Liam Paints 5/2 Tencel™ yarn skeins in mom's studio

The Preschooler Can Paint Yarn

My 4-year-old, William (we call Liam) is in love with color. His favorite color is most consistently green, but at the end of the day he really loves a rainbow. Rainbow is his name for his baby brother. He'll tell any stranger in a parking lot he has a baby brother named Rainbow. He gave his baby brother this name before he was born and insists that is his name to this day. And so it is (though most still call him Landon).

Sometime last year Liam took interest in what I was up to in the studio. I always have some yarn that is incorrectly measured. I used to set it aside and think it would find some use for sampling. So last summer when Liam said he wanted to paint yarn, I had a nice stash of undyed yarn waiting for him.

The dyes I mix don't last forever, and become a bit less predictable with age. There's always some jars of old leftover dyes I will use from time to time on skeins where predictability is less important. So when I began experimenting with letting the then 3-year-old paint yarn, I'd mix some colors in bottles for him and let him go to town.

And go to town he would. He likes to flood the yarn until it's a veritable color puddle. He uses brayers. He uses foam brushes. Foam rollers. Paint brushes (where did paint brushes even COME from?). Until, at last...he's done and it's time to raid mom's studio snacks.

At the point of completion...who knows what it is. He's told me his yarn colors are called "Butterfly" and "Dog" and "Unicorn" and...some other color names I've forgotten. And you know what? It's always beautiful. And I don't mean it's-always-beautiful-to-mom beautiful. I mean, it's quite lovely!

One of my favorite parts of dyeing yarn is you can't really make it ugly. Especially the Tencel™, I think it might be physically impossible to make it ugly. He's had good luck with the Ringspun Cotton too. I let Liam dye some of the cotton and actually put it in my shop! (According to the review, Liam's yarn is destined to be woven into towels, which just tickles me pink!) I don't usually sell his yarn. I want to use it in weaving projects eventually, but my "Liam Hand-Painted Yarn Collection" is growing quite large. I expect it will continue to do so, as he's been asking me if it's time to paint yarn again. I'll have to remember to restock the studio snacks.

Liam dressed for painting yarn
Safety first! I finally found some kid gloves for him so they're not quite as ridiculouly oversized as these are.
Liam paints 5/2 Tencel yarn - he calls this one "Butterfly"
This one he calls "Butterfly"
Liam paints 5/2 Tencel yarn - he calls this one "Dog"
This one is called "Dog"
Liam paints 5/2 Tencel yarn - he calls this one "Unicorn"
This one is called "Unicorn" (but looks suspiciously like leftover Mystic Wisteria...)
 Liam paints 5/2 Tencel yarn - an earthy colored warp
Liam paints 5/2 Tencel yarn - green-grey skeins
Liam paints 5/2 Tencel yarn - turquoise skeins

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