how to: dye yarn with koolaid

So if you're a fiber fiend, you know the good stuff is expensive. Consequently, I'm always checking thrift store and yard sales for  bits of good yarn. I found this stuff at a thrift store in Ohio: three skeins of four ounces each of virgin wool. The "100% wool" designation is important; you can't dye artificial fibers (but why would you want to waste time on THAT???). So anyway, I liked this yarn, and it's a decent color, but I knew it wasn't something I would ever actually wear. So to make it usable, I had to dye it. You can buy acid chemical dyes, but they're expensive and messy. Also: I wanted to get knitting on this stuff right away! (Side note: you know those packets of Rit dyes at the grocery store? You don't want to mess with those, apparently. You use different types of dyes for cottons and wools, and Rit dye is half of one and half of the other to enable use on everything. So basically half of it is washing right down the drain.) Enter Koolaid! You know those little packets of flavored chemicals? Yep, the make a great dye. I've tried them before, and I decided that over-dying this turquoise with purple could yield a decent result. If it didn't work, well, I'd pick up chemical dye and turn it black. 
Knitpicks suggests using 1 packet of dye per ounce of yarn; I used all 20 packets for the 12 ounces that I had. 

I rewound my yarn into big loops, and loosely tied them in at least two places with bits of yarn. That way the dye would saturate everything. 

Best thing about using koolaid: it's foodsafe. So my largest pot got filled with water and I stirred in the powder. The cat found this to be a most intriguing smell. Benefit to dying with koolaid: your whole house smells of GRAPES. 

I've heard that you're supposed to saturate your yarn with water before you submerge it so that it takes the dye evenly, but I didn't do that. I just plunged the yarn into the water, poked it thoroughly, and put the whole thing on the stove. Heat the water to just below boiling, pull off the heat, cover, and let sit until cool. Then pull your yarn out and rinse it thoroughly. 

If your yarn has absorbed all possible color, the water left in the pot will be nearly clear. 

I looped my yarn over hangers and let it dry completely. 

Voila! Lovely purple yarn! It definitely has a bit of a mottled color, which is what I wanted; I didn't want a solid bright purple sweater that would make me look like Grimace
So. Now I have a stack of purple yarn! Yay! Now I just need to decide what to do with it. 


faith said…
Jared told me once that he used to dye his hair for basketball games and stuff, during high school, with Koolaid. I've never tried it. ha ha. It'd be funny to walk around smelling like grape all day.

PS. The yarn looks awesome.
Christy said…
That is so cool - I had no clue one could even do that! I LOVE that final purple color - it's beautiful!!
Porkchop said…
So pretty! But you know I adore anything purple.

I think you should make yourself something fabulous. Because I think there is a decided lack of purpleiciousness in your life.
*tiffany* said…
You are amazing and creative! I want to come hang out and dye yarn!!!
Lillie said…
Very NICE!!! i think i am gonna try this very soon

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