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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dyeing Wool with Easter Egg Dye

It started off as a normal morning with extraordinary amounts of laundry to fold and dishes to wash.  I had my to do list and I garnished it with two or three knitting projects I allow myself to indulge in during naptime.  And of course, since Easter is right around the corner, I carved in time for some Easter Egg coloring, which my little Bunny loved. 

We colored the eggs, and used the magic crayon on them, and Bunny learned the hard way that you can't throw them into the basket.  They came out beautifully and she was very proud of our work.
And then, I looked around at the cups of dye and I just couldn't bring myself to throw it all away! What a waste! So I looked online and found a way to use it--dyeing my wool yarn.  Here's the tutorial if you're interested in trying it yourself.  I'm not going to give you all the scientific details here since she explains it so well.  

THUS began a project that didn't take much time for what it was worth, but did take an hour or so of time out of my already busy day.  But it was well worth it. 
I wanted striping yarn, so I separated a skein of Lion's Brand Fishermen's wool into even swatches, knotting each one together, but keeping the skein whole.

 Then, I soaked the wool in 1 part vinegar, 4 parts water--but just enough to make the wool damp throughout, not dripping.  It's important that it is ALL damp--that there are no dry parts. 

I put the sections in bowls, (all connected--which was a bit confusing, since I wanted to keep them in rainbow order for my striping) and then, I covered them with plastic wrap--the stick and seal kind-- and microwaved them in 3 minute increments with 5 minute breaks in between until the water ran clear.

I pulled the wrap off and they were VERY hot, but the water was clear! I wanted to transport them to the tub without burning myself so I put them in a bowl of hot water first.
Per the instructions on the tutorial, I knew that the colors were set since they didn't run at all when I put them in the water.  I couldn't believe it worked just as she'd prescribed!

I let it soak in the bathtub in cold water for 10 minutes or so to rinse the vinegar out.

Then I pressed it between two towels to get the water all out--carefully keeping the sections of my long piece of yarn in order so as not to cause tangling problems later on.
Then, I put it in my basement and let it dry on my drying rack.

My house smelled like wet sheep and vinegar for at least 12 hours, and my hands were dyed for awhile, but it was a small price to pay.

Now, I'm rolling the whole thing into one, big ball of yarn! This was so fun, and Fishermen's wool is pretty inexpensive if you buy it at Hobby Lobby or Michael's with a coupon that I think I might invest in this yarn ball winder from knitpicks.com because I'll DEFINITELY be doing this again!


Amy Walker said...

SOO cool!! Your little girl is getting so big!! I hope you're doing well! I kind of quit blogging for a while but I'm back...just at our "personal blog." I finally started my etsy too!! Hope you guys are doing great!!!
Amy Walker
(formerly www.thecheapandchoosy.com)

a2zbaby said...

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