Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Kool-Aid Dye Project

My fiber guild proposed a challenge this year: dye fiber with kool-aid, make something and display all of the resulting projects in the fiber room at our annual county fair.

Seems like a good idea, but I floundered for inspiration for awhile until I saw someone's fabulous handknitted kneehigh socks on Ravelry.  They had wonderful striping action, and I knew I wanted some for myself.  Now, the socks I admired were from handspun yarn, but I wasn't going to have time to dye fleece and handspin the yarn for the socks.

So I compromised.

Knowing that 100g of sock yarn doesn't quite yield a pair of knee high socks (think mid-calf), I purchased 2-100g of undyed yarn from  Now, I could have dyed the fiber in the skein, but I wanted stripy rather than variegated yarn.  So borrowing a friend's knitting machine (thank you Lindsey!) I turned each skein into matching sock blanks.

Now I had a canvas onto which I could paint kool-aid stripes.

Using Biscuits and Jam random strip generator, I selected my colors and stripe width and repeat parameters, printed out the result and had a guide for my stripe pattern.

The dyeing is pretty easy.  Kool-aid is considered edible and non-toxic (depending on who you ask, right?), and pretty easy to use, with a minimum of prep.  Knitty has an excellent tutorial on dyeing with Kool-Aid, complete with colors achieved from different flavors.
Mixing up the colors, two packets per color.
Ready to dye, the two blanks laid out together.

Wrapped in plastic, ready for microwave "steaming" to set the color.

On display at the fair with other kool-aid projects.  If you look closely you can see the beginning of a toe in the upper left.

Best thing?  The socks still smell like strawberry kool-aid.

No comments: