I have a special treat for you today. A chance to play with both yarn and Easter egg dyes that will take you back to a time when you could count your age on your own two hands. Creating hand painted yarn with Easter egg dyes is safe and effective. The dye will wear off your fingers but stay permanent on your yarn! Don’t worry about coloring within the lines! Apply your favorite colors in whatever pattern makes you happy.
It’s playtime, knitters!
super-wash wool yarn, or any protein based yarn such as llama, alpaca, silk or milk fiber.
*Plant based yarns or acrylics won’t work for this project
Easter egg dye tablets
Large pot and steaming basket to fit inside
absorbent rags – one per each color
Prepare the yarn:
Wrap your skein into a large loop using a niddy noddy, (Why yes we DO have a tutorial for that), or around the back of kitchen chairs. Tie the skein in at least 6 places, using figure 8 ties and waste yarn. Keep the ties loose so the dye can get to all the yarn. Soak the prepared skein in a sink full of water with about a half cup vinegar until well soaked – about an hour.
Unroll a long piece of plastic wrap, about 6 – 8″ longer than the skein on each side across a table. Press the excess water from your skein and lay it out on the plastic wrap.
Prepare the dye:
Dissolve at least one tablet of dye in a quarter cup of white vinegar. When totally dissolved, add enough water to make a cup. Prepare as many colors as you’d like to apply to your skein. Pour each dye into a squeeze bottle. (One bottle can be used and rinsed between colors)
Paint your skein!
One color at a time, apply the dye to the skein, being careful to sop up extra dye with a rag as you go so it won’t run along the back of the yarn. Turn the skein to be sure you’re getting the color all the way through. You want the skein to be wet with dye, but not dripping.
Leave areas of white between colors. The dye will wick into white areas and blend. When using complementary colors such as purple and yellow, red and green, orange and blue, take care to leave room between them, since the mixture of these will create a muddy brown color.
Steam the yarn:
Roll the packet into a loose jelly roll and put it in the steamer basket. Place the basket within your large pot that contains an inch or two of water in the bottom. Bring the water to boiling and put the lid on. Steam your yarn for about 20 minutes. Use a timer! Don’t let all your water boil away and burn your pot! (ask me how I know this)
Allow your packet of yarn to completely cool before removing it from the plastic wrap. Rinse in a sink of cool water, press excess water out and hang to dry.
Once dry you can re skein your yarn in just a little different size diameter loop in order to get your colors all prettily mixed together, like so:
I’d love to see your hand painted masterpieces! – post them in our Crafty Community facebook group, and share the hand dyed love! Use the hashtag #aprildyealong to share on instagram and facebook
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