Friday, March 18, 2011

Dying with Kool-Aid

Last year, I decided I wanted to give my hand a try at dying yarn.  I'd been seeing a lot of craft projects worked up with hand-dyed yarn and thought it looked so amazing.  The trouble with this plan is 1) I'd never dyed yarn and had no clue what to do and 2) Little fingers getting into the dye and getting hurt.  But then I saw where people had dyed yarn using Kool-Aid.  You know that drink from your childhood.  So I thought, Awesome!  This is something I can try and it's non-toxic.

So I did.

Here's the process I used to Kool-Aid dye two skeins of Debbie Stoller's Full 'O Sheep 100% Natural Wool (colorway Little Lamb).

Tools Needed: 100% Natural Wool, Packages of Kool-Aid in color choice(s), Pan, Pot, Water, & Space for drying

First: Unravel you're yarn and tie loosely.  This will allow the dye to reach all the yarn.

Second: Pull out your Kool-Aid packages.  I used two packs of Black Cherry and two packs of Lemonaide. (I had kind of tie-dyed effect with the yarn, where the color is lighter in areas.  Next time I will use more Kool-Aid for a stronger, and hopefully more even, dying.)

Third: Soak your yarn in a very luke warm water bath.  If the water is too hot it could start to felt and you don't want that.

Fourth: While you're yarn is soaking, you want all the yarn to get good and saturated, fill a pot with water and let that water start to warm on the stove.

Fifth: Just before the water starts to boil, remove from heat and drop in your Kool-Aid packs and give it a stir.

Sixth: Gently place your presoaked yarn in the Kool-Aid water.  Stir gently around to help the dye reach all the nooks and cranies of the yarn or just swirl around to help create a kind of tie-dyed effect.  Becareful not to cause too much agitation however, because you do not want to felt the yarn.

Seventh: Let your yarn sit in the water.  The yarn will start to absorb the dye from the water, and you will see you're yarn become colorful.

Eighth: Once the yarn has cooled and absorbed all the dye, remove from the pans and place in a fresh pan of water, roughly the same temperature as the yarn. Rinse the yarn (You can use a mild soap to wash the yarn.).

Ninth: Once your yarn is rinsed, gently wring it out to get as much excess water out of the yarn as you can.  Then hang you're yarn and allow it to dry.

Tenth: Roll, wind or ball your Kool-Aid dyed yarn and use!

There are a lot of great tutorials online for dying with Kool-Aid. Just Google How to Dye Yarn with Kool-Aid and you'll get about 1,250,000 results.  I read many of these tutorials and watched some YouTube videos and thought, this is something I can do.

And it really was that easy.

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