I have always wanted to dye my own roving (mostly because of the Twisted Sisters Sock Book!!), but wanted it to be something the children and I could do together – something safe, easy, and non-toxic.Â So, when I was pregnant with my son, the girls and I dyed 2 lbs of white Brown Sheep mill end roving (super economical!) with Easter egg dye bought at 75% off after Easter.Â Â Â The needed ingredients are food-safe dye, vinegar and water.
We followed this Kathryn Ivy tutorial, using spray bottles, brushesÂ and spoons to experiment with different patterns of adding the dye to the roving. Â We worked outside, putting down lots of newpaper,Â so we could make a huge mess, and have fun.Â The girls had a blast squirting different patterns into the white roving, and were surprised at seeing the final results after it the roving was steamed, rinsed, and hung to dry.
It takes a LOT ofÂ very concentrated dye to get the vibrant colors in the tutorial, and mine came out very pastel (as you can see).Â Â It spun up nicely (you can tell this is some early spinning, however – it’s pretty uneven), but after we set the twist (just singles), the hanks have just been hanging out in my yarn dresser, because I haven’t been much in the mood for pastels.Â With the wave of friends/family having babies the last several months, now is a perfect time to crack into that oh-so-pastel yarn!
So far, I’m really enjoying knitting with it, and when it’s all used up, I think we’ll try it again, but with more concentrated dye for more vibrant colors.Â Who knows, maybe Little Hen will be old enough to spin some up herself by then.Â 🙂
If you’ve tried your hand at home-dying fiber, I’d love to hear about it and any advice you can offer.Â If you’ve posted about it on your blog, I’d love to share the link.Â Thanks!
(Only 3 days left to enter the giveaway!!)