Hey, Kool-Aid! Oh, Yeah!!

A chronicle of my first adventures in dyeing my hand-spun yarn.

Solid Color

YARN:    45 yards of Mohair (2 oz)

DYE:       3 packets of Blastin’ Berry Cherry Kool-Aid

NOTE:    This flavor Kool-Aid dyes a very strong, vibrant color. 1 packet may have been sufficient.

Step 1 – Gently wash your yarn in warm sudsy water. Do not agitate. Soak for 30 minutes.

Step 2 – Gather your equipment – crock pot, gloves, plastic utensil, Kool-Aid packets – and prep the color by stirring in Kool-Aid packets into the water.

Step 3 – Rinse yarn gently of all the soap and drop the yarn in the colored water. Make sure there is enough water to cover the yarn. Patiently allow the water to just reach boiling point. (If using a crock pot as I did, you will need a lot of patience). Allow to simmer for 30 minutes.

Step 4 – Remove pot from heat and allow to cool. Add more patience. Once cooled, rinse in same temperature water. Gently squeeze out excess water – do not wring.

Step 5 – Hang to dry. I used these 99¢ plastic shower hooks from which to hang the yarn. This was to avoid getting rust on the yarn from the plant hooks outside.

Step 6 – Once dry, wrap your hank of yarn. Step back and admire your work.

Variegated Colors

YARN:    82 yards of Angora Wool (4 oz.)

DYE:     3 packets of Lemonade, 1 packet of Pink Lemonade, & 1 packet of Blastin’ Berry Cherry Kool-Aid

NOTE:  Add more Lemonade and Pink Lemonade if you prefer stronger yellows and pinks. To get more of the orange, allow a slight mixing of the Blastin’ Berry Cherry and Lemonade.

Steps 1 & 2 – Repeat as for solid color dyeing.

Step 3 – Place yarn in warm water. Dissolve same color Kool-Aid in a small amount of water and pour on each side of the container. Do not stir or agitate the water in order to keep the colors separate. I poured the Blastin’ Berry Cherry on one end, the Pink Lemonade on the opposite end, and the Lemonade in the middle.

Step 4 – Repeat as for solid color dyeing. This is what mine looked like out of the water.

Step 5 – Repeat as for solid color dyeing.

Step 6 – Repeat as for solid color dyeing.

References

Out of the dozens I read or watched on YouTube, I found these two how-to articles to be straightforward and helpful: Dyeing Wool with Kool-Aid – Immersion Method and Dyed in the Wool.

19 thoughts on “Hey, Kool-Aid! Oh, Yeah!!

  1. Beautiful color! What works really well instead of kool-aid is Wilton food dye pastes. The color range is much greater, but they are as easy to use as kool-aid. I really like the last photo. The balls of yarn look like big over blown roses on a hedge.

    1. Thanks! I was very happy with the color. I don’t have any yarn to dye but will try the Wilton dyes when I do. You’re the second person to recommend them.

  2. What fun colors!! The yarn probable smells lovely too.
    Another fun dye that you can look for next year is Easter egg dye. A real bargain if you buy it on clearance. You drop it into the crock pot and some brands fizz I the water.

  3. Isn’t it fun!! We got hooked on this and showed a few on the blog. I spun the really brightly colored green, orange, red, blue and yellow fiber, but now I don’t have a clue what to knit. 😎 Hope you know what to do with yours!

  4. This is great, I had no idea it was really that easy! I’ve been thinking about dying my first hand-spun because white isn’t my color. Now to find out if I can order Kool-Aid online…

    1. I see you are in Finland. My husband and I were in Helsinki a few months ago – loved it! I have some Helsinki posts on my blog. I would be happy to mail you some Kool-Aid packets for dyeing your yarn if you would like. Just let me know if there are any particular colors you want. You can email me at Veronica (at) AgujasBlog (dot) com.

      1. Oh that is so kind, thank you for your offer 🙂 I did find some Finnish online shops that import Kool-Aid, specifically because there’s demand from dyers which I think is pretty cool. I already ordered some Black Cherry.

        I’m glad you liked it here 🙂 I’ll be sure to look up those posts.

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