Here we go with another challenge from Walmart–make something fun with Kool Aid! I knew immediately what project I wanted to try: Dyeing Yarn!
That’s right–for years I have been seeing tutorials online about dyeing yarn different colors using Kool Aid powders. This was just the incentive I needed to finally try it. First off I did some research to decided exactly how I was going to go about this. I decided to basically follow the tutorial I found at the “Do Stuff–Leethal Blog“. She dyed plain white wool and turned it into a cool variegated yarn in her crockpot.
From what I read, you must have something made from animal fiber in order to use Kook Aid as a dye. So wool, alpaca, human hair (yes-that’s how the teens are all dyeing their hair bright pink). Something like that. I chose to use a 100% wool yarn–you probably could get decent results with something that had at least 90% wool and 10% something else.
This being my first shot and, frankly, having limited time I decided to go with a single color–lemon lime for a green shade. (note to see all the various shades you can get from Kool Aid flavors check out Knitty.com’s Dyed in the Wool article) Also I decided to use a gray and white twist rather then solid white. After all you can buy green yarn easily, you can’t buy green and gray twist.
Now if you try to dye the yarn in a skein like it comes in from the store you might not get good penetration of the color. It is recommended that you rewind the yarn into a loose hank. I used one of my directors chairs (with the back off) to wind mine. Be creative–and if all else fails draft a child to stand their with their arms out
I used a couple of short pieces of yarn and tied the hank loosely.
I took out my trusty slow cooker, filled it with warm water, stuck the yarn in and turned it on to low. I probably gave the yarn about 10 minutes to soak and heat up.
Then I had my beautiful assistant pour the Kool Aid powder in while I photographed. We wound up using 3 packages. If there had been a 4th in the house I probably would have tossed it in as well.
I very gently swished the yarn back and forth to distribute the Kool Aid powder throughout the water. Remember–the way you felt wool is to agitate it in hot water. You do not want felt here, so don’t go overboard!
Let the yarn soak with the crockpot on warm for about a half hour, then check it. When the water is clear then the yarn has soaked up all the color from the dye!
The directions I read said to leave the yarn in the water until it had cooled to room temperature. I was impatient so I poured it out into my colander. Then I rinsed it with hot water. You want to rinse the wool with water that is an equal temperature to it. Then just set the colander somewhere to drain. At this point to not squeeze or twist the yarn–you don’t want to felt anything.
When the yarn has cooled and drained gently squeeze it to get out as much water as possible. Then hang it up to dry overnight. Don’t forget to put a towel or something under it to catch the drips. Your bathroom or shower might be a better place to do this. I noticed when I hung mine up that there were a few spots that did not get dyed. This was from the innermost yarn in the hank. I think that if I had used a 4th packet that might not have happened. If it had really bothered me I would have redone the process with more Kool Aid–but honestly, I just figured it would give it a bit of variation.
When it is all dry it’s time to wind it back into a ball for knitting or crocheting. If you try to use it from the loose hank you will have a huge mess. Trust me. I found a great tutorial that showed me how to make a center pull ball of yarn using a paper towel tube.
To show you all how it looks knit up, I started a scarf for Princess. She loves lime green, so this will be a nice warm winter scarf for her. It will be one of a kind–just like she is!
I think next time I try this I’ll make a variegated yarn. Maybe I can combine my goal to knit socks this winter with another dyeing session. . .
Oh, and I don’t want to forget to let you know– Kool-Aid is running a fun contest this summer–the Kool Aid Creation Contest. To enter you just make your own Kool-Aid creation and upload a photo at see.walmart.com/summercreations. Enter before August 6, 2013, and you could win meet & greet passes and tickets to a Big Time Rush concert!
Want to see what some of the other Walmart Mom’s did with this Kool Aid Challenge?
Unsophisticook made a no bake Kool Aid Pink Lemonaid Pie, Mommy’s Kitchen made Homemade Kool Aid Ice Cream (note: no ice cream maker required!), Freelance Homeschool Mom did Preschool Kool Aid Painting, and Wholesome Mommy did Kool Aid Water Colors, A Cowboy’s Wife whipped up some Orange Kool Aid Crumble dessert, Hoosier Homemade created Kool Aid Snow Cone Syrup, Mom Advice whipped up Kool Aid Slushies, The Domestic Diva made Homemade Snow Cones, and Cutie Booty Cakes made some Kool Aid Lip Gloss!