Have Ewe Any Wool?

Friday, July 31, 2009

Adventures in Dyeing

This summer, I tried Kool-Aid dyeing again as part of my Monthly Adventures swap. I had a fabulous time with this one. The exchange involved dyeing a skein of yarn to match your partner's preference in both yarn weight and colors. My exchange partner's request was for sock yarn and her suggestion for the colors was "a field of tulips".

I started thinking....hmmm, I need a canvas, not just a lowly skein. Then I remembered that Plymouth yarns had sock blanks called "Happy Choices". These are pre-knit "scarves" in sock weight yarn. You can either dye it and use it as a scarf or dye it an unravel it to knit a pair of socks. I thought it was absolutely perfect for this project. (You can see an example of the "Happy Choices" sock flat in action in a previous post, Interesting Socks.)

I decided that the perfect tulip colors would be yellow, orange, and red. I also needed green for the stems. It was a bit difficult to find the green - only one out of 4 grocery chains happened to have the green Kool-Aid in stock!

The recipe for dyeing that I used was as follows:

  • Soak the sock blank in warm water while preparing the dyes.
  • Prepare the dye:
1/4 cup of vinegar
1/2 cup warm water
2 packets of Kool-Aid

Combine all ingredients and mix well
  • I then took the green dye and "spooned it" onto the "canvas". I gently pressed the dyed area with the spoon to make sure the dye soaked through to the back.
  • I repeated this process with the yellow dye
  • Next I applied the orange dye.
  • Finally I applied the red dye.

  • I then went back and "filled in" all the blank spots with yellow. I also flipped it over and applied dye to try to ensure that all parts of the "canvas" were dyed.
  • Then I finished it off by wrapping it in plastic and microwaving it for two minutes, letting it stand for two minutes, and then microwaving it again for 2 minutes.
  • The final result is shown below.


I was quite pleased with how it turned out! Kool-Aid dyeing is definitely a great way to try your hand at dyeing. The only "down side" is that the colors are not lightfast. I finally have special pots - specifically for dyeing - so I can now move on to other types of dyeing as well.


  • At 12:08 PM, Blogger Lizardknits said…

    Very Pretty! Can't wait to see the finished tulip socks.

  • At 5:40 AM, Blogger LenaL said…

    How great! It really looks fun, sooner or later I just have to try it.


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