Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Food Colored Yarn

I haven't had so much fun with food coloring since I was a kid and dying Easter Eggs. Typically I have thought of food coloring as just a way to make a really big mess that is hard to clean up. Not anymore! (or at least as long as I keep those little bottles out of the hands of my kids)
I used both the McCormick regular and neon colors. First I thoroughly wet the wool so it would accept the liquid easy. Then I placed it in a large, microwave safe baking dish. For the colors, I added 10+ drops of color to a cup mixture of vinegar and water and poured it over the wool. Each batch took about 6 cups of color. I then popped the pan in the microwave and cooked it on high for 10-15 minutes, checking and turning the pan occasionally. It's done when all the color is gone from the liquid. Easy as a TV dinner! When it was cool, I rinsed it by hand and spun it out in the washing machine. I was a little nervous about the spin cycle in our front loader because it tosses the load for a bit before it really gets going. I had read it recommended in several places, but I was still concerned it might felt the wool. Thankfully I had no need to worry. After drying overnight it was ready to spin.

I had no idea how much yarn this wool would spin into. I did use the scale feature of our Wii Fit to weigh the largest bundle of wool and it turned out to be over 12 oz. I need to get an accurate scale to weight the wool before I begin so I can learn what I am actually doing. These large bundles of wool spun up to around 150 yards each. I am so happy I have large bobbins with my spinning wheel because they had no problem holding all that yarn. I still need to set the spin on these skeins, but for now I am just enjoying the happy colors!

9 comments:

Julie Bagamary said...

Wow! The colors are wonderul! Is the food coloring dye colorfast??

Deborah Boschert said...

Wow. Just gorgeous!

Vicki W said...

Those colors are just fantastic!

Brenda said...

I'm seduced by the colours and texture of these kind of yarns all the time. Yum! and you have the added pleasure of knowing you did it all by yourself (with a little help from the sheep).

Vivien said...

Great colors!

Anne said...

Hi, Nikki! What a fun project! I especially like the ones with blue, green, and purple ... and the one with all warm tones. And thanks for stopping by my blog during One World - One Heart! :-)

Clevelandgirlie said...

Oh my gosh! You DID make and dye the yarn. Oh I sooooo want to do this. I'm going to look further down - do you have the instructions on how to do this??? Oh I do hope so. This is the most delicious looking stuff I have EVER seen. and from FOOD COLORING? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Net said...

For those of you who knit...the yarn is 100% Egyptian cotton called King Tut. For those of you who don't knit...it's soft, breathable and has a great drape to it.





Colored Regenerated Yarns

Pratish said...

Hi Nikki... found your blog by strange coincidence and wound up adapting one of your photos above as an accompaniment to a limerick I wrote (with full credit of course!) - do check it out on MistryWorks when you have a moment! :)