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Forum home > The Hobbies, Crafts & Fun Forum > Making DIY Glow-in-the-dark Knitting Yarn

Author: Ann    731 posts    Class: Admin
Posted: 4:29 am Dec-10-2015
Knitting yarn that glows in the dark, I had seen it online and I wanted it but I couldn't
find a store that sold it anywhere. Giving up on trying to buy it, the idea grew to try making
it myself instead. I did a fair amount of searching online, found enough info to know that it
could be done and even better, that it would likely cost less to make than it would cost to buy.

That's when the hunt for materials started. There were a few things that I had to keep in
mind when looking for materials to use. From other crafting projects I have done I know that
glow-in-the-dark paints and pigments really only work well when used in or on light colored
materials, so for the best results the yarn of choice would have to be white. Another very
important thing to consider is that I use my yarn to make toys, which means of course that the
paint I was going to use had to be non-toxic. The paint also needed to be good for use on all
poreus materials. Last but not least, since I wasn't 100% sure that any of this would actually
work, I wanted my materials to be inexpensive.

After a bit of exploring around, I found a 100g ball of inexpensive, white, acryllic yarn
(UK: £1, Poundworld). For my paint, considering the child-safety factor, I thought the best
place to look was in the childrens section of a crafting shop and I found a 150ml bottle that
seemed to be exactly what I needed (UK: £3, Hobbycraft). To avoid that it would all become a
rather messy adventure, I also made sure to have a squeeky clean empty bucket to use.

Ready for my experiment to begin, I started to unwind the ball of yarn and winding it around an
empty box. I used an empty box because that's what I had on hand but any other item that can be
used to go from ball to skein will work just as well. After the winding was done I tied left-over
bits of bright colored yarn around the white yarn in 4 different places to make sure that the
yarn wouldn't start knotting up as soon as I took it off of the box. Once I had my yarn ready to
go, it went into the bucket and I soaked the yarn in water until it was really dripping wet through
and through. I drained the excess water from the bucket but left the yarn completely soaking wet.

Bit by bit I started adding the paint and massaging it into the wet yarn really well with my hands,
making sure that it got into the yarn everywhere including the parts where I had tied the yarn to
stop it from knotting up. I was glad that I had chosen to do this at night because it allowed me to
check the results by holding the bucket under bright light for a minute and moving to a dark corner
of the house to see if I was getting a good all-over glow effect. I wanted my yarn to have a strong,
bright glow effect so I used around 100ml of paint from my bottle until I was satisfied with the results.
A slightly milder glow effect can already quite easily be achieved by using far less paint than I chose to use.

All that was left to do now is to dry the yarn. I chose not to try drip-drying the yarn by hanging
it because what I had just done was essentially painting the yarn rather than dying it and hanging
it to drip-dry would cause the paint to largely move from the top of the skein to the bottom, giving
1 side of the yarn a far stronger glow effect than the other. Instead I chose to dry the yarn lying
flat on an old towel, turning the skein over every 6 to 8 hours. It took around 3 days for the yarn
to fully dry out. I had wondered if the paint would cause the yarn to go hard or crunchy but I was
happy to discover that it didn't do any of that. In fact, the yarn still felt almost exactly
the same as an unused ball of the same yarn.

I'm really pleased with the results of my yarn painting experiment and now I'm looking forward to
using my DIY glow-in-the-dark yarn in my knitting projects. I have even already ordered some more
of that paint just in case I want to make some more glow-in-the-dark yarn in the future. I decided
to share this because it was so easy to do that I couldn't escape the thought that there would be
other happy crafters online that might like to try this too. It wasn't so easy to get a proper photo
taken in the dark so the photo is a bit blurry but it should suffice to show the glow effect my yarn
ended up with.


Edited last by: Ann @ Apr-18-2018 2:43 am
Author: TBTR    147 posts    Class: Admin
Posted: 6:06 pm Dec-10-2015
I am a avid crocheter so this is really interesting for me.  I do have a question though.  How washable do you think this is?  Like at your own risk or
mild bleeding wash separately?
Author: Ann    731 posts    Class: Admin
Posted: 6:17 pm Dec-10-2015

TBTR wrote:

I am a avid crocheter so this is really interesting for me.  I do have a question though.  How washable do you think this is?  Like at your own risk or
mild bleeding wash separately?

In part that will depend on the paint that was used but in my experience so far it's very safe to wash cold or at a low temperature. I always recommend washing seperately the 1st time it's washed though.