Friday, 6 November 2009

Coloring yarn

I have seen a lot of people lately that have been coloring yarn with food colors. And when I found this lovely unwashed and undyed yarn I decided that it could be a fun crafting time for the kids. We got plenty of paste colors that I have used for making cake toppings, and a splash of vinegar, water and a micro wave oven was also within reach.

First. I gave the yarn a good rinse and popped it into a big bowl with some vinegar in it, and let it rest for a couple of hours (I did it in the morning before work, and we colored the yarn at 2pm.

Then I mixed my food colors with water and vinegar. No exact measures here, but more water than vinegar at least. At this point the kids were jumping up and down, so afterwards I realized that I could have used more water in the mixes. The colors got much darker than I had expected them to be. I cut up a sponge in four pieces, one for each color. I forced the kids to wear plastic aprons and rubber gloves. I wore my gloves in the beginning, but after trying to figure out the yarn, opening little containers and things I gave them up, and got a REALLY bad manniqure. It got better after a day or two, but I still had a lot of colour around the nails after three days.I set up clingfilm on the table, gave each kid a skein and showed them that they should try to use different colors in different sections. They missed out on this part, an added color as they wanted, but the yarn turned out nice any way. There was a lot of swamping going on and a lot of colors moving around on the table, so I didn't dare to bring out the camera for the first skein. After that first skein, my son gave up. But my daughter really dug into it with love and energy. She really found her best crafting method. And I think she colored at least 300 grams of yarn herself. Then we ran out of color and organized skeins, otherwise she would have continued. As one skein was ready I folded them into the clingfilm and put them into a ceramic or glass bowl. And I put them in the microwave oven to heat on maximum for about 5 minutes. Then I let them cool down and put it in the oven once more. This is for fixating the colors. When I rinsed one of the bowls ther was still enough color in one of them to color of a couple of skeins that I was not able to sort out, since they were so tangled. These I put in a bowl with clingfilm on top and had them in the microwave oven until the plastic started to raise above the bowl. This method is probably better if you want solid colored yarn.Afterwards we rinsed the yarn thoroughly and hanged them over the bath tub.At this point they looked pretty dark. It might have to do with that it was completely dark outside (although the time was 5pm, it gets dark early here in Sweden this time of the year). The day after I took the skeins outside to look at them properly, and they got much brighter and more vivid colors. My grade for this craft: GREAT! This was superfun, but a bit messy. Lessons learned: Put plastic on everything that you want to be able to wipe off. The hard wood floor I was able to just wipe off, as well as the oil cloth. My hands still had color on them, as did my daughters face, so she had Pippi Longstocking freckles (from too intense swamping) for a couple of days. And if you use paste colors you will probably need much less paint than you think. Also, try to prepare as much as possible before even inviting the kids to the kitchen. When they got into the kitchen things were happening VERY fast. Craft for kids aged: Well my daughter is 3 1/2 and it was perfect for her. The 5 1/2-year-old boy got bored. Mum thought it was great fun. As long as you can find any plastic glove that fit, I think that most kids would be able to do this.
What I will do with the yarn?? I haven't decided yet....

4 comments:

ikketikketheo said...

FUN!! Looks like you really enjoyed your time.

Rita alias alatvian said...

Thank you so very much for sharing!

Hello said...

Vilket kul gemensamt pyssel! Var det vanlig karamellfärg alltså?

LumLum said...

Det såg riktigt roligt ut. Värt att testa vid tillfälle kanske.