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KoolAid(tm) Dyeing

by Linda

I recently tried this method on my first homespun wool yarn. I was quite pleased with it. Use the small packet - the one you need to add sugar to when using the 'normal' way. ;)

This is how I did it. There are also other methods available elsewhere on the net.

  1. Have your yarn skeined up and ready to go.
  2. Fill a medium sized glass bowl about two thirds of the way with warm tap water.
  3. Empty a packet of KoolAid into the water and stir to dissolve it thoroughly.
  4. Place the yarn on the surface of the water and gently coax it down until it's completely covered.
  5. Cook on high in your microwave for one minute. Again, gently push the yarn beneath the surface of the water.
  6. Cook again on high for another minute.
  7. Let sit, undisturbed, for 5 to 10 minutes. Some of the colour should already be absorbed.
  8. Push it beneath the surface and cook one last time on high for one minute, then let it sit until all colour is completely absorbed and water has cooled to lukewarm. The water will be clear.
  9. Gently lift the skein from the bowl, empty, then refill the bowl with clear water, the same temperature as the water you just drained. Don't shock the wool with extreme temperature changes! Rinse the skein by coaxing it below the surface of the water as before and let it sit for a few minutes.
  10. Lift the skein from the water and wrap it in a clean towel for a few moments to absorb the excess water. Lay the skein on a dry towel out of the reach of kids, pets and sunlight. Be sure it's completely dry before storing or using. This will probably take at least 24 hours.
Different flavours, obviously, produce different colours: Will report on other colours as I try them.

I do not recommend the following method. It didn't work very well. The wool came out slightly felted and feeling dry and 'cooked'.

I haven't tried covering the roving with plastic wrap as it cooks. I've seen this suggested, but the only wrap I had at the time was not for use in microwaves, and I didn't want any plastic in my yarn. :)

  1. Thoroughly wet a length of roving which has been arranged in a spiral on an old dinner plate or similar dish.
  2. Sprinkle various flavours of KoolAid on different 'slices of the pie'. You probably wouldn't want to use more than four different shades.
  3. Sprinkle the roving with more water of the same temperature. Press the crystals into the wool slightly.
  4. Cook in the microwave for one minute, press the colours in again, let it sit for a few minutes, then cook for another minute on high.
  5. Let the roving sit until all or most of the colour is abosrbed. If you can find any remaining water, it will be clear or almost clear.
  6. Drain the remaining water from the plate, and rinse the roving with water of the same temperature you just drained by gently dropping handfuls onto it.
  7. Squeeze gently to get rid of the excess water.
  8. Let dry thoroughly, as above, before spinning.
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