Gypsy Laundry

Gypsy Laundry

A bright splash of color on a dreary February day.

One of the presents the girls got for Epiphany were some silk scarves along with the promise that we would dye them soon. Today about a month later we finally got around to doing the dying. It took me several trips to the grocery store to remember to get all the supplies and then I kept waiting for a day when I didn’t have any other plans. As I suspected, it took most of the morning to do all the dying.

White scarves soaking in a vinegar bath to prepare them for the dye.

I bought the scarves here—paid about $25 for a dozen white squares measuring 21.5×21.5—and the instructions for dying them are here.

Bella waiting.

We used Kool-Aid for the red, yellow, orange and purple and food coloring for the blue and green. For 6 batches of dye I also used an entire gallon of white vinegar. 3 cups for the pre-soak and 2 cups per dye batch.

A soft Marian blue.

I wasn’t sure how much the girls would be engaged in the actual dying process. Though they were familiar with the basic idea from our favorite A New Coat for Anna and our current library read Pelle’s New Suit. It turned out there was just enough for the girls to do to keep them engaged through most of the process.

Sophie did take a little break to play with blocks at the very end.

There was much excitement about all the colors. I started with the yellow, knowing it would be the least dramatic and then we did orange and then red then purple (which Bella declared looked black in the bowl.)

Our makeshift clotheslines strung between the hanging baskets. Dom declared it looked like a Gypsy laundry. Or Tibet.

I’m actually glad we waited and they had time to play with the plain white scarves for a while. I think they’ll appreciate the colors even more now. I’m so eager to see where their imagination will take them.

Just for contrast, this is what you see if you step out the front door and look to your right.

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  • Katherine, I’ve been there. ๐Ÿ™ I had to miss my grandmother’s 90th birthday because it was too close to Bella’s due date. And I missed the Catholic New Media Celebration when it was in San Antonio which was too close to Ben’s. Ah, such is the life of a Catholic mother….

  • Sounds like a great time.  Unfortunately it’s my daughter’s birthday.  Any thoughts on explaining to an 8 year old that her mom will be away on her birthday!

  • I wish, I wish, I wish! I would give anything to come! But alas, my husband is but a poor doctoral student. So I’ll stay here and have to live vicariously through your blog about it! I’m so jealous.

    Any chance Faith and Family Live would hold one of these in Vegas? It would be incredibly spiritually edifying.

  • Melanie, I really admire you for going!  I am due March 9th and there is no way I am going with a month old….just remembering how recovery was with my son plus that it would be at least a five hour trip from here…have fun!

  • I SO wish I could go. The list of wonderful women I’d love to meet just gets longer and longer!

    But I’m already committed to running a Cub Scout overnight for the county that weekend. So, yes, I’d rather be with all of those wonderful Catholic women bloggers. But I can’t let 125+ Cub scouts down! We’re going to have all kinds of “pioneer” fun.

  • Counting the days until I finally get to meet you, and know that I’ll be happy to hold that sweet baby of yours. I’m going to feel naked without any of my girls around for a whole weekend!

  • Erika, Yay!!!!

    kg, It’s only 45 minutes from here. Any further and there’s no way I’d be going. I’m a little concerned about being only 5 weeks postpartum. But I know I’ll have lots of friends there to help out too.