Sunday, 17 April 2011

Kool-Aid dyeing in stages

First grab your yarn, and your kool-aid sachets. Choose your colours wisely ;)

I bought my kit from DT Crafts and this is their method. 

Unwind your skein of yarn. Posing it for a picture is optional.

Let the yarn soak for up to 45 minutes. This needs to happens so that the dye penetrates the wool completely, otherwise it goes blotchy. Depends what effect you're after I guess!

Note: This one just looks like spaghetti, my previous skein (90% alpaca, 10% nylon) looked like curly noodles after soaking!

Pour your kool-aid into an empty (clean) bottle. Note how the powder is white, yet magically turns blue when it touches water!! :)

Make up all the colours you need while the yarn is soaking. It doesn't take too long. 

These are Ice blue raspberry (blue), lemonade (yellow) and strawberry (red).

Take out the yarn from the water it's been soaking in, and squeeze the excess water. I squeezed a bit too much, and by the time I got to the second and third colour had to put some water back on it. A spray bottle might be an idea if you have one, to keep it damp. 

I'm awful at not tangling yarn while handling it! This is how not to do it! :)

Pour/dribble/drizzle/chuck your dye over the part of yarn that you want that colour. This time I did it in sections, the first time I dyed I did vertical stripes, which means very short colour repeats, and much more blending of the colours. Check underneath to make sure you don't have any white bits, and fill in the gaps if you don't want them. You can gently squeeze on the yarn to get the dye to move around a little more. 

Once you've done all the sections, you need to 'cook' it to fix the dye. The citric acid in the kool-aid just needs heating up. Scoop up your yarn and put it in a pot. Add water because it's really important that it doesn't boil dry. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

(You can also do this in a microwave - put in a microwave suitable container, add some water and heat on full power for 3-4 minutes in 30 second blasts. When I did the first one mine took longer, I wanted to be sure that it was bubbling!)

(You can also steam the yarn on the hob for 20 minutes, or for 5 minutes if using a microwave steamer.)

Just to show the almost finished object :)

Simmering away nicely :)

Take the pot off the heat and allow to cool. Once this is done rinse the yarn well - insects are attracted to the sweet smell of the kool-aid so make sure you double rinse it! 

Once rinsed, lay out flat to dry, you don't want gravity over-stretching your yarn and ruining it! 

Once dry, rewind into a skein until you want to wind it into a ball. It's better to leave yarn in a skein until you need to use it, as winding yarn into a ball puts tension on the yarn, stretching it. 

Have a lovely Sunday :) 


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