July 31, 2008

Check out Your Local Library/ Kool Aid Dye

Yesterday was only my second time away from Soren for more than an hour and surprisingly, I don't pine for him like I thought I would (it was only 3 hours). As you may know, I am a certified art teacher and fiber artist, and before I had SoJo, I taught art classes in a variety of places, including a local art museum (my primary job). One place I occasionally teach art workshops (on a volunteer basis) is at our town library. Two evenings ago on NPR, there was a brief piece on libraries and how people are flocking to them again, mostly due to the economy being in the toilet. I've been frequenting my local libraries for years, but I can see why people are returning because libraries are a great source of free stuff like books (obviously), DVDs, and internet access.

The children's programming at local libraries is usually great too, and most often, FREE! Our branch has baby lap-sits, which are stories and songs for babies and kids, and I am going to start taking SoJo next week so I can meet some other townie moms.

The program that I taught yesterday was related to their summer theme: Bugs. I led a workshop on dyeing silk scarves and we talked a little about silk worms. Here's an interesting fact: Silk moths can no longer fly because they've been bred to make silk for so long that they've lost the ability. Anyway, we got about 35 kids at the program, which was a lot more than I usually have, so I can see that parents are looking to find free alternatives to summer entertainment.

So why am I posting this? No reason really, except to encourage you to visit your library. I know most of you probably already do, so consider supporting it as well by volunteering or donating used books for book sales.
Also, here's some info on dyeing yarn or small pieces of fabric with unsweetened Kool Aid. It's not what I did with the library kids, since we used commercial dyes, which are more reliable, but Kool Aid dyeing is cheap and fun to do with your own little ones! It's also nice for dyeing plain white onesies, which are usually made of 100% cotton.

Kool Aid Dye Recipe
One package of unsweetened Kool-Aid
3/4 cup of water
1/4 cup of vinegar
yarn/fabric that is made from a natural fiber like wool or cotton

Soak the yarn/fabric in hot water for a half an hour
Mix the Kool-Aid solution
Squeeze excess water from yarn/fabric
Place yarn/fabric on long sheet of plastic wrap
Pour dye over the yarn/fabric and carefully wrap it up in the plastic
Place bundle in a microwave container
Cook on high for 3 minutes, checking it once (you can move it around so the dye is evenly distributed
Take it out of the microwave. CAREFUL...IT WILL BE VERY HOT!!
Rinse with a little dish soap once the item is cool enough to touch. When the water runs clear, you can allow it to air dry.

3 comments:

  1. A couple years ago I was looking for a recipe for Koolaide dye so I could tydie my daughter's shirt. I can't rememeber if I found it or if I just made something up, but it all washed out so I'm thinking I didn't have the right recipe. I'll have to remember this for next time!

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  2. I love doing this with yarn. The only thing is making sure not to twist or agitate the yarn to much or you end up with felt

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