Dyeing yarn with Kool Aid: My newest obsession

We all have our obsessions, those things we involve ourselves in that have nothing to do with anything–not making money, not what others want us to do–that give us pure joy. My latest is dyeing yarn. I love playing with color and texture–because writing is black on white?–and right now, dyeing yarn is it. And when I learned (from Ravelry and websites you’ll find if you Google “dye yarn with Kool Aid”) that you can dye yarn with Kool Aid and food dyes, I became excited. I use to think you needed to use toxic dyes to do this, meaning all different equipment. But no. You can use whatever is in your kitchen.

Here’s how I did it, using a crockpot (microwaves come in handy, I hear, but I don’t have one).

Kool Aid dyeing only works on animal fiber yarn, apparently. So take a skein of yarn (I used Lamb’s Pride Brown Sheep worsted, natural). It can’t be in a cake or ball but in a long slinky hank. Soak it overnight. Then, fill your crockpot with enough water that the yarn will be covered with dye bath.

Lay in the yarn, cover it and turn it on high.

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When bubbles gather under the lid, it’s time for your dye bath.

Dissolve Kool Aid in hot water. I used two packets at first of Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade and then added another because the dye bath didn’t look blue enough. Pour it over the yarn. You don’t need to add vinegar as you would with food dye (to make the dye set) because the acid in Kool Aid makes the dye catch in the wool.

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Set the timer for an hour. At the end of the hour, turn off the crock pot and let the water cool. If you can’t wait, at least wait till the wool is cool enough to handle. Rinse in water that’s the same temperature, otherwise you will felt the wool.

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Hang to dry. Voila! Beauteous yarn, and it smells good!

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