Start With a
Gray Base Yarn
It's the Easy Way

Why use a gray base yarn instead of white?

Do you love subtle, saturated colors but hate using up your entire jar of Wilton?

Or you'd prefer not shelling out money for a few dozen packets of Grape or Black Cherry Kool-Aid to tone down your dye bath?

Start your dyeing project with a gray yarn and overdye it.

Depending on the final color, starting with gray yarn will use a half to a tenth as much dye to achieve the same color as white or cream yarn.

And because you're using less dye, the chances are lessened that your dyebath will be over-saturated and refuse to go clear.

The yarn in this photo is a lopi, which usually will absorb a ton of food color.

The center two balls has a light wash of color, just the amount the covers the end of a toothpick.

The balls around the edge have a 16th of teaspoon Wilton icing gel.

Which shade of gray should you use?

Light gray works better for sheer colors - gold, pumpkin, rose, lilac, cadet, green tea.

Medium gray helps create dense colors - chocolate, navy, plum, pine.

Using a gray yarn will take a bit of experimentation. It can be hard to judge the final color until you've made a few samples.

Here's an easy way to do that.

Search your stash, or buy a small amount of light gray wool (dove feathers) and a small amount of medium (elephant skin). For your next dying projects make a conscious effort to use gray yarn to tie the hanks.

These ties will show you the color to expect, without having to make a whole batch of dye just to test out your gray base yarn.


See how Kool-Aid can be mixed together to create over 100 shades.

Americolor Food Color - comes in colors Kool-Aid doesn't.

Wilton icing gel - comes in jars of many colors.

Squeezable bottles with liquid food color, check out McCormick.

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