Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cherry Sheep

What do you get when you mix fruity scented Kool Aid and wool yarn? Something that smells really cherry sheep! It's not a good combination!

But, you also get some pretty yarn...

I played around with Kool Aid dying last weekend for the first time. I've seen yarn dyed this way by fellow knitters for a couple years now. I'm not sure what took me so long to try it. It's easy, quick, cheap and fun!

I found some directions on Knitty. For yarn, I used an eight ounce skein of Lyon Brand Fisherman's Wool in the natural color. I split it into two four ounce skeins, tied them, washed, rinsed and soaked them. Meanwhile, I mixed 3 packages of black cherry Kool aid, 1 cherry, 1 pink lemonade, and 2 lemonade in a pot with some water. I placed the yarn in the pot, added water to cover the yarn (although, it kind of floated), turned on the heat, stirred and pressed the yarn down occasionally, and let it cook until it was almost boiling and the water was clear. That was the amazing part...the water became CLEAR! From deep, dark, red to clear! At that point, I turned off the heat, allowed it to cool down and washed and rinsed it in water that was the same temperature so I wouldn't shock and felt it. Then, I squeezed out the water and hung the yarn to dry.

The directions called for one package of Kool Aid for each ounce of yarn. Being the stubborn person that I am, I only used seven packages for my eight ounces of yarn and it turned out a lot lighter than I had hoped. But, it is very pretty. It has some variation in it too. Some of that might be from the skeins being thick and the color not getting all the way into the sections that were tied (even though they were kind of loose). I'm not sure about the extra dark parts or how to avoid that next time. I'm hoping the variation will add to the "prettiness" factor when it's knitted up.

I'm excited to try this again. There are so many possibilities!


Dave Daniels said...

So, is that what you call sheep dip?
Be warned, it starts with the KoolAid...and then next thing you know, you've got an online business!

jomamma said...

That's almost the same color I got when I used all that Tropical Punch flavor Koolaid on the alpaca. I tried dying some flax yarn with grape... don't do it. It didn't take as well as my alpaca and now that it's dry it's go dark places in it. I also put my Koolaid in a small water glass and put a little water with it to get it completely wet, then poured it into my pot of hot water and yarn. That way I knew there weren't any dry lumps mixed in with the yarn. I'm going to go through all my wool this summer and see what I can work a change of color in.

Sandra said...

fun, isn't it? I did a little Koolaid dying a while ago, but I'm not sure mine turned out as nice as yours! It's amazing how the small colour variations knit up - I think it's very pretty to have alittle variation - hope it turns out nice.

Benita said...

I think some variation in the color makes yarn far more interesting than a uniform solid color. I think the color is very nice, sort of like stawberry Starbursts.

evergreenknits said...

Looks beautiful! Dyeing with Kool-Aid is so fun and fruity, I totally agree!

Anonymous said...

How fun! I have Koolaid dyed yarn before but I did mine in the microwave oven. If you want to make varigated yarn, the microwave is a good option. I haven't done this in I want to dye some sock yarn. Maybe I'll pick up some yarn and dye this weekend!

Thank you for sharing.