Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Dyeing Yarn With Kool Aid

First of all HSMS which is row today. These are some paints I have just bought all nicely in a row.

Next up are the Monkey socks I finished last week. The yarn is from Angels and Elephants. I can't remember what it is called but it was fantastic to knit with. The pattern is great too. The repeats are easy to remember and it knits up quickly.

A close up of the pattern and yarn.

Now to the main topic. Dyeing yarn with Kool Aid. I am a complete novice and this is my first 'dye job'. It isn't meant to be a tutorial because my directions are probably completely wrong.

Dyeing yarn is something I have heard lots about but haven't really bothered with until now. I armed myself with some undyed yarn and some Kool Aid sachets. Kool Aid is a powdered drink you add water to and it goes a lovely shade depending on the flavour. I chose cherry, pink lemonade and lemon/lime. Not sure how this can be safe for drinking without turning your insides a rainbow of colours because I only got a tiny bit on my hand but it took ages to get it off.

The yarn needs to be soaked for around half an hour.

Then add yarn to a pan with some warmish water in. Pour the diluted Kool Aid onto the parts you want dyed that colour. I was very mindful of the fact that red and green make a muddy brown colour so I didn't want them to overlap. As you can see I didn't really achieve that in parts. The recommendation is 4 sachets per 100g and as I only had 3 I added a couple of drops of red food colouring. It then needs to heat up at less than boiling point until the water has gone clear. This took around 45 minutes.

I then spread it out onto a towel and patted it dry. Then I hung it up over a coathanger to dry overnight.

This was when I realised my major mistake. It is recommended that you tie the skein in several parts to help it stay in shape. It was already pre-tied in 2 places so being impatient and wanting to get onto the dyeing process I thought that would be OK. WRONG. It wasn't. The skein got tangled. This is the result and instead of re-skeining it I ended up putting it into a ball.

I'm not sure what I think yet. The colours aren't too bad together. More like a strawberry field. I'm sure a sock pattern will come up that will suit the colours.

I have got the bug now though and will learn from my mistakes as I go through the process each time. I will learn which colours will and won't go together. Which is the best method - stove top or microwave. How to do striping yarn. Or maybe I will get a mess. Who knows. I will have fun trying though.

Next project is a horrible ball I got from Bright Dyes sock club while it was running. I was never happy with their customer service and paid for a 3 month sub but only ever received 2 months and even then it was lost in the post. Anyway life goes on and they have now shut down. The yarn was around the christmas period and was bright red, green and yellow. Not my cup of tea at all so bring on the experiments with dyes.


hannah said...

WOW bet it took forever to get it into a ball - well done you i would have thrown it out the window! I really like the colours!

JanMary said...

Great row - and love the dyeing process - looks like a lot of mess/fun!

Shannon said...

I like your row!
Your yarn is fab and I didn't know that is how you dye it!