It’s Easter today, which means this weekend I had a bee in my bonnet about dyeing eggs. But I didn’t want to just do any ol’ dye job – no, I wanted to play with natural dyes with what I had in my kitchen. Which happened to be blueberries and turmeric.
I mostly just winged it after looking at a few online sites (the process isn’t complicated by any means) – boiled up some blueberries with some water, strained the whole thing and added some vinegar, and then let my eggs sit overnight in the refrigerator to soak up the dye. The turmeric I just mixed with some hot water and vinegar and shook it all up in a canning jar before adding eggs and popping in the fridge.
The eggs had a ‘film’ on them – you had to be careful handling them because it would easily rub off. At first I thought I did something wrong, because they didn’t seem quite as perfect or as pretty as ones I had found online. But then, they don’t really need to be perfect, do they? And that film? It’s because the vinegar starts to eat away at the shell after being left in the dye overnight. I rinsed two eggs to see how they looked – the turmeric one ended up retaining dye but looking mostly pale yellow compared to its bright and golden counterpart. The blueberry version ended up looking speckled and quite pretty, though obviously not as vivid as the non-rinsed version. Next time I’ll start the dye process in the morning and not let them sit for quite so long and see how that effects the film issue. Or find a different mordant to use instead of vinegar.
And of course, being a knitter, I had to skein up some spare wool and dye some yarn with the leftover blueberry dye. I soaked the yarn in some warm water for about 20 minutes before draining it and moving it to the canning jar. Microwaved it for a few minutes off and on and let it cool until the dye was “exhausted” (meaning the color had been absorbed by the wool and the water was quite clear), rinsed it, and now it presently hangs from a door handle to dry. It’s quite a pretty pale purple color and I’m curious to see how the color changes on the yarn as it dries, especially as the eggs ended up more slate gray than purple or blue.