Wednesday 8 April 2015

Easter Dye LeftOvers

The best thing about Easter, if you're into Dyeing yarn that is, is all the leftover dye in bright colours that's around afterwards. You can usually find egg dyeing kits after the holiday for as little as a dollar. And those kits contain enough acid-reactive dye to colour a fair amount of yarn, even after it's been used on eggs.

I mixed up the dye pellets according to the package directions. Dissolved 1 pellet in 1 tbsp of vinegar, once fully dissolved I added half a cup of warm water.

Added my eggs and voila, beautiful, vibrant colours. No heating necessary. Under the acidic conditions, the food color in the pellets binds to the proteins of the egg shell. Now just to get it to bind to the proteins in my yarn.

I used a skein of recycled yarn, 40% wool, 60% acrylic I believe. And while the acrylic wont pick up any of the color, there should be enough wool content to still get a nice vibrant yarn.

I pre-soaked for only about 10 minutes, and wrung out my yarn (this step is important, you don't want the yarn fully saturated, you want it to be wet to break the surface tension, but still ready to soak up your dye). If you were using 100% wool, you might want to be careful about wringing out the yarn to get the excess water out (try a salad spinner?) to avoid felting, but since this is a blend, it was ok. Then I spread it into a roasting pan and began pouring my dye onto the yarn. I used paper towel to absorb any liquid that the yarn wasn't, since I didn't want my colours to bleed across the pan. I also arranged my colours according to the colour wheel so adjacent colours could blend into each other without muddying.

Then I popped the pan (with the lid on) into the oven at 100'C/225'F for about 20-30min. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temp before rinsing (again you don't want to risk shocking your yarn and felting it).

I don't have any of the pictures of the finished yarn with me, so I'll edit them to the post later, but the finished result looks great! This was my first go at dyeing in the oven, and I can't wait to give it another go.

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