Hand Dye Yarn With Your Slow Cooker

There’s nothing better than coming home after a long day of activity to the comforting smell of dinner already cooking; it’s kind of a dream come true! While slow-cookers are a fantastic way to create a delicious meal with very little preparation or attention (here are a few vegan recipes to get you started), crock pots also have some unusual, non-food uses as well. Here is one of my favorites!

There may be nothing fancier than hand-dying yarn in your own home. Go ahead—brag a little! Here’s how you do it:

1) Buy natural, un-dyed wool fiber (acrylics and cotton are a no-go).

2) Wrap your yarn into a large loop—think several feet long—to ensure its easy to work with. I recommend using the long end of a dining room table to make your loop. Loosely secure with a contrasting acrylic yarn (something that won’t dye in the crock pot and is easy to see later).

3) Soak your yarn at room temperature in a vinegar/water mixture for about 45 minutes—approximately a quarter cup of vinegar to enough water to cover your yarn completely. This will soften your yarn and help it absorb the color later!

4) Turn a large 6-quart-plus crock pot to High and fill it about halfway with water; you want the water to be hot before adding yarn and color. If you want to speed up the process, heat water in an electric water heater and pour into your slow cooker once hot.

5) Mix your color using food coloring gel or Kool Aid powder and pour over the yarn in your crockpot. This is trial and error, so test amounts and see what you like! Here’s an easy way to test color payout: put a few drops on a white paper towel. This will be very similar to the end result. Pour color over your yarn in sections—kind of like tie-dying a shirt. You can leave white spaces, pour colors over each other to cause blending, or anything else your heart desires!

6) Put the lid on and leave it be for 3-8 hours. Don’t touch it, don’t stir it. The longer you leave your yarn soaking, the deeper the color will be.

7) After your yarn is done soaking, take the pot out and let it cool for a while on the counter. Drain the water and gently press out the liquid. Once it’s relatively dry, soak your yarn for approximately half an hour in lukewarm water and a touch more vinegar to set the color. Drain and press again, roll up in a towel and squeeze. To dry completely, do a gentle spin in the washing machine and then let it air dry in a warm, dry area of your home.

8) To store your yarn, wrap into a lovely skein or a ball, then get creating!

Disclaimer: You should NOT do this in a crock pot you use for cooking! Chemicals and food shouldn’t mix. Ever.


natasha p
Past Member about a year ago


Philippa Powers
Philippa Powers2 years ago

Great stuff. Thanks.

Sonia Minwer Barakat Requ

Thanks for sharing

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran2 years ago


Rachel L.
Past Member 2 years ago

Tyfs. Now if I only knew how to do something with yarn...

Elizabeth Brawn
Elizabeth Brawn2 years ago


Ruth S.
Ruth S2 years ago


Roxane Connor
Roxane Connor2 years ago

will try