diy watermelon shorts.

I bleached some old cut off jeans I had, then dip dyed them in green and pink dyes for a watermelon feel. But nothing screams this fruit without a few seeds–hand drawn on with fabric dye markers.

Something fun to do with old shorts in your wardrobe; gives them a lift for summer. And since Beyonce’s surfbort/watermelon is so hot this year, make these your DIY project of choice.

bleaching denim.

These old cut offs of mine that I wasn’t wearing much will soon become some amazing hand dyed watermelon shorts. Once I saw someone do this, I had to jump at the idea. With Bonnaroo Music Festival next weekend, it seemed like the perfect time to reinvent some old items in my wardrobe.

So watermelon shorts these will be. Soaked the denim shorts (which were pretty dark) in two inches of bleach for a couple of hours. This is what they looked like when I rinsed them. Once they finally dried, they were basically white, which is what I was looking for before the dyeing process. This is my first attempt at bleaching denim and it was a huge success.

Stay tuned for final snaps of my shorts!

solar dyeing, 6.19

This is my first attempt at solar dyeing wool. I’ve thought about it in the past, but never actually tackled it. Given that I’m in the mecca of sun for 2 weeks with plenty of free time, I figured the trip afforded the perfect opportunity to try it out. The first step was to skein my bare yarn (5 skeins of merino DK weight wool and 2 skeins of fingering merino superwash wool) and soak it in warm water for 20-30 minutes so the dyes evenly penetrate the fibers.

After reading a piece on solar dyeing with natural dyes in the recent summer issue of Knit Scene, I figured I’d give the whole natural dye thing a whirl. I followed Caitlin French’s instructions pretty closely, but decided to try a few different items on for color size, namely dehydrated red chilies and black beans.

After steeping my items to help release color, I prepped my quart sized bell jars with mordant (I chose Alum powder, per French’s recommendation for its more environmentally friendly rep), hot water, and a bit of vinegar to alter the water’s PH. I kind of just gambled on amounts, but measured my 2-3 teaspoons Alum per 100 grams of fiber. Otherwise, it was all guesswork.

The mix of chilies also has little nylon sacks filled with tumeric as well, to try and create a less “buttery” yellow and more of a rich one. And in another jar, I combined both black bean water (they steeped in water for about 12-14 hours in the sun and overnight) and onion skins to see if the combination would create a richer blue/green/brown.

I’m headed to Northern Arizona for the weekend, so they have plenty of alone time in the sun. I’m hoping the longer I let them sit, the more rich the color. Please cross your fingers that this diy adventure is more successes than failures.