thread the tail through the remaining stitches. Pull tight, then stitch up the top of the slipper as shown in the image. Using the tail at the start, stitch up the back of the heel as shown in the photograph.

They are now ready to wear or give away.

Dyeing for Color Contest

Runner Up in the
Dyeing for Color Contest

Homemade Gifts Contest 2015

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2015