Sunday, August 06, 2006

i dyed yarn, yo.

i bought some au natural sock yarn...plain, unfettered sock yarn.
and then i bought some kool aid. it was fettered... the black cherry
flavor...cause i wanted me some dark red socks. I read that you need
1 packet of koolaid per 1 oz of sock yarn. I had 100 grams of yarn...
googled and got my conversion of having 3.5 oz of yarn total... so i
bought 4 packs of koolaid.

to dye sock yarn with koolaid, you need a microwave and a bowl too.
here we have it all:Step One - buy everything

Step Two - Wash it.
First you take your yarn and you wash it with mild soap... i just used some antibacterial soap that sits on my sink.this is what it looked like in the very beginning of it's plain life:

At this point you have to be careful... what we are working with here is 100% merino wool (boy howdy, it's soft!) and anything that is 100% wool will felt if there is too much aggitation and water going on.
Washed Yarn:

At this point I was thinking what a mess it was going to be to untangle...even if it is tyed up in bunches.On ward... while the yarn is sitting there you go mix your koolaid.
Step Three - Mix it doesnt matter how much water you have... just how much this is 4 packs of dark cherry koolaid. I was thinking, oh god, purple? Oh and also at this point, you are going to be really really excited because, poops, you are dying your OWN SOCK YARN! and you breathing all heavy and then you will suck koolaid dust up your nose and down your throat.... coughing will ensue for several minutes, belive me. :D

but no, when mixed with water, it's exactly the color i want!
Step Five - Yarn Goes Swimming.

Isn't that pretty?! yay!!fill-er up with water:

Step Six - Cook it!you put it in the microwave for 2 minute sessions. you cook 2 min, then rest a few minutes:
it's cookin':

while it's cooking... you finally notice what happens with koolaid and water and things in general:

it stains things.
so just get you some gloves or something to wear, because believe me, you are going to touch the yarn while it's in the bowl... you wont be able not to touch the yarn. you will have to see how fast it soaks it up. even my nails are red, still today. hopefully it goes away before the wedding this weekend.. i am well on my way of working on being the freaky bridemaid (yes i sunburned myself AGAIN yesterday. i suck, we know... back to the yarn)
Ok. i would microwave it for 2 minutes and look at it. Microwave and look. the thing that was wrong was... the red from the yarn was reflecting the water as red too... and i didn't realize that until i cooked my yarn for a total of 10 minutes. should not have taken that long... my brain finally made the connection to get a cup and check the water... uh was clear.
Now you let it cool... so i dumped most of the water out because it was really hot cause i cooked it for TEN minutes.
here we are, Step Seven - Let it Rest.

Ok so while the yarn is cooling.... lets talk about the color of it. my camera sucks... that looks almost a strawberry, wouldn't you say?? In real life it was more of a coral... CORAL. i'm not a coral person.... ya'll know that.
See, coral:

Oh and what's that??? yes there is some white streaks still in it... hard to see in the photo (more on over to the left hand side) but i guess the dye didn't get to the middle!!! CORAL AND NOT EVEN ALL DYED. at this point, i get all antsy and i'm not a good decision maker and was debating.... just leave it? and just see what happens when i knit it up? i was lamenting to Amelia at the time... she told me to go get more koolaid, i wouldn't be happy if i left it. atleast i think she said it... did you say that? or was that in my head?
ANYWAYS, coral yarn = BOO.

see the white streaks? and this is the color of it wet... it would be even lighter as it dried.
So I went to Food City at 10:30pm last night and got more Koolaid.... 4 more packets, because dammit, i wanted some dark red socks!! SO repeat steps 1 thru whatever number we are on now.
You get this:

and this:

That's pretty much the color of...maybe a bit lighter since it dried. But it's still not dark as i want. Next time? 12 packs of koolaid...or maybe 16. 1 oz per packet is poop. who wants coral socks?? raise your hands. no one does, that's right.
So it hung up all night drying and it's STILL not all the way dry and i wish it would hurry because i am DYING (haha, get it? dying? :D) to cast on my very own pair of "aya's zen socks"
Ok.... questions?? comments?? i'm crazy?? yes i know. you all have now witnessed my lil' bit of crazy. you have no idea the full spectrum of the knitting crazy in my head.


ann said...

I just picked up some Kool Aid the other day and after reading this, maybe I need to buy more - lots more!

Becky said...

hey tammy!
first of all, i saw pictures of the wedding and you looked beautiful!
secondly--red and white socks could be kind of cool--sort of christmasy actually. i hear you on the coral though--not a lot matches up with coral. good luck with the rest of your dying ventures--hopefully your dark red socks will soon come into existance!

aya said...

AHAHAHAHHA! You have a knitting blog. That has the same polka dotty background that MY knitty blog has. Most excellent.

Gina said...

I once dyed a sweater's worth of lightweight cashmere yarn with kool-aid (possibly a travesty, but it was from a thrifted sweater) and even after 40 packets I still only had a s wishy-washy sort of green. I eventually used Wilton food dye and vinegar and got a really wonderful vibrant green. I think the Wilton's will do a really nice dark red as well and it's just as easy as kool-aid, though smellier because you need the vinegar. Maybe if the kool-aid doesn't work out you can try this?