Saturday, 9 December 2006

Kool-Aid dyeing on Saturday

When I took the merino skeins out their packet they still had that lovely smell of lanolin that you get with slightly less processed wool. Now, of course, they smell of tropical punch, mango and orange.

sock kit


I did my very rough guestimating calculations on how long a skein that would be required to make a sort of self-striping yarn. I set up my chairs and set about winding the first skein. I really need to get myself a swift.

sock yarn tangle


Since I found myself in such a tangle, the best, if not only way of fixing the mess was to wind the mess into a ball from the other end of the skein - very slowly and painstakingly. Transferring this ball into a skein around the chairs was then a breeze. I sat the ball in an empty jar and just walked the yarn round and round. I like to think that I can learn from my mistakes and experience. So for the second skein, I wound it into a ball first off and then repeated the jar exercise. It took half the time of the first. Woo hoo! I forgot to take photos of the yarn on the chairs. I tied the skeins up at my vaguely pre-determined intervals and started the dyeing process. I did the red (tropical punch) last night and then the orange and mango this morning. Next time I think I'd do them all at once which might stop the wool wicking the dye so much.

sock yarn soakingsock yarn dyeing


This Kool-Aid is a bit scary. If this stuff clings so well to protein, then what colour are your insides if you drink it?

sock yarn drying


After rinsing, the skeins went outside to dry and most likely absorb a smoky smell. There have been bush-fires raging in various large stretches across Victoria for the last few days. They're expected to worsen today with the extra hot and dry weather forecast. Here in the suburbs there is no danger from fire, but the sky overhead is covered in a pall of smoke and there is not a skerrick of blue sky to be spotted.

Looking North-east:
saturday sky 9dec2006a


Looking South:
saturday sky 9dec2006b


The yarn dried very quickly. My quilting frame proved a handy substitute for a niddy noddy and the ball winder was employed to produce the final yarn cakes.

sock yarn skeined shortsock yarn cakes
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4 comments:

Genevieve said...

very lovely! I keep meaning to try Kool-Aid dyeing.

If you want to know what color it turns your stomach just cut me open. I drank copious amounts of the stuff as a child.

aija said...

I love the colors of your yarn! I too drank oodles of koolaid at my babysitters when I was young... It was always red, so I don't know what my insides would look like ;)

sue said...

I have some Kool Aid that I am just dying to try. Is it hard trying to work out how long the skein should be and what the different parts of colors should be. Any help would be greatly appreciated and did you steam in the microwave or just let it dry and then wash it.

Paisley said...

Working out how the long the skein should be isn't tricky. The best explanation that I've found is here at Streets and YOs.
I didn't use the microwave. I just put the dye in tall-ish drinking glasses which I sat in the steamer on the stove top. I heated the pot still the water below the steamer was just boiling, then turned off the heat and left the stuff there, with the lid on, for about an hour or so. Basically until it cooled right down and then rinsed it in cool water.