Good Times with Kool-Aid (Part 1)

A couple of weeks ago, I organized a subway meetup with the Subway Knitters Group on Ravelry. At this meetup, I met a young woman who told me she dyes yarn with Kool-Aid. I thought it sounded like a great idea. I have always been fascinated with the concept of dyeing yarn, but wasn't sure how to do it. Once I realized it was as easy using Kool-Aid. I got this crazy idea that I wanted to try my hand at dyeing.

I know dyeing items with Kool-Aid is not a new concept. People have doing it for decades. I remember using it to dye my friend's hair with it in high school. The great thing about using Kool-Aide is that it is not toxic. I live in a small apartment and I can become overwhelmed by the fumes. Plus I didn't want to use something that wouldn't stain my apartment. The great thing about using Kool-Aid is my apartment smells fruity and I can easily clean up the stains with bleach or Method spray. What I think is scary about Kool-Aid is people drink this stuff. If this stuff can dye my yarn what do people's inside look like who drink it all of the time.

Before I started the process I spent an hour or 2 online looking for directions on how to dye yarn with Kool-Aid. Surprisingly there is a lot of information out there on the subject. There are several different ways to do this. All of the different methods are simple and use basic households items such as Kool-Aid, hot water, vinegar, turkey baster, large pot, microwave, crock pot, towels and hangers.

Most of the directions that I found describes the microwave method. I do not own a microwave, so I had to do a little bit more digging. I found this great video about crock pot dyeing on You Tube and this post on knitty.com about what colors each Kool-Aid flavor produces and I was on my way.

I bought some Lion Brand Fisherman's yarn and some Stitch Nation Full O Sheep from Michael's in New York City. Since both of the yarns are not hanks, I had to turn them into hanks. So I put my computer on my floor and preceded to wrap the yarn around the monitor of computer. I am glad I bought two different sets of yarn, because I made a complete mess of the Fisherman's yarn.

I learned that if I am going to use a large skein of yarn like the Fisherman's yarn I am going to have to do a couple of things differently.

1 Don't make such a big hank
2 If I make a big hank, then I will get a helper and make sure to tie it up better

Then I went to my local corner store and found unsweetened packets of tropical punch, cherry, orange and grape Kool-Aid. The store didn't have a great selection, but it was perfect for what I had in mind. I wanted to create a tie dye reddish yarn.

When I came back home I pulled out my crock pot, filled it with water and vinegar. Opened the packets to examined the colors. I feel in love with the tropical punch right away. The cherry one quickly became my second favorite.Since the Fisherman's hank was such a mess, I just mixed all of the colors together and threw the messy hank in a pot and "dyed it all one color". It turned out a mess.

Here is a photo of my shame

In this photo it is still drying, so I don't know what the final color is going to look like. Since I did such a shitty job dyeing this I am going use to make this felted laptop cover, because I want to see how well it felts up since they calm it is great for felting, I am going to buy another skein of the Fisherman's yarn to try dyeing it again. I think I want to try blues, but blue Kool-Aid is hard to find in Brooklyn.

The Stitch Nation Yarn came out really great. Because it was smaller and I took my time putting in the colors. I wanted a tropical tie dye look and that is what I got. I used tropical punch, cherry and orange Kool-Aid.

Here are photos of my pride:
I thought this was a really fun process and look forward to creating more hand dyed yarns.

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