Friday, February 15, 2008

About to dye!

We have the flu here, so I've been playing nursemaid. I was okay until today, but I'm finally coming down with it too. Maybe I can finish that sweater?

I've been thinking of dyeing my own yarn for a while now, and I just ordered 6 skeins from knitpicks to get started. For now, I'm going to experiment with Kool-Aid dyeing and see how I do with that before trying acid dyes (if I try them at all).

I've been doing some research, and I thought you all might be interested in some yarn dyeing links too, whether you plan on using Kool-Aid or something else.
  • Knitpicks has a tuturial. Scroll down and click the free pattern download button.
  • Knitty also has one.
Both Knitty and Knitpicks cover the basics of Kool-Aid dyeing, but they both focus mostly on solid colors. Knitty talks a little about handpainting, but it's a bit too brief for me.
  • Fig and plum has some nice pictures of hand-painting.
  • And here's a tutorial on using Wilton's icing dye for yarn.
  • Although these are written for acid dyes, they are good instructions for doing handpaint in general.
  • Pea Soup shows how to dye with regular food coloring, and the skein in the pictures is too cute!
  • See Eunny Knit has a very good tutorial on tying off your yarn to make a self-striping yarn with regular stripe repeats.
  • And here's another tutorial on making your own self-striping yarn.
So, go a little crazy, pick some colors, and get to dyeing! I just ordered my yarn, so when it arrives, I'll be sure to post pictures of my work, and results.


JesieBlogJourney said...

Are you serious that you use Kool-Aid to dye? Hope you feel good to continue knitting.

I wish I can knit like you. I knitted two sweaters so far. But I have crochet many. Some of them are on my blog.

Lis said...

Cool list of tutorials. I've been thinking about trying some yarn dyeing myself but we don't have stuff like kool-aid here. I'll probably have to pick up some proper dyes.

Jo said...

Jesie, yep I'm serious. The "real" dyes tend to be toxic and harder to deal with. From what I understand, koolaid is colorfast once you're finished, but it may fade over time (especially in sunlight).

Since I tend to wear my socks, that's not an issue for me. I'll most likely wear them out before fading becomes an issue.

That's nice of you, but I still consider myself a relative beginner at knitting. I crochet too, and I'd like to see some of your sweaters. Can you post a link?

Jo said...

Lis, I think you can use any unsweetened powdered drink mix, if you have anything like that available.

I'd be glad to put some kool-aid packs in an envelope and send them to you. Just let me know if you're interested.

JesieBlogJourney said...

I have learned something here. I have a sensitive skin. Maybe I should learn to dye using Kool-Aid too.
Sorry, I checked that I posted only 2 pieces of my crochet work here. I have a couple of pieces in my closet and given many away. I have a simple piece which I knitted and will let you know when I have it posted. I could not find the other piece which I knitted.

Lis said...

I might be able to find some of that mix in the supermarkets. Thanks for the offer!

Jo said...


Wow, the dress is beautiful. I've never attempted anything like that!