Friday, October 14, 2011

Dyeing with Kool-aid

Back in the summer of 2007 (which is shortly after I got my spinning wheel), I started playing around with kool-aid and wool.  I decided to try dyeing wool with kool-aid because it's non-toxic, it smells good, and you can easily do it in your microwave only using water, vinegar, and of course kool-aid or food coloring!!!  It's so simple, and it would be a fun project to do with kids.  All you want to keep in mind is this: Don't change temperatures on the wool too suddenly or else it will felt.  You always want to slowly heat it up and slowly cool it down.

How to Dye Wool With Kool-aid

1.  Fill a microwave safe bowl with cold water, a splash of vinegar, kool-aide or food coloring.  
2.  Add the wool slowly.  I sometimes push it down with a spoon so I don't dye my fingers!
3.  Microwave in 2-3 minute intervals.  I usually have 3-4 bowls going at one time in order to give the wool "rest time" in-between each cycle.
4.  When the wool is steamy, it's probably done absorbing all the dye it can.  In fact, if you walk away from it for about 30 minutes, it will cool off and usually absorb the last of the kool-aid.
5.  When it's cool, rinse in cool water and dry.  Then you can have fun spinning!

 Some of the fun from 2007:

I think, "the more color, the merrier."  But that's just me!


This looks like either 3 or 4-ply yarn, but I can't remember.  
It's certainly thick, chunky, and perfect for knitting!

I was a knitter then and had not even considered weaving yet!

I've had the last week off from school and it's been fun to finish canning our MANY apples (we ended up with 400 lbs this year!) and work on my spinning wheel.  I have been so distracted by my loom recently that it's been fun to rediscover my spinning wheel again.  And now that I'm so busy with my wheel, I haven't actually had time yet to put on a new warp on my loom!  (I hope they don't fight like jealous siblings when I'm not looking!) 

2011 kool-aid/food coloring dyeing:

Some of these bowls are wool dyed with kool-aid...
and some are dyed with that thick Wilton's frosting dye that comes in a paste.
But the regular droplets of food coloring would work, too.

It's almost magical when the water becomes clear again!

Hope you get a chance to try this out yourself!