At least it was when I was a kid but now it seems it's sometimes for adults too. Adults with a yarn obsession and apparently too much time on their hands on a weekend.
This weekend was the perfect opportunity for me to finally mix up some Kool-Aid. I’ve been intrigued by all of the knitter/bloggers who've shared the results of their KA experiments and had been wanting to play around with it myself.
The unsuspecting victims…
I bought a couple of balls of sock yarn a few months ago. One was a bright green, which was going to be my 9-5 socks, until I messed up the pattern stitch and frogged them. By then I had realized while working on them, they were a bit too bright green, even for me, so dyeing seemed an obvious solution. The other ball was a grey and cream heather that was purchased with the intention of overdyeing. I also had another potential candidate, a $.50 second hand store find, a 50g ball of cream-colored Fortissima sock yarn.
Since I was starting with green, I realized my options to overdye it were pretty much limited to blue, blue, and more blue. My original vision was a intense blue-green, like the head of a mallard, that would sort of fade in intensity and to maybe even leave a bit of the original bright green peaking out. I had 2 types of blue KA, Berry Blue and Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade. I also found an old forgotten box of McCormick Neons food coloring, in the kitchen cupboard, that had a 1/2 bottle of blue left so I used that too.
I think I underestimated the amount of KA needed to get the intensity of color I was going for but overall as a first effort it's ok. I "painted" some sections with the Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade and some sections a less concentrated solution of Berry Blue.
The cream Fortissima went into a mix of the Berry Blue and Neon liquid food coloring and came out a bright turquoise. I threw my little extra piece of green in there and got a really deep shade. I sort of wish I had saved that color mix for the entire skein of green.
The grey/cream yarn came out a really pretty red. I used a mix of 2 packets of Tropical Punch and one packet of Black Cherry.
And just for the record, I went to AC Moore and bought a skein of Paton’s Classic Merino Wool in winter white so I could try mixing colors. Well, that experiment was, maybe not a resounding success, but I learned a few things for next time. I decided to try for some rosy pinks, some green and maybe an ecru, light brown combination. I did some little test strips (I used Black Cherry, Lemon-Lime and the deep pink from the box of Neons). The colors were feeling a little rainbow-ey to me and since there is no brown KA, I considered my options... coffee or tea?? I wanted to use tea but decided the coffee might give a better brown and tone down the bright crayon like colors of the KA. It wasn't looking too bad until I transferred the skein to the steamer pot and got a little running of the colors. But overall it's useable. Since this is a skein of handwash wool I think I'm going to make either house socks or a scarf out my experiment for me. I'm calling it Tea Rose, even though I used coffee.
So, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words and since I’ve got a few other things to still take care of today - even with the extra hour weekends go too fast, in a nutshell, it was fun!! Not too messy!! And I'll definitely try it again. If I get a chance I'll post the remainder of the pics on flickr if you're interested. Also there are numerous tutorials and blogs out there with great details, just google.
And I have a much greater appreciation for all those independent dyers out there. Not only does it take some creativity, it’s a lot of work and just one little oops and ...that wasn't exactly what I had in mind.
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