Sunday, November 4, 2007

Kool-Aid is for kids…

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.


  1. Beautiful Colors. You did great! Does the "son" really think you are crazy now?

  2. absolutely... the kool-aid definitely pushed him over the edge. lol!!!!

  3. Looks awesome!! That is exactly the kind of fun I want to have. :) After this crazy wedding next weekend I'm hoping to get time to have some Kool-aid fun. :) Thanks for giving me some inspiration!!

  4. Hey
    I forgot to ask...what are you plans for it? Also, did the son make concerned calls to his sisters about your dying yarn? or was he just rolling his eyes?

  5. Hello!! I've emailed you twice, maybe it's going into your spam filter, but you won the Clara Parkes book contest on my blog - PLEASE EMAIL ME or I will have to give it to someone else!!!