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Kool-Aid Yarn

I don’t know what the impetus was for me wanting to dye yarn, but once I got the idea in my head, it happened. I bought some undyed yarn and first wanted to try Kool-Aid as a dye. I wasn’t sure I wanted to commit to buying a whole bunch of yarn dye if the whole process sucked (it didn’t). I’m designing a hat based on the Legend of Zelda video game for my husband and figured I could use those colors to try out some dyeing. From my limited research, it seemed like about 4 packets of Kool-Aid per 100g skein of yarn would do the trick.

I bought the 9 colors of Kool-Aid packets that my grocery store had, dissolved them in some water, and let a piece of yarn soak in them overnight to get an idea of the colors.

I was a bit fooled by my scrap of yarn overnight soak, and expected relatively vibrant colors. So, I attempted 4 solid colors:

  • Yellow – 3 packets of Lemonade and 1/2 of a packet of Orange.
  • Green – 3 packets of Lemonade and 1/2 of a packet of Mixed Berry.
  • Blue – 3 packets of Mixed Berry and 1/2 of a packet of Grape.
  • Red – 1 packet each of Hawaiian Punch, Black Cherry, Cherry, and Orange.

Once I decided which colors I would use & blend, I bought more and got to work. First, the yarn took a bath in some Dr. Bronner’s soap to get any excess oils out of it, and to make sure it was soaked throughout to guide dye-laden water into the fibers.

Yarn was rinsed and added to a pot with enough water to cover it and the 4 packets of Kool-Aid. Brought to a temperature below simmering until the water turned clear. Let cool. Rinse.

I did this process with the other colors. I was lulled into a false sense of vibrancy from doing the red first.

As you can see above, the yellow turned out pale creamsicle orange, and the blue & green turned out very pale.

The red, however, turned out adequately saturated!

I honestly was mostly just curious if this would work, and it did. I had already decided that I wanted to get a small starter pack of heavy metal-free acid dyes once I dyed the first one, so I wasn’t concerned about re-dyeing those pale skeins.

I also bought some extra packets for Scottie to play with. We did 2 experiments:

  1. We used some damp yarn in a casserole dish with some paper towel paint brushes.

Added a bit more water and cooked this covered on the stove until the water was clear. Looks like a mess, but wait for it…
Ta-da! Scottie is an artist.

2. Then we did a speckle experiment. Damp yarn, Kool-Aid powder, a glass of water, and a fork. We wrapped it up in cling wrap and steamed it in a pot for 30-45 min.

Again, looks hella messy…
Obsessed.
Being knit into a hat (in low light).

So obviously, you can get some really cool yarn from Kool-Aid, but it for the most part needs to be kind of a lot of packets.

The skeins below are the first 4 that I tried to dye with Kool-Aid. I re-dyed all but the red one with acid dye.

I think you’ll be seeing a lot more dyeing from me in the future. I am having WAY TOO MUCH FUN OMG.

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Projects on My Needles – June 17, 2018

It’s time for a semi-regular episode of What Is Larissa Working On? Well, let me tell you, I have been on a tare to actually finish everything that was in progress. If you compare this to my last WIP post, all of the projects have been completed! This is because my frenetic brain has been coming up with about 40 ideas per day, and I’ve been working on tangential projects. To be more specific, I signed up to do FibreShare again (read about my maiden voyage here), I’m compiling a list of companies with natural yarn including specific bases, I bought undyed yarn, used Kool-Aid to dye some, bought acid dyes to do it for real, I made a few project bags, and I’m working on a hat design. I really needed to finish these projects so that I could focus more on the other half-baked activities I have planned for myself. So, I think it’s quite a feat that I forced myself to finish these before diving into 27 new ventures.

Finished Objects

Kitty Ears Beanie

Frankie as the cutest kitty alive <3

I made this little hat an official pattern that you can get for free on Ravelry (see below). My lovely cousin asked for a hat to be made for her baby girl Frankie. I’m always happy to oblige making adorable things for babies because DID YOU SEE HER?!

Pattern: Kitty Ears Baby Hat
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend in Shale
Ravelry Project Page: Kitty Ears Beanie

Zweig

Cruising. Snacking.
Love.
My attempt at an Instagram-worthy shot.

My slow ass started this sweater in January and finally finished it in June. Granted there were a few months in there where I was trying not to barf and sitting upright seemed like a whole lot of bother (thanks belly friend #2). At any rate, I’m very pleased to have this sweater in my wardrobe for the fall. I had plenty of yardage, and I love how not bulky fingering weight sweaters are.

Pattern: Zweig by Caitlin Hunter
Yarn: Swan’s Island Natural Colors Merino Fingering in Teal and Oyster
Ravelry Project Page: Zweig

Tristan

This adorable little cardigan is a free pattern in the Newborn size. There are lots of other sizes in a paid pattern, too. I’m calling this done even though I haven’t sewn on the snaps yet. I’ll get to it, stop hassling me.

Pattern: Newborn Tristan
Yarn: Pichinku Iskay in Q’era
Ravelry Project Page: Newborn Tristan

Okanogan

I have wanted to knit socks in this Blacker Yarns base for quite a while. It’s such a challenge to find yarn that is sturdy enough for socks but isn’t superwash and doesn’t contain Nylon. And let me tell you, this is hardy yarn. I figured it would lend itself well to the camping-in-the-wilderness Okanogan socks pattern. Also, this was my first time doing a heel flap for a sock. We’ll see how I prefer the fit when I actually wear them with boots this fall. Jason is getting an evil twin version of these, too. Eventually. Again, don’t hassle me.

Pattern: Okanogan by Andrea Rangel
Yarn: Blacker Yarns Mohair Blends 4-Ply in Ladock Woods and Metherell
Green Mountain Spinnery Meadow in Natural
Ravelry Project Page: Okanogan Socks

Works in Progress

Hero of Time

A very FLASH nighttime photo of the colorwork.
Yarn mountain. 2 of 3 hats will be knit with what is seen here!

My husband is kind of obsessed with the video games that he played as a kid. Several of the Zelda ones included. So, I am tasked with the design of a hat (precursor to an eventual sweater!) that depicts some of the motifs you’d see in Ocarina of Time. You’ll see the overarching Triforce, Link’s Sword, and the Spiritual Stones… some combination of which and in some order make you the Heroooo of Tiiiiiime!!!! Also, I dyed all that yarn, soOoOo…

Pattern: Hero of Time, coming soon!
Yarn: My own hand-dyed, and some Recycled Yarn (fingering weight)
Ravelry Project Page: In progress

Portage

Okay, full disclosure, I haven’t started knitting this yet. I did cake up the yarn though. Maybe I’ll even print the pattern! Look, I got 1600 yards of wool that I wanted to try for $50 (retails for about $175) at the Great Lakes Fiber Show in May. I’m chuffed AF. I intend to actually cast this on in the next few days. Once my brain starts to fry from all of the colorwork and math and general pattern-writeyness that is my Hero of Time hat design. I’m making the smallest size of this cardi which calls for 1700 yards of yarn and I have 1600 yards… so I may be ordering a skein and hoping they have the same colorway still. Or making the ends of my sleeves a different color. I just really want to make this cardigan okay?

Pattern: Portage
Yarn: Mountain Meadow Wool Lilura in Teal
Ravelry Project Page: Portage

Okay. That’ll about do it. As I mentioned, I have a lot of things going at the same time, and I hooooope they’re well-received when I finally get around to telling everyone about them. Welp, ttyl.