This project is hand painting yarn or roving with Kool Aid, Food Color Drops or Wiltons Paste. It is fun, easy, and cleaner than most methods, which Moms and Dads will like! I had two little helpers, Teresa (2) and Elizabeth (4). This project is good for children and adults 2 and up. Younger children will need some help, but overall they enjoy this porject very much. Especially if the roving or yarn gets made into something just for them!
You will need :
To begin, cover your work area with a table cloth, plastic or newpapers. This Mom keeps and old plastic tablecloth on hand for dyeing that was bought for a few dollars. Now you need to fill the sink with really warm water, but not so hot that you can burn your hands.
Add one cup of vinegar to the water, and stir it around with a spoon, or your hands.
Put the yarn or roving on the water, and use your hands or a spoon to push it gently into the water.
Let the roving/yarn soak, while you make the dyes. Editors Note: Parents should mix the kool Aid and use precautions to avoid inhaltion of the powder. When choosing colors, you will get best results using two or three colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Pink, orange and dark pink was our combination in the bowl. Teal Wiltons paste and Ice Blue lemonade is what we used for the yarn. Some good color combinations to try - orange-yellow and red (pink), or blue, green, yellow. blue, pink and red. Blues and pinks will often make some nice purples with the food color drops or Kool Aid. (We don't recommend Wiltons violet or any food color product that used Red #3 for this project)
Use old canning jars, glasses or any container that will be easy to pour. Fill them 3/4 of the way with very warm, but not hot water. To use Kool Aid, just empty the packet in, and stir well. You need one package for each ounce for medium colors, two for darker colors.
For food colors, fill the container with warm water, and add 1/4 cup vinegar to the jar and add some food color drops. Several drops per ounce of fiber to dye is a good amount to start with. If you are dyeing a small amount, pint jars or coffee cups will be big enough. If you are concerned, you may wish to have children wear gloves.
The yarn or roving will be pretty hot, so don't touch it with your hands. Use a turkey baster, meat injector (Mom or Dad should remove the needle part), ketchup bottles, measuring cups or whatever is on hand to pour the dye on, we did the yarn in the zipper bag first.
The yarn/roving should soak the dye up well, because it is heated. When you have put several colors on and like the way your yarn/roving looks, have Mom or Dad turn it over using tongs, a spoon or those rubber gloves for dish washing.
Now dye the other side. For using the bowl, you can just pour the dye on as you like, using several colors.
Now turn the fiber over and coat the other side with colors you like and place in the microwave, loosely wrapped with plastic wrap. The zipper bag can be put in the microwave on a plate, but leave part of the seal open so it can vent.
Microwave on high for three minutes, or you can also steam the fiber in the zipper bag with a vegetable steamer. After microwaving or steaming look to see if the water around the yarn/roving is clear. If it is clear, put it back in the vinegar bath you used to pre soak it. Let it soak for a few minutes then have a parent lift out and squeeze the excess out. If it still has some dye, let it sit for a while until most of the color is gone, you may need to reheat it if there is a lot of dye.
You can roll the fiber in an old towel and walk on it to remove the extra water, or if you have a top loading washing machine, you can have a parent put it in the washer, and use the spin cycle to remove the extra water. Parent - be sure to only spin the yarn or roving, no rinse water should be added or agitation. Just put the dial on spin, let it go a moment to make sure the rinse water doesn't start flowing in, then add the fiber and let it spin.
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