Friday, February 29, 2008


I'm titling this peice "Obituary". Isn't that what's written after you dye?

I spent last night finishing Justin's hat (see previous post for pattern details), which turned out rather well. The two circ needles kept humming along, and shortly before 11 PM I was doing a three needle bindoff on the top bit, which was interesting in itself. Having a row of stitches on one circ, and another row on the other, I just used the other end of one of the circs to make my "third" needle and wahhh lahhh! I love these little discoveries! It's what keeps me knitting.

During cigarette "breaks" last night I was reading up on dying in the Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook, which I wished now I hadn't done, since it only served to confuse me. I started thinking maybe I would need PH test strips and such. So after I finished my hat, I got on the computer and read up on Kool aid dying and found out that not only do I not need PH test strips, but even vinegar isn't nescessary, as Kool aid is naturally acidic. The very best infomation that I got was from this article on

So this morning I woke up with practically every bit of housework I should have been doing for the past two days still waiting to be done and armed with the knowledge of how to do some Kool aid dyeing. Needless to say, the dyeing came first, or at least, it took precedence. One has to be creative, so I did bits of housework in between dyeing steps.

Wednesday I went to the LYS and bought some Te Awa Natural Wool, a white to cream color 8 ply, a natural 100% wool in the natural color, as the name implies. Considering it was 200g worth, a fine NZ wool, and bought at a small town yarn shop, the price wasn't too dear.

Today, the first thing I did was soak the wool. It said on knitty at least 20 minutes, but I soaked mine for an hour while I picked up the house, did a bit of laundry and culled some emails. Then I mixed the Kool aid packets per the instructions on Knitty. I had Now I had about 4 different sets of instructions from various places, but I decided I was only confusing myself, so I was forced to pick one.

I had 10 grape (purple to black), 10 orange, 10 strawberry (primary red) and 1 generic clover leaf lemon flavored (yellow). Mom had included the yellow to see if it worked, so I mixed it as well, although it wasn't enough to go very far, I figured I could use it for sort of an accent. I threw a garbage bag on the kitchen table and poured the orange mixture into a water bottle with a pour spout and started dying.

I just kept it simple, and kept the colors compatible. I started at one end with the orange, then squirted on what little bit of yellow I had. Then I went to red, then solid grape, then a mixture of the red and the purple, then red again, and then orange, then a bit more watered down orange. Frankly, I loved the results, which is funny considering a post I wrote a few months ago was all about how I hate the loud psychedelic colored yarn. I guess the love comes when you do it yourself. See, I'm still learning.

After I got the colors "painted" on, I stuck the whole thing into a plastic tupperware type containter, put plastic wrap over the top, and nuked the stuff for 4 minutes in my less than powerful microwave. I took it out, and some of the purple was still bleeding, so I let it cool a bit and then stuck it back in the microwave for another two minutes.

I layed it back out on the table, spread the bits apart to check and see if I missed any bits (see the yellow??? Generic WORKED!). I hadn't, all bits were coated. So I left it on the table to cool slowly down to room temperature and then once again gave the entire skein a bath in lukewarm water. Then I hung the skein over the faucet to my laundry room sink to dry.

No felting, no major mess in my kitchen, nothing other than my hands and forarms dyed that wasn't supposed to be. I wore gloves, but fat lot of good it did me! The dye just seeped in around the wrist. I've since showered though, and all that remains is a bit of red on the pad of my left hand.

I'm writing this some 4 hours after the initial dyeing, and it's still not quite dry. The colors have became a bit (but only a bit) more muted, which is a good thing considering how extreme they were when dying. This was to be expected, and as far as I'm concerned, it's a good thing.

My fingers are itching to knit with my dyed wool already, and talk about a bonus, the yarn has a lovely fruity scent that's going to make knitting it that much more sweet. Now all I have to do is find a recipe for some easy peasy 8ply socks. I wonder if Chris will like these colors?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fabolous!! I am really amazed at the outcome of your "dyeing"! I will pick up the 10 pkgs of blue berry koolaid from Sheri, and I already have another 40 or more packs ready to send, but will add some of the "10 cent ea." generic packages, and hope it gets there in record time as the last one! Can't wait to see how it looks on a finished product!

Justins hat looks great. He will absolutely love it! I wear mine all the time! It is wonderful for my "bad hairdo days" LOL

Keep'er going and here is what I think should be your new motto

Love, MOM