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