Friday, January 14, 2011

Dyeing Yarn

Recently I was feeling a little inspired and decided to take the plunge at dying some 100% Wool yarn (this has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I have an addiction for yarns off HC and Etsy). I did a little research on the internet and asked some of the lovely ladies on Hyena Cart who I constantly buy yarn from for some input. I had decided since I am no expert at this I would keep it relatively low cost, so I got some Patons 100% wool yarn for JoAnn Fabrics for about $4.99 and some Kool Aid for about .20 a pack.

You want to use an animal fiber based yarn for Kool Aid dyeing, plant fibers won't take the Kool Aid dye correctly. Also, don't use the Kool Aid that is pre-sweetened, you need the original Kool Aid packets that have NO sugar or sweeteners added in them...

I took my yarn and wound it into a loose skein and tied it at 2 ends, then I let is soak in some warm water with a tiny bit of dish soap.

While the yarn was soaking in the warm water and dish soap I mixed up all my Kool Aid colors. I decided to go with 4 different colors. I wanted some vivid colors, so I used quite a few packs of Kool Aid, something else to keep in mind is that the more water you use to mix up the dye the less vivid or concentrated the color will be. Don't be afraid to experiment with color and have fun!

There are 2 basic methods of setting the dye into the yarn: stove top or microwave. I figured I am already messing up my kitchen so why not NUKE my yarn while I am at it, so I choose the microwave method. So, I took my yarn gently squeezed out the excess water and put it in the bottom of an Pyrex pan, you figure that Kool Aid is non-toxic. I put about 2 cups of hot water and 1/2 cup of White Distilled Vinegar into the Pyrex Pan with the yarn in it. Now the fun part, the colors. I took the 4 colors I had pre-mixed and poured one into each corner of the Pyrex Pan. I then put this into the microwave and microwaved it for 2 minutes. Then I let it rest for 2 minutes, then I zapped it again for 2 minutes. I kept doing this until the water was clear, this means color has been absorbed by the yarn, which means it is time to pour out all the water.

BE CAREFUL as the water is hot, you will felt your yarn if you agitate it prior to being completely cooled. Also be careful when you drain the water as both the water and the yarn will be VERY HOT. Let the yarn cool completely prior to rinsing it, if you burn your fingers while doing this it will make it difficult for you to knit up your new colorway you just created.

Above is what my yarn looked like after being rinsed out and cooled. The next step was to hang it up to dry, which took FOREVER in my opinion as it took 2 whole days for it to fully dry.

Once it dried I wound it into a skein and this is what the final colorway looks like:

I love how it turned out! So, now it is time to name this colorway, any suggestions? I am thinking about naming it "Sangria Punch", but am open to what you all think...

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