My Material Life

A Little Wool With Your Kool-Aid?

This is so much fun and so easy.  I read about dying yarn with Kool-Aid in the book, Kids Knit! Simple Steps to Nifty Projects by Sarah Bradberry.  The thing is, I was sure I could make it work with cotton, so last summer I set about boiling some white Sugar ‘n Cream in Kool-Aid and water and I pretty much ended up with … white cotton.  My college motto was “learn by doing” and I find that I still learn best this way.  Cotton won’t work with Kool-Aid dye – you’ve got to use animal fibers. A skein of Patons Classic Wool, divided into three separate pieces in order to try three different colors worked beautifully. Here’s what the yarn looked like before dying …

And here’s what it looked like after …

    

Samantha was out of school with a cold on a very sunny, warm day last week, so it seemed a good day to try the sun-brew method of Kool-Aid dying.  Like I said, this couldn’t be easier.  I mixed my Kool-Aid with water in the pitcher, placed my yarn (previously washed in the sink, but still wet) in the pitcher and gave it a stir now and then.  I left the brew in the sun for about four hours and then rinsed and washed my colored yarn and hung it to dry.  I used five packages of grape Kool-Aid for the purple, three packages of tropical punch for the red, and three lemonades and two ice blue raspberry lemonades for the green.  I see these colors as eggplant, tomato, and mint chocolate chip green.  They smell nice too. Here’s another look at the eggplant.  In the right light it looks downright sophisticated.

You can see all the colors you can make with the Kool-Aid flavors available in this Knitty article (where you’ll also learn the various methods of dying with Kool-Aid).  I’ve never seen that many flavors of Kool-Aid, and I definitely feel a quest like the author’s coming on.  If I remember correctly, the book I mentioned above gives some recipes for mixing colors.  I’m going to have to check it out from the library again.  In the meantime, if you see any orange or lemon-lime Kool-Aid, please let me know!

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