Silk Dyeing Workshop Monday June 6th

If you can’t make it to our weekend workshops, we are holding a special Monday evening dyeing class just for you! It will be this coming Monday June 6th at 5pm.

We’ll explore how to use Jacquard Acid Dyes to build up unique designs and color combinations, and we can also draw original designs on these scarves with markers. The sky is the limit with these, so lets get started!

I’d love to learn to dye but I don’t live in Big Bear….

Don’t worry we have you covered, we’ve created a kit that you can purchase online that includes all the materials you will need to make these scarves. Plus a free online video teaching you everything that you’d learn in our workshop.

Silk Scarf Dyeing Kits

Private Parties…

Are you having a ladies getaway weekend with your friends? Or a reunion with the gals? Why not get crafty together? We offer private scarf dyeing parties for 5 people or more, to fit around your schedule, and interests. Give us a call on (909) 584-9715 to discuss your needs.

If you have any questions, or would like to register over the phone, please call us at
Thank you, I look forward to seeing you next week!


Gena, Criss, Petunia, and Diana
Yarn Designers Boutique LLC

Fantastic results from our Memorial Day Silk Scarf Dyeing Workshop

Thank you to all the ladies that came to our silk scarf dyeing workshop over Memorial Day Weekend, here are some of our favorite projects…

hand dyed silk scarf, how to dye

Super simple teal scarf drawn on with lavender, what a great color combination!

easy silk scarf ideas

Fantastic Peacock scarf, dyed and hand drawn, I’m so jealous wish I had made that!

Silk dyeing workshop

Patriotic Memorial Day scarf in red white and blue! With two colors and hand drawn detailing this scarf really pops.

Things to do Big Bear Lake

This is us getting ready to pull the scarves our of the bag (it’s out super secret, super simple technique).

If you missed out on our Memorial Weekend workshops, don’t fret we’re doing two more on Monday June 6th at 5pm, and Saturday June 11th at 2pm.

Check out our event page for more information.

Save 15% on Everything in Stock this Weekend


You are Cordially invited to Yarn Designers Boutique this weekend, to join us in celebrating 11 years of bringing you the best and most diverse selection of yarns for all your projects!


Great Range of Yarn & Notions
From large manufacturers to small handmade producers we’ve got you covered. Plus let us introduce you to our favorite new Knit Picks Needles and Designer Handspun Yarns.
Learn to dye silk scarves at Yarn Designers Boutique
No Fuss Silk Dyeing Workshops
This weekend come learn our no mess techniques to dye your own silk  scarves. Workshops only take 1 hour and you’ll walk away with something you’ll love to wear, or a great gift!
Art Supplies
Not into yarn crafts? We also offer a wide range of paints, canvases, paintbrushes, glues, stencils, and so much more.
Sewing Supplies
Love to Sew? We also offer a wide range of threads, needles, zippers, ribbon, fabric, and so much more.


Shop online or in store
To receive your discount online please use the coupon code MEMORIAL 2016 to receive your discount. If you’re joining us in store just whisper the secret password MEMORIAL DAY, and we’ll sort you out.

Offer runs May 27th-30th, 2016.

Sale Shop Hours are: Friday 12-6pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 10am-3pm, and Monday 10am-6pm.

Dye, Paint, and Draw on your own Silk Scarf

silk scarf dyeing

Please join us for a fun and colorful workshop on May 28th to learn how to add color to a silk scarf. We will be teaching you how you can use Sharpie Markers at home to create unique and wonderful color combinations and designs, as well as introducing you to some special dyes especially made for silk.

Green Scarf Made with Sharpie Markers

A class takes about an hour and you will leave with your finished scarf!  Class times are 2pm, 3pm and 4pm on Saturday May 28th, and the fee including your 100% silk scarf and supplies is $20


Please call to make your reservation at (909) 584-9615 – space is limited.

Register Now!


Red Scarf Hand Dyed and Drawn on

 These are the simplest scarves and can be finished with markers or not.  The red and green scarves involved markers on the whole scarf.  We have lots of colors and you can blend a new color or use more than one color.  I will be there to guide you!  It’s impossible to ruin one of these scarves!  Come and have fun with us!

Once you’ve tried this for yourself we know you’ll be as addicted as we are, so it’s a good thing that the sky is the limit with these. You can use this to make your own curtains, tablecloths, skirts, blouses, shawls and so much more. These scarves also make super quick and easy Christmas and Birthday presents!


No-Mess Crock Pot Yarn Dyeing

 For the full color spectrum of Jacquard dyes visit our website.

Hand Dyed Yarn

Why learn to dye your own yarn? I’ll warn you ahead of time – it’s addictive! Author and fiber artist, Barbara Perry, dyes her own line of knitting yarn produced from the wool of her flock of sheep she raises on her 220-acre farm. “Creativity drives all fiber artists. Knitters, spinners, felt makers, weavers, rug hookers—we all pursue our crafts for the joy that comes from creating something that is personal, unique, and one-of-a-kind. Color is central to design in any fiber project. Hand-dyeing gives you the freedom to create color ways in your own personal aesthetic. The added bonus is getting to work with fibers and yarns of your own choice.” (Parry 5). Many fiber artists also dye their own yarn to save money or to match yarn to a current art piece.

After reviewing many articles and books about hand-dyeing yarn, I became overwhelmed. Because my research offered me so many choices, I didn’t know where to start. After procrastinating for months, I fell back to the simple no-mess crock pot dyeing method my alpaca farming neighbor had shared with me one sunny, warm day. Having practiced this method, I never tire of the many color-way possibilities nor do I tire of the need to share this method with anyone interested. I hope you will find my experiences inspiring to dye your own yarn soon.

As you begin to think about what yarn you will choose to dye, please keep in mind you will need to find “hanks” of yarn that you can open up to lay in the crock pot for dyeing. If you choose a yarn that is already wound into a “skein”, you will simply have to make it back into a hank!

This photo shows my dyed hanks both wound up and flat in a circle next to a commercially wound skein of yarn. The yarn you choose to dye should be light in color (white or off-white). Alternatively, you can choose a pastel yarn that you want to drop a whole new set of stronger colors onto. Since we are going to use Jacquard’s Acid Dyes which give very vibrant colors, the yarn should be some combination of protein fibers such as wool, silk, alpaca, cashmere, or llama. My favorites are wool with a blend of silk or bamboo. These give a very nice feel when knitted, as well as produce distinct color arrays.

For the full color spectrum of Jacquard dyes visit our website.

The wide color assortment in the above photo gives you an idea of the color combinations you can try. In each crock pot batch, you will be able to dye 2 to 3 hanks of yarn using 2 to 3 dye color choices.

Some of you may be put off by the term “acid dyes”, but according to Jacquard, “Don’t be alarmed by the name, the only acid involved is the vinegar (acetic acid) that you add to the dye bath.” (Jacquard)

Once you have chosen your yarn and dye colors (the powders come in ½ ounce jars), these are the remaining items you should have handy: Dedicated 5 – 6 quart ceramic crock pot (you can’t use it for food again), 1 cup household white vinegar per batch, dedicated wooden spoon, plastic spoon, 1 cup glass measure, plastic gloves, paper towels, running hot water close by and 2qt – 1 gallon container to water soak your yarn.

To prepare your yarn for dyeing, inspect the “ties” that hold the yarn in place. Make sure they aren’t too tight and, if so, loosen them. Loosening them will keep “white” (undyed) spots from showing up in your dyed yarn. If you have a large hank, you might want to tie on 1 or 2 more scrap yarn ties to hold the main yarn in place. Once the yarn is dyed and ready to rinse, it can become very tangled and hard to handle without sufficient ties in place. You can’t have too many ties, as long as they are loose!

I would like to share a few pointers now about what not to do. Fortunately, it is difficult to fail when dyeing yarn using my no-mess crock pot method. So, after you have followed all the directions below, there are only a few reasons why you might dye yarn that you don’t like (not necessarily a failure in everyone’s eyes). While loading your pot, the most important temptation to avoid is: STIRRING THE POT! If you can’t resist and do stir the pot, you risk your yarn becoming muddy. If you stir, you might lose your vibrant color definition. The combination of the placement of the powdered dye with the controlled heat from the crock pot makes this method fool-proof and non-messy. Other methods require mixing the dyes in small containers before being added to a separate dye bath. A crock pot is then used after the dye bath with these other methods.

Another way to possibly fail is to not use a protein yarn. Other fibers will not take the acid dye – creating a very blah and muddy yarn no matter what color you pick. I did this early in my experimenting using a 100% bamboo fiber. It was so blah and ugly; I never let anyone else see it. I made sure no one saw me place it in my outside trash can. If you want to dye primarily bamboo, I would be very interested in knowing how you master this area of dyeing.

I would like to offer one last comment on choosing dye colors and then I will proceed with simple instructions for dyeing your own very personal yarn colors! Jacquard offers 40 acid-dye colors which seem to be very sufficient for lots of combinations. If you have studied color, you will probably enjoy choosing your colors based on the rules. If not, then simply pick 2 or 3 colors you would like to see “next” to each other, keeping in mind that whatever the 2 colors combine to – will create possibly 3 or 4 new colors. This is what truly makes dyeing fun. I think the only way you can fail in choosing your colors is to pick 2 colors that are already close to each other. When the dyes do their magic, they tend to blend and become kind of boring to many fiber artists. Soft, blended colors can be gorgeous but you might be disappointed if you want to see more of a contrast. So the rule is, especially when you are first experimenting, to pick colors that naturally contrast. I’ll let you be creative here.

Now you are ready to start. Fill your water container with cool water and your total yarn stash (2 or 3 skeins). Let them soak while you are getting the crock pot ready and dyes lined up. Start your crock pot on low and add the 1 cup of vinegar in the bottom. Have your dye jars lined up next to each other with their lids removed in the order you will be laying them across the yarn. If you are using 2 colors, for instance, you might alternate colors, using each color twice. Take your first hank and gently squeeze out most of the dripping water and lay it in the bottom of the pot in one of 2 ways for the whole batch: Make one big circle around the edge of the pot, crunching in the diameter of the hank toward the center – or – take the hank and fold it over itself once and lay it in the pot in a double circle. The 1st method makes more of a “striped” pattern with longer concentrations of each color. The 2nd method makes more of a “painted” pattern with splotches of color. You can try each method to see what you like but if you want your 2 or 3 hanks in your batch to match each other, you should use the same method for each batch.

Once you have your first hank lying in the pot, with plastic gloves on and using your plastic spoon, you can start with your first color and sprinkle about ¼ – ½ teaspoon in a vertical line across the pot starting on the left or right. Alternate vertically across with each color. Then do this again with the 2nd hank and the 3rd. DO NOT STIR, MIX, OR DISTURB. Also, at this point if you do use a bit too much dye, the worse that can happen is you wasted some dye. If the dye is too much for the fiber, it just stays in the water, wasted, but not fatal to your project. If you happen to not use enough dye, overall, then your colors will be a bit lighter, but not necessarily disappointing. Even if you get “white specs or splotches”, there are many yarn connoisseurs who believe this is a true sign of a “hand-dyed” yarn!

Once your hanks are all loaded and sprinkled, gently fill the pot with your hottest tap water. Use the wooden spoon to gently push down the yarn so it is all below the water level close to the top of the pot. The dye powder will seem to adhere to the spoon but gently drop the dye particles back into the pot by pushing the spoon below the water line. Cover and turn the pot to high for about an hour. Then reduce the pot to the low setting either overnight or for 4- 8 hours. You know you are done when the water color becomes clear. That also means you didn’t waste any dye! If the water still has color after 8 hours, you are done anyway and maybe wasted a bit of dye.

While your yarn is cooking – relax and continue working on one of your other projects! This is also a good time to document your process by writing down the yarns and dye choices for each batch. If you keep a photo in your log, that will also remind you of your results. I usually enjoy all my batches, keeping track of every one, but you might come upon an amazing color way that you want to repeat. The more details you record, the better chance you have of duplicating your batches. If you are anxious to see your cooking yarn, you can open the lid any time and see how much color is still in the water. Once you know it’s done, just turn off the pot and let the yarn cool until you can handle it. Then drain your pot, rinse the yarn with cool water, squeeze dry, and hang your hanks up to drip dry. I love doing this on a clothes line outside in nice weather or in cooler weather inside in the shower. Don’t be disappointed – as the yarn dries, the colors start turning more vibrant! You can expect to become attached to this yarn you’ve colored yourself – while it’s drying! By the time it’s dry, I am usually doing two things – planning what I will knit up from this batch and planning my next yarns and colors to dye. And the addictive cycle continues.

While this method might seem somewhat simplified for the avid yarn enthusiast, you now have a great process to further experiment with dyeing. Here are just a few ideas of where to go from here: Mixing dyes and hand-painting your yarn, dyeing a silk scarf blank in the same pot to match your yarn, dyeing roving along with your yarn, and continuing your research to use more natural dye compounds.

For the full color spectrum of Jacquard dyes visit our website.

Works Cited:

Parry, Barbara. Teach Yourself Visually Hand-Dyeing. Hoboken: Wiley Publishing, 2009.

Jacquard Acid Dyes:

Yarn Dyeing Escapades

Crock Pot Yarn DyeingLast Fall I had the opportunity to dye yarn with a group of fellow yarn lovers at an alpaca farm in Apple Valley.  From that experience I knew I had to start dying my own yarn for the shop.  Since dyeing yarn in a crock pot works best outside, I chose May to start dyeing.

I now have the Jacquard Acid Dyes available in stock – all 40 colors.  “Acid” dye sounds ominous but you are just mixing a small amount of dye powder with white vinegar in your crock pot.  I call this no mess dyeing and it just takes a few minutes here and there and the crock pot does the work!  

It’s like giving birth to your favorite color pallet with yarn!

It goes in natural/white/or off white and comes out in a brilliant array of colors.   I’ll warn you right now – dyeing yarn is highly addictive and doesn’t have to be really expensive.  It costs less than buying hand dyed for sure.

I’ve learned a lot over the last few weeks and I’ve only ruined 3 hanks of bamboo which didn’t take dye well.  I won’t be doing 100% bamboo again soon.  Using merino, wool, alpaca, silk or a blend of any of these works well.   I plan to start stocking a nice range of “naked” yarns in different sizes, textures and contents over the summer.

If you would like to take one of my classes on a Saturday, just email me at and I will let you know the schedule when we have enough people.

Dye your own yarn, yarn dying classes

What I’ve learned so far:

-A little powder goes a long way.  (if you use too much dye, it doesn’t get absorbed and the colors can get muddy or you are just wasting the dye.)

-More vinegar is better than less.  (this helps the dye to soak in)

-More strings tied on your hank are better than less.  (your hank can get tangled in the dyeing process)

Today I’m redying some of the hanks that got ruined in our mud flood of December 2010 – I couldn’t resist saving these instead of selling them for $3 each!  Here’s the pictures before and after.

Learn to dye yarn, yarn dyeing classesYarn for Dyeing Merino from Prince YarnsHand Dyed Yarn Alpaca with a twist jaquard acid dyes
See our Flickr account for more images of our hand dyed yarns