Dying Fiber how to dye fiber with kool-aid and your stove
I started with the malabrigo yarn. Gorgeous. Soft. I could have used it just as is. I didn't do any math, but I wanted self-striping yarn. So I just made Vinh hold his arms out and wound the skein like that to get the longest possible distance. This was the only good way I had for winding it.
Before Vinh came home you should have seen me wandering around the apartment with a skein of yarn dangling from my arm while I tested different objects for their "yarn hanging" abilities. Sadly, I found none.
The yarn was soaked in vinegar and lukewarm water. Many sources recommended not using vinegar since the kool-aid was acidic enough, but some others recommended doing it anyway to make the colors bolder.
I wanted to do the microwave method. It seemed easiest and I did have two squirt bottles for handpainting. However, we did not have a microwave safe dish big enough for the yarn. Trust me, I tried to find one. I live in an apartment with three guys. They do not cook casseroles.
However, they do cook lots of soups. So I got out three pots and mixed the kool-aid dye.
The pots are ready to go (I have this weird quirk that everytime I want to type "pots" I type "posts" instead. So sorry if you see that word up somewhere). I wanted a dark red, vibrant green, and I was indecisive about the purple. A light purple, a dark purple, there were problems with each. I think in the end I should have left it out entirely.
I ended up using 4 packets of Cherry, 2 1/2 of Lemon-Lime, and 3 of Grape.
Kool-aid is very potent dye. I have heard of people dying their hair before with it. I covered the kitchen table with two trash bags to prevent spillage since the instructions said that kool-aid can dye wood, plastics, and your hands. But then I ended up mixing on the kitchen counter and had to use bleach and some elbow grease to get the cup rings off.
The yarn is in the pots. I left some white undyed yarn to act as a neutral color and to prevent bleeding. Many of the kool-aid dyed yarns I have seen on the internet look icky and very similiar to a mudpuddle or a child's crayon drawing.
Yarn is in the dye. I let it sit at a temp just below boiling to prevent agitation (and possibel felting).
The Yarn has now exhausted the dye and soaked it all up.
This is the pots after the yarn is taken out. Yes, there is still water in them, but all the dye is exhausted which is a very good dye session!
Colors are good. But the combination of a dark red and bright green might be too christmassy...and I probably should have substituted a blue for the grape.
the yarn was dry today. It was a bit felted in parts, but only to the point where you had to tease the strands loose from each other. It was probably the problems with temperature I had or the handwashing.