Friday, July 4, 2008

First Dyeing

I dyed some yarn today for the first time. I have to say it was easier and less messy than I expected and overall, pretty fun! If you're interested, here's what I did (and what I might do differently next time.)

You'll need...

  • One skein of yarn. I used KnitPicks bare 100 percent peruvian wool (fingering weight).
  • Kool Aid. 2-3 packs of each color you plan to use. I used 3 lemon lime, 2 orange, 2 lemonade, 2 strawberry, 3 ice blue raspberry lemonade
  • One quart glass jar for each color you intend to use
  • Some dish cloths/towels
  • A large pot or pan that all the jars will fit in
  • Scrap yarn
  • Rubber gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Collander

First step is to wind your yarn into a larger skein. Mine was about 12 feet in circumference (roughly.) Some people measure out some sock yarn they already have and like and figure out the length of each repeat that way. I just wound my yarn around the backs of two kitchen chairs and used the scrap yarn to tie it in 5 sections of unequal length.

When your yarn is tied off and ready, put a towel in the bottom of your pot and put your jars in the pot, on the towel (it will help keep them from breaking). You're going to heat the jars double-boiler style, but that comes later. For now, fill each a little over half-way with tepid water and add the koolaid.

Fill the pot with tepid water so the jars are surrounding. Now, get your yarn, decide which colors you want where and start shoving sections down in the koolaid water. Note, this is where rubber gloves will come in handy!

If you're like me and forgot that part until it was too late, a sugar/oil scrub will remove most of it!

Use a spoon or your fingers, and push the yarn down into the koolaid mixture. Turn on the stove and heat the water (slowly!).

It took about half an hour, but most of the dye will be absorbed by the yarn when it's finished. For mine, the yellow and orange finished in about 15 minutes. The water turned a milky shade, but it was obvious that the yarn had most of the dye, not the water.

The green and blue took a little longer, and the red (strawberry) never did clear up. Next time, I may try just one pack of that rather than two since it's such a strong color.

When the yarn is finished, take it off the heat and let it cool back down to room temperature.

When the yarn cools, give it a quick, gentle rinse under tepid water. Hang it to dry, and there it is!


Jean9 said...

This is very interesting. I would never have thought that cool aid could dye yarn.

Jo said...

I read it somewhere, and I would have thought it might wash out, to be honest. The heat sets the dye though, so other than normal fading, it's colorfast.

I'll post pics when I start knitting it up.

Matthew S. Urdan said...

OK, but will the yarn colors be colorfast, and will it attract insects?

My Mother might be very interested in this!


All, it's Sunday and I'm catching up on comments for the week. This is in response to your comment on my post: Digg This: Making the Most of Digg w/ EntreCard.

Thank you very much for your comments and the response to this post. It's been very gratifying and a great validation.

CLARIFICATION: At this time I also want to let everyone know that it is perfectly OKAY TO SUBMIT YOUR OWN POSTS TO DIGG. We have verified that with content on the Digg site. See the post above for details.

Pam--Thank you. Yes, spam is in the eye of the beholder, but I think we can agree that we don't want to receive shouts to digg posts such as: Today is Thursday. My dog died. I'm very sad. Plus my husband just beat me again.

You know what I mean...the ordinary and the content that just really can't be considered quality material appealing to a wide general audience.

Susanne--thank you. And thanks for raising the issue of submitting your own posts. But as Ken pointed out, Digg says it's perfectly acceptable. Digg does recommend that posts submitted do appeal to a wide audience.

The shout situation seems to be improving. Either everyone removed me from their friends list, or people have mostly received the message. I hope the latter. Because I did remove one friend today for shouting out about the same post 6 times. I buried his post and defriended him--nice verb, btw: defriend: what a horrible thing to do to someone. I guess I'm just a horrible guy. ;)

the judge--Thank you so much! I've favorited you on entrecard now, so I should be stopping by every day. thanks for the kudos and the tip about the bury command--see my comments to Susanne above.

luckygirl--Again, thanks for the kind words, and again--it's cool to submit your post to Digg. If everyone on entrecard does this right after they make the post, it really will make it easier for all of us to digg posts we want to while we are dropping entrecards. And as has been clarified, it's a practice acceptable to Digg.

Tasha--again, I'm not sure what you're asking. Feel free to call me on my cell--I did forward you my number. I'm not some internet predator that's going to follow you down and stalk you, really. Wait, there was that one time.... No, really. ;)

ellumbra--what a very interesting name you have there! That's an awesome way to put it--a shout is like a salesman visiting your door. Most of us aren't buying. That's why the salesmen that stop by should be very good salesmen with a very good product to sell in your post you're shouting about.

Patricia--my pleasure, glad I could help. But I gotta warn you, if you photocopy the print out of my post and start distributing it I'm going to have to cry copyright infringement on you and call my ambulance chasing cousin to chase you down and collect $0.38 in royalty fees.

Brad--thanks for stopping by and commenting here, and on my post Celebrating 10 Years of Rafting. I wish there was an active link to your blog or your email address so I could visit your blog. Please, the next time you stop by, leave a URL or at least a calling card where I could find you. Glad you found my posts informative and useful, and I welcome you as a reader.

Amy--just like I said to Tasha, call me. Just like I said to Tasha, you have my phone number so use it and call me if you want help. I'm not an internet stalker...except for that one time...but I'm reformed now. REALLY! No really, I'm a mensch! ;)

Jo, my pleasure! The ones that are asking for reciprocal diggs are going to find that they will be defriended by other digg users. But I think this is partly Graham's fault. On EntreCard, we have a culture of reciprocity. Graham didn't do a very good job of explaining what all of us were getting into on Digg. I think he assumed we were all rather literate internet social-networkers, and as we have discovered, that is a bad assumption. You know what they say about people who assume, right? ;)

Cindi--you're welcome. Like you, I'm very selective. You can see what I choose to digg in the digg widget I put in my left sidebar. Those posts will stay there a long time because I'll really be surprised if I ever digg more than two or three stories a day in addition to my posts--which, like Monday's post which is more or less just an announcement, I will not be digging at all.

Bill--thank you. Yes, change your behavior. Honestly, who has time to reciprocate on every digg? Even if the diggs being solicited for are for great content? It's like dropping 300 cards every day. Time is a commodity in short supply. It should be worth $4.09/gallon. Or something like that. But reciprocating every digg is just bad policy. It's giving a stamp of approval on content that might not deserve it, and probably doesn't. I think each of us would be hard pressed to produce more than one post of really worthy quality a week. Unless you're like Ken Armstrong.

Ken--are you looking for a job as my research assistant? Because you've got the position if you want it, Mate! Great find validating user submission of their own posts on Digg.

A--thanks for the validation of Ken's find. Yep, I turned off email notification within half a day of having 200+ friends. What a disaster that was. There needed to be better information passed along. Ah well, we're in a good place now. Thanks for stopping by!

Cheers everyone!

Jo said...

No, I don't think there's a problem with insects -- remember you dye with just koolaid, no sugar!

The yarn does have a mild koolaid scent at first, but that dissipates in a day or so.

Shelley Kang (Heathen Housewife) did some experiments with her kool-aid dyeing and found that it is pretty colorafast. I think there's some nominal fading, but these are socks, and they're likely to wear out quicker than they fade, in my opinion.

I'm not interested in trying some of the acid dyes -- they're just too difficult to use and potentially toxic.

You can buy other safe dye choices; food coloring and vegetable dyes are two. Check out your local craft store to find things that are easy and non toxic to use.

...and she lived... said...

How beautiful! I've always wanted to try that! I can't wait to see it knitted!