Wednesday, May 10, 2006


No, not me, the yarn. This bout of tonsillitis doesn't seem as bad as the previous episode (or maybe it's the Evil Antibiotics I've got this time). Anyway, I thought it would be fun to fill the time by doing some dyeing.
I used the instructions from the Knitty article about Koolaid dyeing. There are also instructions (and nice pics!) in the Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook.

First take a ball of slightly boring undyed (or you could overdye something?) yarn. This is 100% wool which I got for a £1 a ball on Ebay a while ago. I have no idea if it's from a sheep or something else (but I do know it's an animal!).

Then turn it into a loosely-tied skein and select which colour Koolaid you're going to use. I chose Fruit Punch as I wanted to see how red it would turn out.

Give the skein a bath. And make sure it washes behind its ears. I used a squirt of Clear Spring Laundry Liquid which I use for all my washing. Leave soaking whilst you...

Dissolve the Koolaid in a pan (for the hob method) with a little water.

Add the clean and sparkly skein to the saucepan and just enough water to cover the wool.

Heat until nearly boiling point, then leave for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When it's ready the yarn will have absorbed the colour so the water will be clear (I couldn't believe this bit, but it's true!). Then rinse the yarn.

Hang on washing line to dry.

Next morning decide to overdye it with a contrasting colour to see what happens. Mix up a Koolaid sachet in a bit of water (this one's "Grape"). Do the whole yarn/skein washing thing again. Lay the yarn out on a plastic bag (the one's from Loop are good for this!) and splodge some of the new colour wherever you want it on the yarn. The instructions mention using a turkey baster, but I just sort of poured it and then squidged the colour in (with my hand covered in another plastic bag).

Put in glass bowl and microwave on full power for 2 minutes. Do not do the washing up cos that's boring. Leave yarn to stand for a bit then microwave for another 2 minutes. Leave to cool down and rinse it (don't shock with cold water!)

Hang back outside on the washing line.

When it's dry wind into a ball using groovy ball winder and admire the colours!

See? Easy peasy! It's a lot of fun, although you do get a rather fruit smelling kitchen afterwards. I know Koolaid is "food" so it's OK to use utensils that you cook with, but I decided to use an old saucepan, and the wooden spoon has a big crack in it so I've stopped using it for food preparation.


Piglottie said...

Yarn looks delicious! Thanks for the blog and pics re dyeing - I might actually feel brave enough to give it a go now!

Sue said...

Welcome to the mad scientists club! Its all downhill from here, you'll soon be dyeing anything that stays still long enough!

Marie said...

It looks fantastic wound up!! I love that colour.

scarletprincess said...

Wow it looks really fab! Can't wait to see what it looks like knitted up!
Everything is going fine with me and baby atm, just been extremely lazy and not blogged in ages!

Steph said...

Fab yarn! Will you show us what it looks like knitted up?
Thanks for showing the process - I've had some Kool-aid & undyed yarn hanging around for ages but not had the nerve to put the two together! I think I will now. :-)

Seahorse said...

Looks super! I have been winding some skeins of white yarn this morning to have a go too!

I'd love to see how it knits up.

KnitYoga said...

The wound up yarn looks lovely and thanks for explaining the process. Can't wait to see it knitted up!

Nic said...

That colour is great!! Mainly I need to buy some (MORE!) yarn and get dying!!

jess said...

kool aid yarn is addictive, and you made a lovely skein first off! I love the smell...

Mary Anne said...

That was an excellent course on dyeing! Thank you for making it so easy and simple to follow.