After my last Dessert Yarn post, I learned that Kool-Aid is actually better than Jell-O for dyeing with because it comes in small, sugar-free packets in a variety of bright shades. I realize now that Kool-Aid may have been what I originally heard of this process being done with, and I just got mixed up.
Researching the process got me all excited and I was determined to start my yarn dyeing project almost immediately. So I decided to rush around after work and make all the preparations. This included going to Madtosh in Fort Worth to look for undyed yarn because I know they have a section of it there. (I’ll leave out my grousing over the terrible traffic en route and my own terrible navigating). They didn’t have the weight I wanted at easy reach and I was trying to hurry to get out the door before they closed. I did get some Cascade 128 (which is a chunky yarn) to try out.
My next stop was to Jennings Street Yarn (just down the road for Madtosh) to get a replacement for my broken Dreamz needle and to pick up my new Nova set (YAY!). I decided to check out what they had as far as dyeable yarn and picked up a skein of worsted weight.
Then I trekked back to Arlington to hit the grocery store for dinner supplies and, of course, a trillion Kool-Aid packets. I wanted to do rainbow shades so I found myself in the Wal-Mart isle having to ask myself “what Kool-Aid flavor is indigo?”.
I won’t post a full tutorial of how to dye with Kool-Aid here because there are already some fantastic posts out there about it. I used the following two for reference.
I mixed each color into a disposable bowl and put roughly a seventh of the Cestari yarn into each bowl, then nuked them in the microwave.
I got pretty good at sectioning off an ounce and a half (the yarn is wet, so this isn’t really accurate) on the food scale and winding it into a mini-skein during the two minutes that the previous bowl was heating.
Then the yarn was rinsed and set out to dry .
For now, here’s a list of random things about my dyeing process:
- Did I dye my hands? Almost immediately
- Was there cat hair in the dye? Of course
- I was the most happy with the Cherry yarn and how the color came out so rich
- I was least happy with the grape and indigo. Both are a little dingy and the indigo didn’t pick up the blue and purple evenly.
- The tutorial said that the water would turn clear as the yarn soaked up the dye and I didn’t believe it… but it really does!
- O’Malley was really fascinated by my temporary chair swift and watching the yarn unwind.
- The funniest part of the evening is when Cullen attempted to leap onto the table as it was covered in bowls of dye and I panicked and tried to block him.
- He managed to land gracefully in an empty spot… but then knocked one over just walking past it.
- While the yarn set, I did the dishes, cleaned the kitchen, and wrote the post. 🙂
Additionally, I decided to dye the Cascade using a dip dye method.
This was far more complicated than the other process. It didn’t come out exactly how I wanted but I think it’s pretty. I had to dip a portion of the hank into a Pyrex pan of one dye color, nuke, rinse, then start over with another color. Finally, I dunked both hanks into a “wash” of Cherry Red.
Overall, the affect was nice, except I totally tangled the two hanks of Cascade.