Dyeing for Color Merit Badge, Intermediate Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 6,962 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—9,905 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! ~MaryJane 

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life

For this week’s Stitching and Crafting/Dyeing for Color Intermediate Level Merit Badge, I got myself a three-ring binder.

I heart binders. I long for Trapper Keepers. I live for file folders and I swoon over tabs and color coordinated dividers.

Wilson Jones supplies, Amazon.com

In short, I’m pretty much an Organization Junkie.

This particular binder—after I decorated it with glitter, collages, and stickers—I planned to use for my color swatches. After getting the hang of dyes earlier in my Beginner Level badge, I was ready to move on.

Ready to move on to things like plant fibers vs. protein fibers. Ready to move on from tea and coffee dyeing to beet juice. From Rit dye to tie-dye.

photo by Steven Falconer via Wikimedia Commons

Today, color swatches, tomorrow the world!

Okay, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. But I was beginning to see more like Dorothy, when she left black-and-white Kansas to travel to color-saturated Oz. Somewhere over the rainbows were more rainbows, by golly. And I was gonna find each and every color for my binder …

I was interested to see what the same type of dye would do to different fabrics. Would a royal purple be less royal and more amethyst if I used burlap instead of cotton? What about hemp? Or silk? Alpaca vs. wool? Mohair vs. angora?

I started my collection and organized them in my handy-dandy Binder of Beauturific Swatches. This was not as unusual for me as you might think. I tend to hoard those pretty and free paint sample cards from the home improvement store … And those big binders at the carpeting stores? Oh my. They make my heart go pitty-pat. So, you could say I was a little excited to have my own to flip through on a gray, rainy day.

photo by Iroc8210 via Wikimedia Commons

With all the rovings I had from my experiment, I knitted, spun, and tatted my way into my other farmgirls’ hearts. I gave little samples of my coloring experiments: homemade headbands for my friends with luscious curls, burlap bookmarks for my bookworm pals, felted gift tags for my gift-giving buddies, scarf/collars for my animal-lover loveys. I felt like Oprah, only instead of giving away cars, I was giving away potholders and such. But hey, Oprah didn’t make those Lexuses, so I think my little presents meant even more. Even if you can’t drive a headband across the country … however, you don’t have to pay taxes on your headband, so it’s all good.

I went through each and every dye I could think of, and some I didn’t think of (thank you, Pinterest). I was living in a technicolor dream world of fuschias, magentas, periwinkles, burnt umbers, and goldenrods. My life was a box of Crayola crayons!

Speaking of which, I still haven’t heard back from them about hiring me on their color-naming team … I wanted to add some more titles onto my resume:

Coal in Your Stocking Black
Peacock in a Blender
Butternut Squash Surprise
Aging Labradoodle
Wet Hen

I don’t know what the holdup is, although I’m sure they’re very busy. Maybe if I show them a copy of my Binder of Beauturific Swatches?

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Hahahaha, what would Wet Hen look like??? I know what you mean about organization. I love to go into a place like Office Depot and look at all the cool ways I can organize with colors AND style. Next to a book store, an office supply store is my favorite.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *