Saturday, May 18, 2013


Kool-Aid-dyed sock yarn
You might remember me mentioning my artist friend, Relene, who had given me Kool-Aid-dyed yarn that I'd recently knit into socks. Well, she'd also given me undyed sock-weight yarn, with the offer of showing me how to dye it.
Yesterday was the day and she arrived stocked with squeeze bottles and packets of unsweetened grape, ice blue raspberry, tropical punch, and lemonade. We let our yarn soak in warm water that had just a touch of dish washing liquid in it for 10 minutes. Carefully washed it in clear water and squeezed excess liquid out.

Meanwhile, we'd dumped 10 packets of each color into separate plastic cups, added water, and put them into the squeeze bottles with a bit more water. We put each skein into a container and began applying color, working the color into the fibers.

When we were satisfied with the look, we put the skein into a container, microwaved it for a minute, tested it with a paper towel to make sure no color came off, then set the color by immersing the skein in cold water.

Then we gently squeezed each skein and hung them outside to dry. For two skeins, I combined several colors, and then decided to stay with one color for two other skeins.

Apparently the vitamin C in the Kool-Aid makes it so the color adheres to the yarn. Personally I find it somewhat alarming that Kool-Aid is such a good dyeing material and am very happy not to drink it!
Our only error was not using rubber gloves, but Borax soap cleaned us up very well, followed by liberal applications of hand lotion. I prefer the Bee Bar by Honey House.

This was really fun to do. If you want to try it just make sure you get lots of Kool-Aid and don't water it down too much.


Reah Janise