Natural Dyeing: Easter Egg Edition

I’ve said before Easter’s not a big holiday in my family. We get together, we share a meal, but that pretty much exhausts the list of traditions for my adult family.

However, one day I was scrolling through Facebook and someone posted a basic recipe for natural Easter egg dyes. Of course, my first thought wasn’t eggs. Dyeing yarn naturally is still this pretty elusive magic that I want to master, so I thought it was high time for a new experiment.

Easter egg dye recipe from Facebook

I’ll preface with you can’t trust everything you read on the internet (as you read this, on the internet), but especially Facebook. When the stakes are a low as yarn colors, though, who cares? I was skeptical of the colors because it seemed too easy. I also wanted to make a point to use up stuff I could already find in my parents house.

Except for the yarn, of course. I thought I had some remaining undyed yarn in my stash, but then I remembered what I used it for. I opted, instead, to have a beautiful Saturday morning walk to my local yarn shop, Yarn Social, to get something to dye. Now, I was aware that probably every white yarn in the shop would be color-treated, so probably not ideal for dyeing. I knew my best best would be a non-superwash wool, so I ended up choosing Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok. Bonus, it was a 150g skein, so I’d have more yarn to play with. I had to reskein it into four “minis,” but that wasn’t so bad.

Decided, again based on the availability of materials, to use red wine, beet powder, blueberries, and spinach. They were advertised as purple, pink, blue, and green, respectively, which again, sounded too easy. I used my parents’ regular cookware, because the mordant was table salt (again, I was skeptical). Other than doubling the ingredients (and quadrupling the water), I followed the recipe just as it appears. I did, however, put the yarn in the dye baths while they were still hot. Figured I could use all the help I could get.

The beet powder was the biggest trouble maker. I think it’s a thickening agent, so I had to keep adding so much water. Not to mention it took over a dozen rinses and was still “crunchy” when it dried. It also looked the most promising and was the most disappointing. I’d say that was the spinach (which just made the cool white warm), but at least that dye bath didn’t give me any false hope.

Skeined dyed yarns

In the end, red wine gave this pinky purple. Beet powder gave the blush. Blueberries gave the blue-violet (which was my personal favorite), and spinach gave the cream. So, more berries and cream than Easter, but I’m not mad. I learned a lot! My main takeaway is I’m sticking to my non-food-safe mordants from here on out.

Excited to continue my natural dyeing adventure!

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