You saw the egg-dying results on Sunday, so today I thought I’d show the process. I have been dying yarn since I realized that many of my most-used yarn colors were no longer being made because the company that used to make them was bought out by another yarn company that discontinued the old colorways. I love the cotton yarn I use and don’t want to switch to a different kind of yarn to have more variety of color options, so I decided to delve into yarn-dying. This is only my second batch of dyed yarn, so I’m just a beginner and offer no expert advice….just my experience so far. First, I bought a couple different products to try and to compare. I’ve now used Rit in powder and liquid form, as well as Tulip brand powder dye. I haven’t noticed much difference in the results between the two, other than that the shade labelled on the Tulip pouches don’t accurately describe the color you’re going to get…especially the yellow. The Tulip yellow looks bright yellow on the pouch, but turns out to be more of an orange-yellow when dyed. I used the Rit yellow and it was more the shade on the box.
I chose 6 colors I knew I needed for upcoming projects. I’d never dyed more than one at a time, and that was a bit much. I had to gather up 6 clean buckets, heat 6 gallons of water to steaming, and find several spoons and a pair of tongs for stirring.
I put my son, Jhonen, and my Mom to work. At the bottom of the picture you’ll notice the pile of white yarn waiting to be transformed. It takes a bit of work to get the yarn prepared for their hot, colorful baths. First, you have to turn the packaged ball into skeins so the yarn can flow around in the water and dye evenly. To do this, we wrapped the yarn around and around something wide. Here you see my son wrapping the yarn around a barstool (make sure you don’t wrap the yarn so tightly around the stool that you can’t pull it off again! oops!)
Then use both ends to tie a little bow loosely around each end of the skein and you get this:
I have debated a lot about that step. I have noticed that my nice skein doesn’t remain nice through the dying process. It always tangles and unravels. I’m going to hopefully remedy this situation in a couple ways next time. Despite the package instructions, I’m not going to stir the yarn next time. The instructions are meant for fabric which I could see bunching and dying unevenly. I don’t think I’ll have that trouble with the yarn. I will just sort of poke at the yarn occasionally to make sure it’s floating around. I also thought of buying a bundt pan specifically for yarn dying and put the skein around the inside of the bundt pan so that the skein remains a skein instead of a bunched up spaghetti-like pile that takes an hour to unravel…or takes your poor Mom an hour to unravel when I force her to do it for me. 🙂
I’ve been following the package instructions, adding salt, and leaving the yarn in the hot water for a certain amount of time. I don’t know that the yarn needs to sit as long as it says and have found that I’ve accidentally made my yarn too dark as a result of leaving it in for so long.
Here’s the finished result hung out to dry…and dry….and dry…it takes a loooooong time.
I didn’t want to leave the yarn to bleach out in the direct sunlight, but it wouldn’t dry, so I eventually put the yarn in a 200 degree oven for a couple hours and it dried much better. Here they are!
The pink came out darker than I wanted, the gray came out bluer than I wanted, the orange yellow came out lighter than I wanted, but the others are great! 🙂 This will take some practice.
As for the eggs, we all had a great time dying them and the color was so instantly vibrant and lovely that we didn’t tie-dye them as I had originally planned. Instead, we dyed the eggs first and used them as our color-testers. Jho loved dying the Easter eggs and his review was, “this is a great activity for me!”
Mom quickly suggested separating the eggs with the coffee filters. They were brushing up to each other and I ended up with a couple unwanted spots. I also ended up with a pooling problem…one side of the eggs have a dark spot on them from sitting too long without being moved.
All-in-all it was fun AND productive and I love that I can keep these pretty colored eggs until next year and then add to the collection with some multi-colored ones. I now regret the decision to make them all one color because, with a small swatch of yarn, I did THIS and I LOVE it:
With results like that, yarn-dying could get addictive. Mom asked that I crochet her an Easter egg using that yarn. I will have to post a follow-up photo of that when it’s finished.
So, that’s that! I have 6 Easter eggs and their 6 matching skeins of yarn that all need untangling and then will turn into happy bumblebees, broccolis, piggies, corgis, octopi, and elephants.
Hope you’re having a happy and colorful week!