Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Don't drink the Kool-Aid (Part 1)

I just dyed. It was amazing! I would highly recommend dyeing to anyone and everyone. I would also highly recommend saying that sentence to people that don't have a clue you're talking about yarn. I had so much fun telling my coworkers today that I couldn't wait to go home and dye after work. Now to the details...

A week or so ago I received the most amazing dyeing kit from the Try Something New swap hosted by the Odd Duck Swap Group. Angel101580 put together everything I needed to try dyeing with kool-aid, natural ingredients, and acid dyes. I've been drooling over the idea of dyeing my own yarn for so long that I finally got up the courage to do it tonight. I figured since I didn't actually buy any of this that if I screwed it up I wouldn't be out anything :-)

to-dye-for swap box

For my first attempt at dyeing I chose the Kool-Aid in crock pot method with DK weight yarn thanks to Knit Purl Gurl's tutorial. Check it out, it's awesome. Seriously. Anyway, you start out by letting the yarn presoak in a water/vinegar bath while the crock pot heats up.

waiting for it to heat up... and waiting some more... damn, now I'm craving spaghetti

Then you mix up the Kool-Aid in some hot water. I started out with just over a cup of water in each measuring cup: one with a packet of cherry, the other with a packet of cherry and grape (since grape is supposed to be more of a grey/purple color).

ooooh pretty colors!

Once it's all mixed and ready to go, just dump the dye where you want it in the crock pot. I realized that I didn't mix up enough dye, so I quickly made a batch of just grape and poured it in as well.

just poured the dye in.

Then it was time to wait some more. It took about 45 minutes for the water to turn clear, and that's how you know it's ready. In all the research leading up to this project, I kept seeing that was supposed to happen, but when I dipped my spoon in and saw the clear water I was still shocked!

yay for clear water!

I unplugged the crockpot, let it cool so the yarn could be handled, and hung up the yarn to dry overnight in the shower. I think it took about 2 hours or so from start to finish. Not bad :-)

I definitely have some white spots, but I like the way they look so it's all good

an overall view of the yarn - not colors I'd normally choose, but I LOVE it!

Now it's time to wait again. I'm just itching to knit something with it, but I have no idea what the heck I'm going to do. Of course I chose to dye DK weight yarn... I never use DK weight. Maybe a scarf or mitts or something. As always, I'd prefer to crochet, but I don't think that would show off the awesomeness of the yarn enough. We'll see what happens. Maybe I'll just wind it up and stare at it and pet it. That would make me happy too!

This isn't the fastest way to dye yarn, and it certainly isn't the way to do it if you want to control where the colors end up, but I had a great time dyeing in the crockpot. Once I learned to relax and stop staring at it every five minutes I was actually able to do some other crafting while I waited. For the first time in almost a year I got back to my chainmail jewelry. A while ago the mail carrier at work asked for a silver, green, and blue shaggy bracelet and this is what I came up with for her.

I just love shiny jingly things!

A special thanks to vberry for sending me dyeing tips and tricks, and just being an awesome friend :-)


  1. Great job for your first try at dyeing!

  2. Great post! Love the yarn and the jewelry. My first (and only) attempt at Kool Aid dyeing did not come out nearly as well).