I tried dyeing with Kool-Aid for the first time a couple of years ago. I still have the skein, and probably the pictures (which I never posted on my old blog) from the process too, but it’s a bit of a green-blue-yellow mess that I’m not too proud of, so I doubt it’ll be making a Toshwood appearance.
Yesterday I felt the urge to have another go. For anyone not familiar with Kool-Aid (cue all Americans shouting WHAAAAAAT right now), it’s a drink mix powder that comes in little packets which you mix with water and sugar to get a violently coloured, super sweet, artificially tasting drink. Mmm. Not a big fan. The violently coloured part is what makes it work for dyeing, though. I won’t go into detail because there are tons of articles online (Knitty has a good one here), but basically all you need is Kool-Aid, yarn, and hot water.
I wanted to try making a gradient yarn and followed these instructions.
I used two skeins of Knit Picks Bare worsted weight, and eight packets of Kool-Aid: two each of Pink Lemonade, Black Cherry, and Grape, and one each of Berry Blue and Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade.
Attempting to soak the cake. Turns out it floats. Next time I will separate the cake BEFORE soaking it. Wet yarn cakes are really hard to pull apart; who’d’a thunk.
Yarn ready, Kool-Aid ready…
… hot water added…
… yarn added! I had some issues with white patches on especially the blue (another reason to pull the cake apart sooner) and had to poke at it a bit with a spoon, but mostly I just let them sit for five minutes until the dye was soaked up and the water was somewhat clear.
Yarn soup for dinner!
The other skein soaking up the dye. Reds seem to be easier than blues. (However, I DON’T recommend handling the grape stuff with your bare hands. It resulted in nails that looked like I’d been dead in a river for a week. I had to bleach my hands.)
I would love to lie and say that the skeining was smooth and easy. It took two people about two hours. Holy tangles, Batman.
The finished skeins drying in the bathroom. I’m quite pleased with how they turned out, even if everything didn’t go exactly to plan!2