Selma, her friend Elise and I did an experiment today with Kool-aid dyeing. Using some Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool and red (Fruit Punch) yellow (pineapple and mango) and blue (blue raspberry lemonade). We wanted to compare dyeing in the microwave to the “sun tea” method.

Following the general guidlines of Kristi’s Knitty article, we used ziploc bags for the “sun tea” dyes and glass dishes for the microwave… (a side note–after a cuple of hours, the baggies started to leak at the corners–maybe because of excessive inspection by the girls.) We twisted the yarn tightly to try and achieve a “tie-dye” effect, and used 1 packet of color for each small 25g skein. (The tie-dye worked better on some colors than others–overall we liked the effect, but decided we should twist the yarn more tightly next time.)

The results for microwave v. sun tea were suprisingly similar, with the exception of the Fruit Punch flavor. Each flavor took at least 10 minutes (2 minute intervals with time in between) in the microwave–we were amazed to watch the water turn clear. With all the microwaving and waiting and switching the colors, two of the sun tea colors (yellow and blue) were ready by the time we were done (maybe 90 minutes after they started “steeping”) as I write this, many hours later, the red water never turned clear. I may microwave it in the morning to see what happens. The depth of color was about the same for the yellow and the blue (we’ll have to wait and see about the red).

After the flavors cooled, we rinsed them and then washed them with a mild shampoo–all the colors were completely colorfast–I was surprised since I have hold many stories to the contrary from others–but perhaps it takes time for the color to start to run.

Elise and Selma and I want to try handpainting and striping next–today’s experiment was easy, fun and not even very messy (‘tho I would wear gloves next time–my fingers are still pink.)

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Cool Kool-aid

9 thoughts on “Cool Kool-aid

  • April 28, 2006 at 5:13 am

    I love dyeing wool. My next step is the self striping and the Jacquard acid dyes.

  • April 28, 2006 at 9:13 am

    What a fun experiment!

    Recalling the exchange you had with my mom on my blog (which was fabulous, btw), you won’t be surprised to know I never drank Kool-Aid as a kid. And I never wanted any as I grew up, either. Which makes me totally *not* grossed out that it dyes wool so well. But it does make me raise an eyebrow.

  • April 28, 2006 at 10:12 am

    So much fun! I did some KoolAid dyeing last year. Still need to knit up those skeins. That yellow is a perfect project for Project Spectrum! 🙂

  • April 28, 2006 at 11:50 am

    Yeah!! Consider it a new contribution to April’s project spectrum!!! (One that’s acutally completed unlike my feather and fan wrap 😉

    Kim–we never really had Kool-aid either growing up–but we *did* have the kool-aid man pitcher, so we must have had it occasionally… We normally made lemonade in that pitcher. I was big on lemonade stands–always the entrepreneur, you know.

  • May 3, 2006 at 12:39 pm

    ndsmells good

  • May 3, 2006 at 12:40 pm

    sorry i meant it smells good

  • May 3, 2006 at 12:41 pm

    your mom smells good

  • May 3, 2006 at 12:42 pm

    i’ve left 4 comments now!

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