Wednesday, April 1, 2009

To Dye For

31mar09 red lambswool finished
This could become addictive!

31mar09 red lambswool phase1100% Lambswool sweater sleeves, thrifted. I first attempted to dye these as is. I knew I didn't have enough of the Black Cherry KoolAid I wanted to use, but went ahead, using just the 2 packages I had.

Phase 1:
31mar09 red lambswool phase2Not anywhere near the red/burgundy I wanted, but I already knew I wasn't going to achieve that color with just 2 packages.

I finally tracked down some more Black Cherry KoolAid (KA), and decided to skein the yarn instead of dyeing the knitted piece. Yesterday, I soaked the yarn in a large stainless stock pot (this method of dyeing is completely food-safe) and after at least 30 minutes, turned the heat on low. After the water was hot (never, ever boil) I added the first cup of dye solution (~½ c. hot water w/ 2 packets of the KA). After that exhausted, I added the second cup (same as before, but with 1 pk. of Wyler's Jammin' Berry added to the KA). Then, seeing that I wasn't getting the color I wanted, I threw in two packages of some way off-brand 10/$1 cherry. After it cooled a bit, I rinsed it and hung it up to dry.

Note: if you want to try this, please be aware that you can only dye animal-protein fibers with KoolAid. It will not permanently dye cotton, other plant fibers or man-made fibers. Please don't use this entry as a dyeing tutorial! There are some excellent ones online. In fact, if you're on Ravelry, there is a group devoted to dyeing yarn with KoolAid and food coloring, called "What a Kool way to Dye," and they have a large collection of links to online tutorials.