Little House Rugs
Featured Rug of the Month                   December 2017
Antique Flower Rug 33.5"x24.5"
Designed and hooked by Judy Taylor 

There are dozens of books and magazine articles that tell you how to dip-dye wool fabric to create realistic shading in hooked rugs, but where can you go to learn how to do that with yarn? You've come to the right place.

Dip-dyeing yarn makes it incredibly easy to create shading because the yarn itself gradually changes color. All you need to do is hook in the direction of the petal or leaf! The trick is knowing how to dip-dye the yarn to get the effect.

For every $50 you spend with Little House Rugs between now and November 25, 2018, you will be entered to win this Antique Flower Rug (a $480 value) hand-hooked with handspun and dip-dyed yarns from Little House Rugs
Do you have a rug you would like to see featured on this website? Email me! If your rug is featured, you will receive your choice of a free half-yard of linen or our recycled cotton totebag, so what are you waiting for? Every rug has a story and we love to hear all about them!
First make small skeins, around 6" in length. A paperback book or a Sharpie Pen box does the trick. Wrap your yarn around 40 times, then tie off the top and bottom of the mini-skein. Remove it from the box or book and do a figure-eight tie through the middle. You can bundle three mini-skeins nicely, to fit in the mason jar dyebath.

​You will be using large mason jars for the dyeing. Fill each jar with 1" of water, and place it in a roasting pan. You can dye multiple jars at the same time, even dyeing multiple colors in the same batch, because each mason jar is doing its own thing. When you have filled each mason jar with 1" of water, fill the roasting pan with 1" of water and heat to boiling.

Now add a tiny, and I mean TINY amount of dye to each jar. You can always add more, but it's difficult to take it away, so start with only a little, and add more as needed to get the darkest value of the color. Drop a 1" sample of the yarn in the mason jar and check for color. 
Using a spoon to hold up the skeins, place them in the mason jar. Little by little, over the space of about 5 minutes, push the skeins further down into the jar. You will notice that almost all of the dye is exhausted by the time you have pushed the skein all the way into the dyebath. Let them simmer that way for 15 minutes. Then lift them up and check for color. If they're not dark enough, you can repeat the process, again adding only incremental amounts of dye at time.
Let the skeins air dry, then cut them top and bottom, to create dip-dyed yarns around 6" long. 
Starting at the inside of the petal, with the darkest end of the yarn, hook outwards in the direction of the petal. The yarn does all the work of shading!
Dip-dyed gray yarn was used to hook the "mane" on this Alpaca mat.
Various dip-dyed samples were used to hook Lady Teasle.
You will find more complete instructions for dip-dyeing and lots of other nifty dyeing techniques in our book, Rug Hooker's Guide to the YARNIVERSE!