Archives for April 24, 2011

Fun with Easter egg dyes and yarn

Larkspur received a very exciting package in the mail recently.  Her knitting friend Elizabeth sent her a skein of bare yarn, along with a set of Easter egg dyes, and even posted instructions for dyeing the yarn on her blog.
.  We started by soaking the yarn in a vinegar and water solution.
I scrubbed out a large fiberglass tray that we have (it still looked really dirty after the scrubbing) and started mixing the dyes.  Beatrix watched and then went with daddy to read some books while Larkspur and I dyed the yarn.
Larkspur wasn’t satisfied with using only two or three colors.  She wanted to use all of them, so we modified the instructions just a bit.  We gently squeezed the liquid out of our yarn after soaking it, and then spread the damp yarn in a circle on the tray.  I mapped out our colors on paper to make sure that we went in rainbow order and only colors that blend nicely would be next to each other.
My mom sent us a box of medical supplies years ago, and these plastic pipettes have really come in handy.
We dedicated one to each color of dye.
Larkspur carefully applied the colors and I helped her work it into the yarn.
Each color was added in four places, and typically Larkspur only wanted to add the dye in one place, and then have me do the others.
Keats helped a little as well.
Soon we had used all the dyes, and were ready for the next step.
We carefully moved the yarn to a glass casserole dish so that we could microwave it to set the dye.  Larkspur thought it was heavy.
After cooking, and cooling, I rinsed the yarn in the bathtub.
Then I squeezed it out between a couple of towels and hung it up to dry.
Larkspur was THRILLED with the results.
Once the yarn was dry, Larkspur wound it into a ball with a little help.
All of my kids think this yarn looks really delicious, like candy.  You know, the brightly colored kind they aren’t allowed to have.  Jonny and I, while admittedly never fans, are both reminded of The Grateful Dead.  Larkspur has lots of plans for her yarn including dividing it into lots of balls so she can sell some and give some away and knit some doll sweaters, hats and mittens.  (yes she may be overestimating the yardage in that ball…)  She has also made it clear that I am not to knit anything with it.
Oh, and Larkspur’s friends were doing the same thing last week so it was sort of a dye along! I can’t wait to show her their pictures tomorrow morning.
p.s.  Elizabeth recommends stocking up on Easter egg dyes the day after Easter when they are discounted!  This really is a fun project to do with kids!