Kid's Corner

(For Parents)  Kids like to work with yarns and strings of all sorts.  Fiber arts carry an attraction for kids of all ages because of the tactile qualities of the crafts involved.  We want to encourage tomorrows spinners, felters, weavers and knitters to start learning these wonderful crafts today, to build a community of fiber artists for the years to come.  Parents will find the projects to be beneficial to children of all ages, and even small kids can help with the projects.  Kids will use math, counting, reading and verbal skills, plus many more much needed skills in each project.  We want to help you encourage  a hobby and skill in your young children that will continue to help them grow and flourish into well rounded and happy adults.  Please let us know if you have difficulty with a project, or would like to see a specific project on Spindle And Wheel.


Hi kids!  This part of the magazine is just for you, and most kids of all ages will enjoy the projects, and be able to do them with a little help from Mom or Dad.  Be sure and read the article carefully before you begin.  Have fun!


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 :

  1. Plastic tablecloth or protective covering
  2. Roving or yarn to dye, it should be wool, silk, mohair or another protien based fiber.  Check with Mom or Dad to be sure you have the right kind.
  3. Several packages of Kool Aid, food colors or Wiltons Icing dye paste.
  4. Vinegar or citric acid if using food colors or Wilton's paste.
  5. A clean sink full of clean warm water.
  6. A microwave, or vegetable steamer
  7. Gallon size zipper bags
  8. Large glass bowl.
  9. Small jars, large jars, turkey baster, meat injector, ketchup bottles or other items to pour, squirt or dribble the dye onto the fiber. We like the large syringes from the farm store, without needles.

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.


vinegar bath for Kool Aid Dyeing

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.



Submerge Yarn or Fiber

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.


Make The Dye


For Wilton's paste, add the vinegar to the warm water, then stir in the paste.  Note that food colors that use Red #3 will not dye as well with this method.  Stir the paste in really well, or you may have clumps on the bottom, but that can be pretty too, so experiment.


Mixing the Color In


Now that the colors you want to use are all mixed up, you can remove the yarn or roving from the sink.  Have Mom or Dad lift it out carefully and squeeze some but not all the water out.  Place it in a gallon size zipper bag, or in a large glass bowl.


Yarn in Zipper Bag


Now microwave the fiber for a minute or maybe two, just enough to get it pretty warm, but not so hot that it wil cause serious burns.  Mom or Dad can put it on the table, and now you're ready to hand paint the yarn or roving.

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.


Adding Blue Kool Aid Dye


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.


Turn the Fiber Over and Dye the Other Side

Now dye the other side.  For using the bowl, you can just pour the dye on as you like, using several colors.



Pouring Dye On the Roving

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.



Ready To Microwave


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.


Rinse the Fiber or Yarn

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.



Kool Aid dyed Roving Using the Bowl Method


Hang your roving to dry in the shower or other area where some drips won't hurt anything.  Now you can admire your beautiful creation of color for spinning, knitting or crochet!  Have fun!

Finished Skein

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