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First, the yarn needs to soak in cold water until it blooms. I let it soak for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour. The yarn gets fatter and opens up which helps it take up the dye. You need to get some (but not all) of the water back out before you put the yarn in the dye or the dye on the yarn, but it needs to be wet before you start.


Start with several sqeeze bottles or pop up topped water bottles for mixing and applying dye. We put two packages of Koolaid in each bottle with about a cup to a cup and a half of hot water. The hot water is only necessary to help disolve the Kool Aid.


You probably want to use rubber gloves while doing this as Kool Aid will not only dye the yarn, it will dye your fingers and anything you are wearing or spill it on. For so

me reason, the dye only needs to be heat set on the yarn, everything else takes it quite nicely without heat.

Since the dye does stain everything it touches, we usually dye outside on a tarp (a large heavy duty garbage bag slit up one side). Lay the yarn down on a plastic bag or some saran wrap and start squirting your dye from the bottles where you want it to be. Be sure that you sqeeze the yarn to get the dye all the way thru and when you think you are done, turn the hank over and check the backside for white blotches. At the same time, try not to get too much of the dye liquid on the yarn or it will all run together and make a mess.


You can either wrap the painted hanks in saran wrap to keep the colors seperate or just place them in pyrex baking dishes for heating. The
methods are very similar to acid dyes, but with acid dyes, any implements you use become dyeing only and can never be used for food again. If you are using kool aid, the pyrex can go back in the kitchen cupboard when you're done.

As I said, either wrap the entire hank of yarn in saran wrap or put it in a pyrex dish. If you put it in the pyrex dish, you want to cover that with saran wrap to keep the moisture in with the yarn. If the yarn is too dry, it will burn and sometimes catch on fire.

Microwave the yarn for 2 minutes on high and then let it rest for two minutes. Then you repeat that process - until all the dye is absorbed and any water is clear. I usually microwave for two minutes at least 3 times, sometimes 4, with two minute rests between.

 

Now comes the hard part. You just leave the yarn sitting in the pyrex until it is completely cool. We folded a couple of loads of laundry and it was still pretty warm. You need to leave it until it is COMPLETELY cool.

 

Then you get to take it out and see what it looks like.

 

Lastly, you rinse the yarn. The water should run clear if the dye was all absorbed.  Then you hang your hanks to dry.

 

 

More patterns at:  http://ourknitalong.blogspot.com/