Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dying Yarn

I've been dying to dye yarn (he, he) for a while now, so I asked for Kool-aid in my stocking. Today, Ben and I got to it.

I used one ball of Washable Ewe (100% superwash wool - 100 g, 183 yards) in the color Cottontail, which is a light cream. I don't have a scale or way to measure length super acurately so I just wrapped the yarn around my kitchen island 20 times. I got 4 skeins that way, so each is about 25 grams or about 45 yards each.

I then filled some glass canning bottles with water and mixed in two packs of the same Kool-aid in each.
  • Berry Blue - only contains blue 1
  • Lemon Lime - contains yellow 5 and blue 1
  • Black Cherry - contains Red 40 and blue 1
  • Tropical Punch - contains Red 40 and Blue 1

I put each skein in the bottle and cooked in the microwave for 2 minutes at a time, letting it cool a bit between nukings. The first three were twisted into a skein so the color wasn't picked up all the way through the middle and there are spots of cream, particularly in the green and blue. The red (black cherry) actually soaked in pretty well. That's when I decided to not twist the last skein and just dropped it in the tropical punch.

Finally, I rinsed and hung them to dry. Aren't  they lovely?

I knit up some swatches to see what they looked like. The blue turned out well, if a bit bright, but my favorite was the Black Cherry. I think I'll do that one again with a looser skein.

I went back and tried to tone some of them down with brown and black.

  • Wilton's Black contains Blue 1, Red 3, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6
  • Wilton's Brown contains Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 40, and Blue 1

I added vinegar as the acid to the yarn while it was soaking, since the food coloring doesn't include acid like the kool-aid does.

I added some brown to the green and it ended up a bit different then I expected - more camo style.
I'll probably just make up some preemie hats with the mini-skeins and donate them. Of course, I'll also have to buy lots more wool and kool-aid. This was really fun to do and it was so neat to see the yarn take up the color.

Hat Pattern - made up on the fly.
Cast on 60 sts on dpns, knit some 2x2 rib, knit in stockinette for about 3 inches then started decreasing randomly. when there were 6 sts left I just worked an I-cord for a few inches.

1 comment:

  1. it's amazing that you can get such vibrant colours form kool-aid! So impressive.