Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Dyeing Wool

Each spring, I look forward to dyeing Easter eggs as much as our children do. I boil a dozen eggs and let them have at it for as long as they wish. Then it’s my turn! After the eggs have been dyed I use up the excess dye on some fiber. It feels good not to waste the dye and it’s fun to see how the colors are taken up by the wool.

The fiber I’ve been dyeing in recent years is a Mystery Wool Roving, given to me ages ago, in a full range of greys from off-white to deep charcoal. You can see a photo of the undyed wool in a blog post that I wrote this summer. As much as I love the color grey, this particular combination looks a bit dull on its own.

We always buy a package of PAAS dyes for our eggs (no affiliation), although the colors we choose may vary from year to year. This year, we picked the Sparkling Glitter package, which included the dye tablets plus glitter to affix to the eggs after dyeing.

Dyeing Wool by Soaking in Leftover Easter Egg Dye

The dye colors, in the same order as the photo below, were yellow, pink, orange, green, red, and blue. I have to admit, this year’s colors didn’t yield the most dramatic results. The yellow and green are difficult to differentiate. I didn’t see how much vinegar was added to each color cup, and don’t recall smelling it, so I have to wonder if a lack of acid affected the process.

Wool Dyed in Leftover Easter Egg Dye

I still see our day of dyeing as a success. We have bright, sparkly eggs to eat and colorful wool to spin. When combined with dyed wool from previous years, the color variation from this batch will give the soon-to-be-handspun yarn greater depth.

This year’s wool dyeing used up the last of the Mystery Wool Roving. I definitely need to get spinning! And I need to start plotting what to dye next year.

What are your springtime project traditions?

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