Friday, October 12, 2012

Dyeing wool with Kool-Aid

I have been a bit under the weather the last few days, but that did not stop me from dyeing some wool yarn with Kool-Aid.  It is fast and easy and does not require a lot of babysitting. has a fantastic post about the basics of Kool-Aid dyeing here.

I did mine three ways.

First, I wanted a variegated yarn but with long runs between color changes. I made piles of yarn that were about 10 to 15 ft of yarn in each, then combined different piles together to make a total of four piles as I was going to have four colors.  I did not cut the skein to do this.  My yarn is Cascade 220, which I had gotten at a 50% off sale. I was hoping for white, but they did not have stock so the yarn is the color of spaghetti (Color 8412).  My four Kool-Aid colors are lemonade, orange, cherry and dark cherry. I soaked the yarn piles in water in four bowls, then squeezed out the water and emptied the bowls. I mixed a color in each bowl and filled about 3/4 of the way with water. I put the yarn back in and nuked them in the microwave for two minutes. I let them rest for a while and then nuked another 2 minutes. 

 I let the bowls cool down in the microwave as they are super hot. Once cooled, I poured out the water from the bowls and rinsed the yarn in cool water, just to make sure there isn't any remaining Kool-Aid that did not get absorbed.  My yellow color did not change, it is still the color of spaghetti. The Dark Cherry was a little muted. My yarn was a bit tangled with all the separate piles, but aside from one horrible tangle in the middle, it was not too bad to make it into a skein/ball once it was dry.  I was willing to risk it and it wasn't horrific.

 Next, I decided to do a two tone variegated on this Lamb's Pride bulky. After I bought it, I was told this color (White Frost) does not felt, which was a bummer.  I might as well color it.  I am going to make it half cherry and half orange. I soaked the whole skein in water in the sink.  Once it was thoroughly soaked, I squeezed out as much water as I could. I mixed two packets of orange in a cup of water and pushed one end of the skein slowly into it, to absorb the color.

 I let it sit for a couple minutes to sink through all the layers. Then I took it out, emptied the cup and mixed up two packets of Cherry and stuck the other end of the skein in the cup.

I put it in a Pyrex dish and nuked it for 2 minutes. The colors were a bit muted. I mixed a packet of orange with about an inch and a half of water in my cup and put the skein's orange end in it. Then I did the same for the Cherry. I nuked it in the Pyrex dish for another 2 minutes and here are my results. I then rinsed it with water and squeezed out as much water as I could and set it on a towel to dry (which I assume will take a while since it is still a tight skein). In a couple days I will work on making it a loose skein to help it dry faster and will know then if there are any white areas towards the middle. I feel pretty good that it is colored throughout.
Update: Here is the yarn in a loose skein, there are some white-ish areas but they are well spaced with the color.

Third, I took my other skein of spaghetti colored Cascade 220. I soaked it in water and wrung it out.

I put the yarn in a pot with one pack of yellow (lemonade) and three packs of Ice Blue Raspberry lemonade. I let it simmer for about 10 minutes then took it off the heat.
 Yellow + Blue = Green.  The yarn towards the bottom of the pan is a bit darker than the top, even though I stirred it occasionally.  I rinsed it and it is now drying on a towel as well.

For dinner last night, Allen made steak and twice baked sweet potatoes with Dukkah seasoning which my mom recommended. It was delicious!  As you can see, my idea of cooking in the kitchen is very different than my husband's! His results are yummy, mine just smell good.

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