Friday, November 17, 2006

Don't Drink the Kool Aid

For some reason, I kept putting this off. I thought it was going to get really messy and I wasn't sure if I really wanted to deal with it. But one weekend afternoon, I got out the supplies and my daughter and I played around with Kool Aid and yarn.

I used some natural Wool of the Andes yarn from Knit Picks and divided one skein into 4 using my swift and niddy noddy. We used instructions from
this site and I decided to try both the stove top and the microwave methods. First we need to soak the fiber in hot water.

And we mix up our potions - Kool Aid, water and vinegar.

First we tried the microwave process - the fiber is supposed to be placed in plastic wrap, then the dye is poured over it, the fiber is wrapped in the plastic wrap and you squish the stuff around to saturate the fibers with the dye. Then this is microwaved for 2 minutes or so. Squish the liquid around some more and you can microwave again if necessary.

I had thought the stove top method would be messier plus the directions said that the mixture would have to simmer for about 45 minutes. It actually took maybe less than 10 minutes and I was really amazed at how the liquid turns a milky white when the dye bath is exhausted.

The colors we tried in the microwave were Berry Blue, Watermelon Cherry and then Soarin' Strawberry Lemonade. This last one looked like the Watermelon Cherry so we tried sprinkling some Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade over it. This didn't turn out so great so we ended up putting it on the stove with 2 packages of Orange. On the stove, we soaked one skein in 2 packages of orange, a second in a mixture of Arctic Green, Lemon Ice, Lemonade with a little Ice Blue Raspberry sprinkled in and a third skein was soaked in Grape. This last one turned out way too dark so we added 2 packages of Cherry.

I wish there was some way to show you how great it smelled in the kitchen. Here from left to right we have Orange, Watermelon Cherry, Arctic Green with Lemon Ice and Lemonade, Berry Blue, Grape with 2 Cherry added after, Soarin' Strawberry Lemonade with Ice Blue Raspberry and then overdyed with Orange.

In honor of this post and so someone else can experience this process first hand, the next prize from the blogiversary celebration will be a skein of Knit Picks natural (sock weight) with a variety of Kool Aid colors. I'll be picking the winner in the next few days.


Anonymous said...

I have been wanting to try this but i was concerned about the mess. Now that you have shown it, I think I'll give it a go.

Carole said...

It looks like you guys had fun and you also made some great yarn.

amanda said...

I've done this with my kids and they love it. I find the mess to be is the overwhelming faux fruit aroma that gets me :o)

margene said...

It is so much fun to dye with Kool Aid. Nice job, nice colors.

CrazyFiberLady said...

Nice dyeing experiment. Maybe when the monkeys are a bit older, I'll try this with them.

Kathy said...

It looks like you guys had fun -- my kids also get a kick out of Kool Aid dyeing. It definitely makes it less appealing to drink after you've dyed with it!

Karen said...

I had a blast when I tried dyeing with Koolaid for the first time this summer. I was amazed at how fast the yarn took up the dye. Fun stuff!
All your skeins came out great!

ikkinlala said...

I'm surprised you got colours like that from Kool Aid - especially the darker ones.

kimberly said...

Oh cool!! I've been putting off dyeing with Kool Aid too for fear it would be too messy. You make it look so easy-maybe I should rethink this. :)