Thursday, April 06, 2006

First Foray Into Kool-Aid Dying

Well, it seems as if I have a stash of not only yarn, but Kool-Aid as well. Here's what I picked up outside of NYC while visiting friends down south (this stuff is almost impossible to find in NYC):

I have been so impatient to try dying yarn with Kool-Aid but had to wait for my day off. So, I woke up, drank some coffee, and went at it in my pajamas.

I don't think there's a right or wrong way to dye yarn with Kool-Aid. If you feel as if you need instructions, there are plenty available on-line through a Google search. I think I just followed a bunch of instructions and came up with my own.

Here's what I did:

1.) First, I soaked my KnitPicks dye-your-own sock yarn in warm water with a little bit of vinegar. I know that we don't really need the vinegar because Kool-Aid is already acidic, but in my Easter egg dying experience, vinegar really does make the colors robust and take better than without the vinegar.

2. ) I poured about 1/8 a cup of vinegar into four jars and then added two packets of Kool-Aid to each jar.

3.) I poured boiling water into each jar until each jar was about 1/2 full. I stirred the Kool-Aid.

4.) I then put my yarn into the jars, dipping about 1/4 of the skein into each jar. (Go here to see what I mean by dipping the skeins into a jar.)

5.) I then added more boiling water until each jar was full.

6.) I allowed the yarn to sit for a while. I noticed that the yarn between the jars wasn't getting dyed, so I dipped those parts into the jars and added more Kool-Aid. I did this twice.

7.) I then put the jars into the microwave. I microwaved the yarn for two minutes, let it rest a minute, and then examined for white areas. More Kool-Aid was added to white areas and then I microwaved for two minutes more.

8.) I let the yarn cool for a while, removed it from the jars, rinsed with warm water and then hung it up to dry.

What would I do differently next time?

Next time I won't be so paranoid about whether or not there's enough Kool-Aid in the jars. My colors turned out very bright. I was hoping for paler colors, which everyone else seems to be getting. I probably used about four packets of each flavor.

Next time I think I'll use a handpainting method rather than this jar method. There was a lot of white areas that didn't get dyed, and I think hand-painting will help to eliminate this problem.

Would I have done samples of the colors? Probably not. I'm not a sample type of girl. I like to dive right in and see how things will turn out.

The blue you're seeing is a cherry flavor that begins as green and then turns blue; the red is strawberry-lemonade (most people are getting a pale pink from this flavor); the green is apple; and the yellow, of course, is lemonade.

I think this skein will make some interesting socks. I'm going to call this color "Spring Day" because it reminds me of red tulips and a spring blue sky.


The_Add_Knitter said...

Wow what a cool experience and a fun way to pass the day...also, have you heard the new Morrissey album yet;)?

Leslie said...

You're making my yarn diet really hard to stick to! Forget knitting up the sock yarn that I have, I want to dye my own spring socks. And sale yarn... soooo tempting!