Tag Archives: dying

Natural Dyes

Jody has been a busy duck dyeing yarn in the fiber arts room on campus. She used a variety of natural dyes to get these wonderful colors: logwood, indigo, cochineal, onion skins, walnut, weld… and a whole passel of other dyestuffs I can’t remember at the moment. I hope MY summer will be filled with such things too!

Kool-Aid

I’ve been hitting up the Kool-Aid again…

I recently inherited a crock pot (thank you!) and I’ve taken it on a maiden voyage. Not with the usual beans, soups and hunks of best essay writing service reviews meaty bits, mind you. I’ll be cooking beans and soups in it this winter but I have more pressing needs in the mean time involving bland white wool and wee packages of instant happy. Kool-Aid! There is a wonderful tutorial about dying with Kool-Aid here, so I won’t go into the whole process, just bits here and there.

Read on if you want the color key to the skeins above:

The mouth-puckeringly red red at the back of the photo was covered with Black Cherry and a little tiny bit of the Orange. Just a smidge.

The peachy color was from and exhaust bath (someone had already used the water to dye something mouth-puckeringly orange + a little red and had some colored water left over) with a little bit of Lemonade and Pink Lemonade sprinkled over it.

The red stripped skein was dyed with Black Cherry with 1/2 submerged in a very dye-intense water bath, then 1/4 in a mildly dye-infused bath and then the last bit submerged in a very watery dye bath. Nice, no?

The green and yellow were from straight-up Lemonade and Lemon Lime.

The purpley-blue is from the Grape “flavored” Kool-Aid. 1/2 the skein was submerged with Grape sprinkled heavily over it and the other 1/2 was dipped in the exhaust bath afterward. Turns out the pinks and blues in the purple coloring like to separate, leaving a neat speckled coloration.

Happy Winter Everyone!

Yarntopia!

We’ve finally had enough light at the end of the day for me to pop outside and take some pictures of all the yarn I’ve been dying! From the bottom to the top: Gross, half washed llama dyed with Coreopsis flowers from the dye garden here at Sterling, white wool dyed using goldenrod flowers, white wool dyed with goldenrod leaves and white wool dyed with goldenrod leaves then over-dyed with indigo to make a nice grassy green! All of these were mordanted with alum. Ta Dah! I’m working on spinning enough white to make a sweater and then I’ll use the top two skeins for some sort of pattern.

Batik Madness

I’ve been wracking my brains, trying to come up with an easy, fun and social dorm activity that everyone can do AND that results in a product that will leave the common spaces much, much prettier than they are right now. They’re rather barren and no fun to hang out in. Then I read about how to do batik with kids.

Traditionally, batik is a method of dying fabric that utilizes hot wax on fabric to create a design that remains white once the fabric is dyed and the wax is removed. It’s a beautiful technique but hard to do because of the hot wax, hot dye and large amount of time and skill that is required…

Until you replace hot wax with washable Elmer’s glue and dye with watered down acrylic paint. Then it’s a fast, easy and immensely teachable technique! I got the idea from Craftzine who got the idea from the blog This Artist Woman. I got enough materials for everyone in the dorm (21 people) to make two murals, one per floor. At less than $20 this wound up being a really easy and inexpensive way to get everyone together. Now, we haven’t done it yet but I did do my own test swatch so that I have something to show everybody when we do start to roll up our sleeves and get cracking. This is the example of batik on Craftzine that caught my eye in the first place:

This is a really pretty example. All of the white lines were created by drawing that pattern out with glue on the fabric, letting it dry, painting acrylic paint on, letting that dry, washing the glue off and then voila! It’s done! So I gave it a try…

This is a small swatch of fabric, about five inches wide and two feet long. I’ve applied the glue and the paint here and I’m waiting for it to dry before I wash the glue out.

And here is the finished piece! The white areas really glow when the fabric is held up to the light and I think this would be a great way to make some curtains later on down the road.

I would really recommend this project and the tutorial over at The Artist Woman. It’s concise, easy to follow and the process is easy enough for school children to do. Plus the finished product looks so good, it’s hard not to get excited about the whole idea.

I can’t wait to see what the dorm winds up painting on their fabric murals. I’ll be posting pictures as soon as they get going!

A Good Day

I found an old ball of bulky yarn that I’d spun months ago when I got my first batch of wool from Bonnieview. I decided to try dying it with a packet each of the blue and purple kool-aid. Turns out that the purple overwhelmed the blue but the end result is a fairly nice light purple yarn with flecks of cyan here and there. I like it much better than the crazy “Caution Orange” I made a last week, to say the least.

I knit another pair of baby shoes using the Babystovler pattern from Handmade by Calista. The process of working my way through the leftover bits of yarn and through the yarn I don’t like is fairly addicting and baby things are small enough that I can bust through a walnut-sized ball of yarn and wind up with a pair of useful and sweet little shoes! That is my definition of satisfaction.

Joe and I slopped our way down to the farm to empty our compost bin and we stopped by to see the new piglets! The second pig just had her litter of piggies yesterday, and you can see the other sow in the background with her litter. In amongst the new piggies, there’s a wee black one with white socks on his feet. They are so tiny and wriggly that it was hard to get a good picture. The sow never pulled her head out of the hay burrow she had made, but her grunting got louder when she heard us come in. Oh mama-piggy, your babies are so tiny and sweet! Still, I know what they’ll look like in a couple of months: big piggies.

Yarnimania

I read a tutorial on dying yarn with a crockpot and kool-aid and thought “Well, why not?” So I skipped down to the village store, bought a packet of each flavor and spun up two spindles worth of yarn. I soaked the yarn as soon as I was done spinning it and then followed the directions in the tutorial. About an hour later I had a ton of yarn pretty bright orange and salmon yarn that smelled like hot juice. I wanted to make a yarn that went from yellow, to orange, to red then to blue and back through the colors again. Turns out the kool-aid in the blue pouch is NOT blue. No, it’s also red. The same red as the stuff in the red pouch. SNAP. I was hoping to work some purples and greens in with that blue pouch and instead I have something crossed between sherbert and construction site.

But, now it’s been two days and I’m getting over the initial peevishness. The colors are starting to grow on me, to the point where I’m even starting to think of some projects I can work it in to. Next time, it’s blue all the way baby. If I can find a wrapper that doesn’t lie, lie, LIE.

Oh, and it was a great tutorial, so if you’re interested in spending the minimum amount of time and money dying something, this is definitely the way to go.