Sunday, November 19

How To: Dye Yarn with Koolaid

  1. Wash the yarn gently in lukewarm water with a very mild soap. I used dish detergent.

  2. Fill a pot with enough lukewarm water to cover the yarn.

  3. Mix in your koolaid packets. A good rule of thumb is one packet per ounce of yarn. (If your yarn came labeled in grams, you can use an online converter like I did.) If you want lighter yarn, use less koolaid, if you want darker, use more. I also added a glug of white vinegar to my water, just to foolproof the mixture. Koolaid is acidic enough that you don't really need the vinegar, but I didn't want to take any chances.

  4. Wring out the yarn and add to the pot of koolaid water.

  5. Put the pot on the stove, and heat to nearly boiling. Stir the yarn very gently occasionally, to make sure the dye is well-distributed.
  6. Turn off heat and cover the pot. Wait 30 minutes or so, stirring gently occasionally, until the water is clear. (I found that using a white plastic spoon to stir helped me see when the water was clear.) This means all of the color has been absorbed into the yarn.

  7. Fill a sink with water the same temperature as the water in the pot. Don't use cold water, or your yarn could felt. Take the yarn from the pot, gently wringing excess water from it as you go, and place it in the rinse water.. Be careful of the temperature. If it's too hot, wait until it's cooled off a bit. There's no rush. (The water in the sink will cool at the same rate as the water in the pot, if it's the same temperature when you start.) Rinse the yarn very gently in the fresh water. Wash it again with a mild detergent, and rinse with water of the same temperature.

  8. Wring the yarn gently as you take it from the water. Hang the yarn to dry, or if you don't have a place to hang it, lay it out in a cool dry place until it's completely dry.

When I was dying the orange/yellow, I started by using two packages of lemonade, and one package of orange. After cooking the yarn, I saw that it wasn't as dark as I would like, and I removed the yarn from the pot and added another package of orange to the water, mixing it in. Then I returned the yarn to the pot, and restarted the dying process. It turned out just like I'd hoped - a light orange/yellow color that I'll be happily knitting some lace from in a few weeks. Thanks for all of your input on which color to choose. (But as usual, I'm a complete jerk and disregarded everything but my own whims.)


robbodobbo said...

hmm.. i thought it was "nuke warm" shows how much mom knows

Jessica said...

I'm totally bookmarking this! (Formerly Very Mom)

Sunny said...

Dear Jessica,

You do know that the only reason I signed up for this darn post-a-day thing was the chance at winning your design prize, don't you?