When you are an artist, nearly everything has the potential to be an art material. We dyed some easter eggs on Saturday and there was some leftover dye. Which was obviously a great excuse to dye some yarn.
These are 100% wool yarn, dyed using a basic set of PAAS easter egg tablets made up according to instructions: 1/2 c warm water and a tablespoon of vinegar. You can use them following the same basic formula as dyeing with koolaid or food coloring: color + acid + heat. After we finished dyeing a dozen eggs, I dropped these mini skeins into the coffee cups full of dye and microwaved each one for 2 minutes. I know that wool needs more heat than eggs would be happy with in order to make that dye permanent.
After you microwave it, let them sit on the counter until the liquid is room temperature and the dye is exhausted (ie the water is clear). Don’t skip the heat step, or these colors will be much more likely to fade and bleed. No stirring or playing with the fibers when they are hot, if you don’t want it to felt. And this will only work with yarn that is wool or another protein fiber: silk, alpaca, llama etc.
These are super saturated colors because I had a lot of dye and not very much yarn. I estimate that you could dye up to .5 oz of yarn with 1 tablet and get colors this intense. The more yarn you add, the more pastel the color will be.
For a few, I mixed the colors just to see what else I could get. The top 6 colors are the plain tablet, the bottom four are a 50/50 mix of two colors, which I poured into an extra coffee cup. Interestingly, the green was an aqua turquoise color on my eggs, but true emerald green on the yarn.
I am sure the PAAS tablets are on clearance at the grocery store today, so I am planning a walk over there to stock up on a few more boxes. Just because this is fun. The same thing goes for yarn dyed this way as I said in my yarn dye/food coloring tutorial: Your colorfastness may vary. I wouldn’t make an heirloom knit with yarn dyed this way, but it is super fun for a hat or mittens that will get you through a few winter seasons.