Sunday, July 13, 2008

My first dye job

This morning we gave kool-aid dyeing a whirl. It was great fun, but the 4-yr-old was only entertained through the first skein (of two). He did get to add in some color, his favorite--green!
I started off making long skeins. The length is about 5 feet. Last night I separated the giant 1/2 lb skein into 3 skeins (2 of them approximately 90 grams--enough for a pair of socks each, and the other approximately 50 grams). I worked on the two larger skeins today.

I got one of the skeins tied up, and put it to soak. Then I got my first batch of kool-aid ready. In my four jars I had the following envelopes:
3 pink lemonade
2 lemon-lime
1 grape
1 ice blue raspberry lemonade

and a bunch of water (I didn't measure it).

For the first skein, I place it in a square pyrex in a zigzag pattern. Then using a turkey baster I squirted the pink lemonade on one half of yarn (along the long part of the zigzag, to try to get some long color repeats). Then I did the rest of the yarn in the different colors. Along the way I realized that the color was not making it through to the bottom yarn. So I used another package of pink lemonade (4 total) and squirted it into the bottom.

I took a picture of the top and the bottom. You can see the bottom is paler.

The color was getting sucked up really fast, even with out heating. I did heat it for two minutes, squeezed some water out, then added some more kool-aid, until I finished all the kool-aid. Then I put it in the microwave for 3 minutes. I took it out, let it cool, rinsed it with eucalan, and hung it up outside to dry. Then I started the second one.

This time I used:

3 black cherry
3 mandarina-tangerine
2 strawberry
2 berry blue

and I placed the yarn in the pyrex in a spiral pattern. I squirted the black cherry on the middle, being careful to get some on the underneath yarn and the other colors on the edges. When it seemed like there was too much water in the pyrex I would give a zap, squeeze out some water (I used a wooden spoon) and then add more kool-aid. Again at the end, a 3 minute zap, cool, rinse, hang.

Here is what I've got. I'm pleased with the results. I will reskein when I have the energy. I want to see what it will look like in a skein. Lots of fun, no bad chemicals, no mess to speak of, and there is plenty more yarn and kool-aid where that came from.

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