Dying for the first time   13 comments

I did lots of blog-hopping last week, and followed up on something I first read about over at http://www.shemakeshats.com – dying yarn using KoolAid. And as I read, I learned that you could also dye using a crock pot. And then I saw chemknit’s youtube post on dying cake yarn to make symmetrical strands.

I put it all together and dyed cake yarn using KoolAid in the crock pot.

Here’s the thing – it is REALLY simple.

I started with this:
all the tools

The yarn is a Spud and Chloe wool/silk blend sock yarn I got from Webs at a steep discount (I think because it is a discontinued color) and is a nice off white that definitely has a yellow tint. As I had no real plans for it, I figured it would be good to experiment on.

and in the end, I had this:
finished product

In between, I learned lessons. Lots of them.

out of the pot

Chemknit showed how to wind a cake of yarn so that you basically have two repeats of the colorway. I figured if 2 is good, 4 is better. So it would be, if it weren’t for that whole spinning thing. She blithely says “untwisting as you go” as she winds it into skeins. Well, adding that extra doubling when making the cake added so much to the twisting that it took me FIVE HOURS to get it apart so I could wind a new cake.

I was chicken to try many color combos (fearing muddy brown), and blue is always good, so I went with just using one color, but wanting it to not dye the whole thing, so that the original color would show through. Good thing that was my aim, I have to say. I did not read until after I was home from the store about how much KoolAid it takes to really saturate the yarn. I did use some vinegar (1 cap full for each cup of water) and blue food coloring to intensify the color – one drop for every cup of water. I used one envelope of blue raspberry lemonade for each skein.

SO – I do love how it came out – I can’t wait to knit it up. But it is third or fourth in line of planned projects. You will see more of it, I am sure.

Meanwhile, lessons learned –

Don’t make the cake 4 strands thick – it is too hard to unwind. Two would be mildly annoying. 4 was downright horrible. The second cake went better, but it still took a couple of hours and was annoying to unwind inches at a time, untwist, unwind a few more inches for 250 YARDS.

DO get extra KoolAid.

The water really does get clear!!!! I did not really believe it.

DO not unwind it all with kittens present. While they were obedient about not playing with it, they really wanted to, and it was hot and frustrating and not fun for any of us, so next time, I will wait until they are asleep. Why should they be as frustrated with the twirling strands as I was?

DO try it, it is very fun and I am looking forward to seeing what boring yarn I might have in my swatch that I can spark up. I think I am ready for multiple colors….

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13 responses to “Dying for the first time

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  1. That is a beautiful color. What do you think you will make from it? Sounds like a lot of work. As long as you are satisfied with it.

    • I originally thought sox, but might change that to a shawl.

      Except the unwinding, it was not hard at all – just mix it up, put it in the crock pot on low with the cover on and leave it for a few hours. I just won’t double wind the cakes next time!

  2. I’ve been wanting to try that too! Pretty color.

    Kathryn Rubidoux
  3. Looks lovely! I like it when others learn/share annoying lessons before I do — thanks for that 😛

    • Glad to do it! I would also recommend a cooler day, as running a crockp[ot full of water when it is 90 and humid might not have been the smartest thing I did that day. 🙂

  4. Wow! It’s gorgeous!

  5. Sounds like a lot of work, but they turned out lovely. Can’t wait to see what you create with them.

  6. I’ve done this and loved the results. Great colors!

    • thanks! I will definitely be doing more of it. Just have to go see what is in my stash that could be a better color. 🙂 Have to make the investment in the second crock pot worth while, right? 🙂

  7. The yarn turned out very pretty, I like the colour of it! Thanks for sharing your adventures:)

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