Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dying with the kids

Today is a lazy day since Danielle and I aren't feeling so great right now. One of the things I've been wanting to start doing is dying yarn with Kool-Aid or food coloring. The idea is to get good enough to dye reclaimed yarn and possibly start selling it.

What's reclaimed yarn? It's yarn that is from unraveled knit and crocheted things bought from the thrift store. I've only done a few for practice, mostly acrylic. But I have quite a few waiting for some attention...namely cashmere, merino wool, silk and such. Even if I don't sell it, there's NO WAY I could ever afford to pay the prices that these types of yarn cost when new. So at the very least I have cheap expensive yarn to work with. I'd love to make a cashmere mobius scarf (scarf made into a continuous circle, twisted on this). I also think a cashmere hat for Meghan would be awesome. Or double layered mittens with the inside layer being cashmere.

So anyways back to the original thought line....Dying Yarn. I kept thinking about doing it and putting it off because there were projects to work on and then sweaters to unravel. I couldn't take it anymore. I had to DO IT! I was about ready to pull out a sweater and start ripping it apart when I remembered I had some Moda Dea Cartwheel (100% wool) in my stash. The skein I'm using is grey and white but it should still work. The whole line has been discontinued and it was at the dollar store. (wish I'd know it was discontinued when I first found it...I overlooked a lot of nice stuff I'd probably like to have now). Which means if it's a failure, I've only lost a dollar or so.

The process is so safe that the kids can do it, so I decided to make it a project for the little ones and I. I broke out the yarn, wrapped it into a hank around my arm, tied it off in a few places and away we went. The intention was to use food coloring until I discovered we were out of Koolaid had to be included somehow. That is if I could find it. I tore the kitchen apart and just as I was about to give up I found ONE packet of grape Koolaid. YAY!!!

I filled an 8c measuring cup with water, poured in the grape KoolAid and away we went. (no I didn't allow it soak for a set amount of time like you're suppose to...that would be boring!). Danielle picked blue, Sean picked red. I was sad to see the container of yellow had dried up. Then I got the brilliant idea of adding water to it and see if we could get every last drop out. So there's a splash of yellow in there too. I just had the kids drop the color in, one on each side and swished it around a tiny bit, trying not to mix the colors too much. We threw it in the microwave....Sean setting it for 2 minutes, me microwaving my coffee for 2 minutes while the yarn cooled a bit and then Danielle doing the yarn for another 2 minutes. It's sitting on the counter as I type. It has to cool down before I can rinse it out and examine it. I wanted to take some pictures but Eileen can't seem to find the battery charger for her camera. Hopefully we can find it soon.

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