Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"Kool Aid Dyeing....."

I wanted to insert my first experience with dyeing some of my hand spun yarn before going on to our Des Moines trip. I'll continue with that tomorrow.

Before leaving on our trip, I had ordered a "skein winder" from Crazy Monkey Creations, in Colorado Springs, CO. Of course, it did not arrive until after we'd left. I have been anxious to skein up some of my 2 ply yarn from off of the bobbins, so that I could know exactly how many yards of it I had spun, and also to try dyeing it.

My first thing to do on Monday, was to transfer the 2 ply yarn from the 2 bobbins that I had plied them onto, to the skein winder. I had spun 530 yards of white 2 ply yarn (1060 yards of singles, which translates into 3180 feet of spun singles!) . I kind of was impressed with the numbers. :)

Here is my new skein winder and my first 2 skeins of correctly measured and tied skeins......

When dyeing with Kool Aid, there are 2 ways you can go about it....stove top, or microwave. I chose the microwave. You soak your wool to be dyed in water, then transfer it to a container that you have already mixed the Kool Aid into and fill with water to cover the wool. This was my 1st batch to be dyed. It is called Berry Blue (unsweetened!). The bowl is then heated on high for 2 minute intervals, let sit for 2 minutes, and this process is repeated until the water in the bowl is clear and all of the dye is soaked up into the wool.

I didn't process this 1st dye batch long enough, as you can see by the still blue water, but it was sufficiently long enough to dye the wool a beautiful blue.

My 2nd dye color was Lemon Lime. In this photo, you can see the wool soaking in water while I mix the color in another container.

After the color is mixed with water, the soaked wool is then laid into the container and covered with the color mixture. If you are planning on trying this method, DO NOT follow my example of using your hand to push the wool into the mixture......I had a slight green tinge left on my skin and nails after doing this. Of course, the directions I followed also said not to do it, but I "was in the moment", I guess..... :)

After heating this batch for the appropriate time (meaning the water was clear again and all of the dye was in the wool), it is taken out, washed with soapy water, rinsed, and hung to dry.

Notice the water is clear?

My 2 finished, newly dyed skeins of 2 ply yarn. I'm not sure what I am going to knit from them as yet. Any suggestions?


Barb said...

WOW! Beautiful! I'm breathless.

On the subject of dyeing, Kim and Andrew are growing a plant in their garden that they refer to as "fake spinach". We are eating the leaves (yum!) and apparently the stems and flowers are good for dyeing. The stems are a lovely deep red and apparently the blossoms will be purple. Kim says the plant is a perennial in the south but not hardy enough to over-winter here. We'll happily harvest the stems and flowers for you if you want to try dyeing with them.

Oh, and the mulberry stain stayed, so that's another dyeing opportunity. :)


MollyBeees said...

I haven't been reading blogs lately so I haven't been up on your adventures. Now I can't WAIT to koolade dye! What happens when you wash a garment that's been made with Koolade dyed yarn? Does the dye come out a little each time? OR do you have to set it with something. I also read about someone putting small amounts of Wilton Cake decorating colors and water in ketchep and mustard bottles to paint multicolors. So many projects, so little time!