Thursday, June 23, 2011

Adventures in Dyeing

I've been wanting to try dyeing for the longest time. It only seemed natural to know how to dye my own yarn, especially after I knew how to spin. A few months ago I received a swap package and in it was a skein of bare wool from Knit Picks. At that point, I hadn't gotten around to taking the first step to learning how to dye with Kool Aid. I was always thinking of knitting projects I wanted to do when I had money to spend on Knit Picks. Anyway, my swap person sent me a 100g skein of undyed fingering yarn from Knit Picks.

It wasn't until a couple days ago where I decided I'd go ahead and do it. Truth is, I was scared of completely messing it up. My really good friend Rachel helped walk me through it and so did a tutorial on Knitty. The first step was to soak the yarn:

While it soaked, I got out my pot and added the water and Tropical Punch Kool Aid. I'm not sure where my brain was but I actually wanted to dye the yarn blue. Somehow I got it in my head that the tropical punch was blue. It was when I poured the packets into the pot that I realized I was wrong. But... I didn't want to waste it and I love the color red too. So I decided to go ahead with the red and to do blue next time (and soon). After the packets were added to the water, I stirred it until they were dissolved, adding no sugar. Then I added yarn.

I heated the yarn to an almost boil and then let it cool until I could manage to touch it. I think that took about 4 hours at the maximum. I'd poured out the original water I soaked the yarn in before adding it to the water/Kool Aid mixture so I could use the same thing it'd soaked in before to wash it gently. When that was done, I got out as much water as I could before hanging it to dry over my shower curtain. This morning it was all dry.

And that's it. That's all it took to dye my first yarn. I can't dye acrylic or I'd try. I have plenty of white sitting around not being used for much because I don't knit with white often. The yarn needs to be made from animal fibers (ie. wool, mohair, alpaca, etc.) It still smells fruity but eventually the smell will go away and its not a bad smell. I haven't decided what to use the yarn for yet, I'm thinking maybe I'll make another Damson so I'll have a red one in addition to my blue one.

1 comment:

  1. This is the second time i have read about dying with Kool AID. I realy want to try it too. I have to finde some KOOL AID or similar to it, here in Germany. I think this is a lot of fun.

    Best greetings