Since then I've been collecting brightly colored silk ties and scarves when I can find them for under $1 at the thrift stores.
I've also been thinking about the technique and wondering if there were any ways to improve on it. I wondered if it was really necessary to wrap your silk wrapped egg in a scrap of white fabric before boiling it. This is done to help hold the silk tightly against the egg since the pattern will only transfer when there is snug, direct contact with the egg surface. It is also done to prevent the darker dyes from bleeding onto the lighter eggs.
I split my eggs into 2 batches this year so I could do some testing on the first batch. I won't go into detailed instructions since you can read those on my post from last year or on Martha Stewart's website. It's really quite simple and gives you stunning results. And I like that you cook and color your eggs all at the same time. And yes, your eggs will be completely edible.
One thing I learned last year is the importance of making sure the right side of the silk touches the egg as much as possible. Because of the shape of the egg you won't get complete contact all the way around but you can get close. And those undyed "wrinkle" spots are what gives the egg character. If the pattern transferred exactly then it would look like the egg had been decoupaged and if you want an egg to look decoupaged, why not just decoupage it right?
I thought a good way to hold the silk snug against the egg might to be put it inside a panty ho. Just one is a panty ho. Two would be a pair of panty hose. That's how it works at my house. Since I am anti-pantyhose I had to run to the store to grab a box of cheap knee high hose. I think mine came with 10 pairs which is 20 hose and each can be cut in half so that was enough to do all 3 dozen of my eggs.
I wrapped my egg in silk then slipped it inside the panty ho (Can you tell I enjoy saying that?) then made a tight knot right up against the egg. You'll want to twist the ho as if you were tying off a balloon. Make sense?
The picture shows my panty hoed egg lying on the scrap of fabric that I used for last year's eggs. Since this was my experimental batch I did not use the fabric. I just placed my eggs in a pot, added water and vinegar then cooked them till they were done the way I like them.
While your eggs are simmering you can tear some colorful pages out of a magazine, cut them into skinny strips and curl them like curling ribbon. This makes a nice Easter "grass" to line your basket or bowl or whatever you use to display or store your eggs. We do eat our eggs so I always try to use a container that is fridge friendly. This year I just reused the cartons so I could stack them back in the fridge.
When my eggs were done the water had turned dark blue from the dyes which made me think I should have used the white fabric like Martha told me to. But when I unwrapped my eggs they were perfect! I couldn't see that the dark dye from the water had deposited on any of the other eggs. And the panty hose did a great job of holding the silk snug against the egg. Take THAT Martha!
The picture below shows both batches of my eggs. My first batch is at the bottom and the second batch is at the top.
Another experiment I tried this year was to see if you can really reuse the same scraps of silk more than once. I was skeptical but I took the silk that had just come off the first batch of eggs and used it to wrap my second batch. In the process I learned a few things:
1. Wet silk stinks, don't sniff it.
2. When the silk is wet it is difficult to tell which side is the right side. Either I guess right every time or either side will work.
3. It is easier to wrap an egg in wet silk than dry silk. The wet silk clings to the egg.
4. There was very little difference between my first batch of eggs and the second generation eggs where I reused the silk. In fact, I think I could get another batch or two out of those same scraps.
So there you have it. And now I have another year to collect more pretty silk or to obsess over a different dying technique. In the mean time, enjoy these close-ups:
|First generation egg on the left, second generation egg from the same piece of silk on the right.|
|My favorite egg.|
|My second favorite egg.|
|Not sure what happened here but still kinda cool looking.|