27 March 2008

What you might call a dyeing tutorial.

I know it's been a long time since I've posted, but that's just how things have been going around here. I was gone for 5 days over the St. Patrick's Day weekend, and I still haven't recovered. Like, I'm still living out of my suitcase so to speak. Really it's my duffle bag.

All that said, I've been doing quite a bit of crafting. Even some dyeing!

kool aid mosaic

I dyed this with 9 different flavors/colors of Kool Aid: Cherry, Black Cherry, Strawberry, Grape, Orange, Lemonade, Lemon Lime, Ice Blue Lemonade, and Berry Blue.

Basically, what I did was soak the hell out of the yarn. Patons Classic Merino, if you wondered. I wanted the yarn to absorb as much colors as possible and not have any white blips, so I made sure it was really saturated with water. Then, I squeezed it out a little bit before I laid it out. That way when I painted the dye on it would be sucked up by the yarn. I
arranged it in the biggest pan I could find, which happened to be a metal roasting pan. I proceeded to paint it in rainbow order, mostly to avoid weird color muddiness. (i.e. red touches orange on one side and purple on the other.) I made my dye really concentrated (less than a cup of water to each packet) and just kind went crazy painting. I only painted enough on so that the yarn would absorb it; I didn't want a lot pooling in the bottom and thus mixing with other colors. I ended up with quite a few places where one color dripped onto another while I was painting and things like that. But they really give it character. (Expect some pictures of those spot when I photograph this yarn knit up.)
Once I was content with my painting job, I covered it with aluminum foil, stuck a meat thermometer in, and popped it in the oven at about 180°F. I left the oven on for about 20 minutes and then turned it off and left the yarn in there overnight to cool.

(eta: I used the knitty.com tutorials as references for this. There are a few good ones about dyeing with food color there.)

I'm super happy with this yarn. If I re-create it, I will add more blue. The darker color, Berry Blue which is consequently in the lighter package, came out great. I love it! I also would make at least part of the yellow darker, maybe by adding food coloring. But I like intense yellows. I've already got something knit up with most of this, and I'm trying to figure out what to do with the rest. I'm not normally into such bright colors, but hell, I did it myself!

I'm working on quite a few other things, including some secret gift knitting. And I am definitely open to suggestions about cute baby patterns. Everybody and their mommy-to-be is having a kid, it seems!


  1. fantastic dye job! Your yarn is one beautiful rainbow of colors. I knit the seed stitch baby jacket by Elinor Brown for Kailey and get many complements on it. And it was a quick knit too.

  2. I LOVE how saturated your colors came out. Your dyeing jobs are my inspiration. I hope mine come out just as beautiful. How many ounces/skeins did you dye at one sitting?