Happy Easter

So we had a great Easter weekend filled with egg hunts, parties, and, of course, a wonderful Easter Morning Church service. Saturday was egg dying day, and in our house, we use natural dyes.  It’s not that I see myself as any kind of “earth mother” or anything like that.  The real reason is that my grandmother always dyed her Easter eggs with red onion skins, so I like to keep that tradition alive.  Over the years we’ve added other natural dyes, but the red onion skin eggs are always my favorite.  Here’s this year’s offering:

Easter Eggs 2011

This year I had an extra large stash of red onion skins (thank you, Marc from my local ShopRite), and I really filled the pot with them.  The result was red eggs with super-cool patterning on them (you can’t really see from the photo, but it is definitely a bit of awesomeness).  The other colors we tried were turmeric (yellow), coffee (tan) and Welch’s Grape Juice (gray).

Then, I decided to try something new. I always end up with a pot of red water (from the onion skins) that generally gets tossed down the drain without too much thought.  BUT (yes, it’s an awful big BUT), this year I pulled out some old KnitPicks Bare that I had lounging in the stash, gave it a quick wash in the sink and threw it in there.  Then boiled it – not for long – just enough to bring the water to a boil.  I figured that it’s superwash, so wouldn’t felt in the hot water.  Plus, I already had vinegar in there as a fixative for the eggs, so I hoped that would work for the wool too.

Onion Dye

Let me point out, that I did NO research on the best way to do this, so I probably made all kinds of mistakes, and there are probably way better ways to do this.  It was a last minute experiment.  Anyway – Like I said, I boiled it – then pulled it out and rinsed. And rinsed. And rinsed.  I didn’t think the water would EVER run clear. In the end, it never did get all the way clear, but it was so light that I finally just gave up.

So I’m pretty pleased with the outcome:

Onion Skin Yarn

The finished product is kind of a nutmeg color with subtle light/dark gradations.  I think it’s going to be a hat.

Yesterday I went out and bought PAAS Easter Egg Dye at half price – I think that’s going to be the next dying experiment.  🙂

Happy Easter to All!!!!