Friday, December 29, 2006

Don't Drink the Kool-Aid®

Seriously. Have you ever really looked at that stuff? Use it for something way more useful -- like dyeing sock yarn!

Janelle and I had planned to do this when we were up visiting this summer, but never
got around to it. As a Christmas gift, she brought me some Kool-Aid®, some undyed sock yarn from Knitpicks, and accoutrements for the whole process. What a treat! We did all this yesterday. That's Janelle's finished hank on the left, and mine on the right. Let's just say that, in many ways, I'm more tightly wound than Janelle.

I decided to do mine as a self-striping yarn, while Janelle went for the hand-painted look. The process is pretty simple. Soak yarn in warm water, mix Kool-Aid® in a container, put yarn in containers, heat for a while, remove, dry. Okay -- that's pretty simplistic. I won't go into details -- there are plenty of sites that do that. Your results may vary.

You can do it either on the stovetop, as I did, or you can opt for the yarn casserole, which Janelle used. She used a baster to dribble the dye on her yarn in interesting patterns. It was amazing to see that after half an hour of baking, all the dye had been soaked up by the yarn. From experience, we can recommend wearing gloves while doing this.

Then it's all over but the drying and the winding. We left the yarn draped over lawn chairs in the backyard. Mine dried by that evening, since it was spread out into a thinner round. Janelle's, still in the original hank, took overnight to dry.

Oh -- and the final step -- naming your new "colorway." Thinking that I will probably only ever wear socks made from this yarn on the 4th of July, and fondly remembering the ice cream truck that used to drive by my grandma's house in San Antonio when I was a kid, I name this yarn...


If you don't know what I'm talking about, go to this image from the manufacturer.

Thanks, Janelle. I had a lot of fun doing this. I'll post when I dye my second hank, and when I knit something from this.


  1. I posted a comment a few days ago, but it doesn't look like it went through. Anyway, love the bomb pop. What a great name. Did Janelle name hers?

  2. Hi, Kristina!

    Janelle didn't name hers, but I'll bug her about it tonight when I see her and Sharon and the boys for a New Year's Eve party. I suggested "Austin Sunset," but she kind of made a face. I have to agree -- that's pretty lame!

    This was a lot of fun and pretty easy. I'd actually say foolproof. Try getting Kool-Aid on something and have it not be permanent! Turns out that there's not that much difference between staining and dyeing.

    Happy New Year to you and Katie!

  3. Um, yuck!

    Uncle C