Knitter's Review Forums
  The online community for readers of Knitter's Review.
  This week: A true British yarn from Erika Knight
   > Have you subscribed yet?
Knitter's Review Forums
KR Home | My Profile | Register | Active Topics | Private Messages | Search | FAQ | Want to make Betty happy?
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your username or password?

 All Forums
 Dyeing Discussion
 Using Kool-Aid
 My experience dying wool with Koolaid
 New Topic  Topic Locked
 Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  

Carie
Chatty Knitter

249 Posts

Posted - 02/15/2005 :  09:27:29 AM  Show Profile  Visit Carie's Homepage Send Carie a Private Message
This is edited from my posting on knittinghelp.com:

There are a few different methods out there. Some say to wrap in plastic, some say to use vinegar or dish soap, some say NOT to use vinegar.

They recommended 1 packet of Koolaid per oz of wool. I bought 3 of the 3.5 oz skeins of "blank" wook from Knit Picks for $2.99 ea. I wanted all 3 to be the same color, and I didn't want varigation - I wanted solid color. I was trying to go for a blue-green so I bought berry blue and green apple Koolaid.

I mixed 3 different bowls, one with just berry blue, one with green apple, and one with both to see what the actual color differences were. I dipped a piece of the yarn in the mixed colors bowl. It was too green for what I wanted so I made the final bath with about 3 - 4 more berry blues than the apple green.

I plunged, cooked, rested, cooked, rested, and cooked again. The skeins picked up all they dye water in the bath so I know it was as concentrated as it could be with none left over.

The color I got was a bright neon "wintergreen" kind of color. Egh. Wouldn't look good on me. It might make a nice summer color, but I am not about to wear a wool sweater in the summer when temps around here stay in the 90s.

So I went to the supermarket and bought 6 more blue Koolaids and some food coloring. And I re-dyed the yarn!

Even before I cooked it, the yarn absorbed all the dye, every drop. The water was just about clear.

The color came out turquiose. Not the blue-green I wanted but I got tired of trying (for now).

What I learned: 1 packet of Koolaid per oz is not enough unless you want a really pale color. The color in your bath will be the color your wool comes out if you use white or cream color wool. It doesn't matter if you wrap it in plastic or not (I did the second time, same results). If you work the wool too much (too much squeezing when you're soaking) it will get fuzzy. I think this means it will start to felt. Also, next time I do it, I will add fabric softener to the final rinse. The wool feels course and I am not going to want to wear it directly next to my skin.

I would like to try to dye one skein different colors (like red-orange-yellow, or different depths of one color) at some point.

But I spent about $4 in koolaid an another $2 on food coloring, bringing my price to $4.99 skein. Now we're not talking really cheap anymore.

I'd like to find cheaper wool to experiment with, or silk or cotton. Does anyone know where, except Knit Picks?

What I always say - knit and learn.

It actually did not take much time, if you leave out "shopping time" for materials. You soak the blank wool in hot tap water for 20 minutes, and while it's soaking, you mix up your dye bath(s). They say not to use aluminum. I have a st steel double sink, and since I wanted everything to be one solid color, I used one sink to soak, one sink for the dye bath.

It takes about 5 minutes to squeeze out the rinse water and plunge/squeeze/disperse the dye into the yarn. You have to check around, especially if your yarn is in tied hanks, to make sure you got every spot. And if you want several hanks the same color, you have to make a lot of dye bath because you have to do them all at once. If you do one at a time, the first hank will pick up dye, leaving less dye for the next hanks, so they would be paler.

Also, be careful not to tangle them too much! I was not careful.

Then you *nuke for 2-5 minutes (depending on how much yarn you're doing. I had a lot, so I nuked for 5 minutes on high), let the yarn cool down* (about 15 minutes, during which you can do other thinks), repeat from * 2 or 3 times (get it- knitting symbols ) until your dye water with the yarn is clear (or as clear as you sense it is going to get).

Lastly, let it do a final cool (another 15 or so minutes, and this should be done slowly; don't stick it in the freezer), and plunge in bath water about the same temp as the wool (so as not to "shock" it, and rinse until the rinse water is clean. This is where I think I overdid it, and the wool started getting fuzzy. Also, this is where I should have added fabric softener.

Then you squeeze out and towel-squeeze the excess water (3 minutes) and hang to dry (one minute to hang, 24 hours to dry).

Let's see -- that comes out to almost 1 3/4 hours. Mmmm. Maybe it does take a long time.

HTH

Carei



My name is Carie and I'm a yarnaholic.

(***hi carie***)

Wovenflame
Seriously Hooked

Canada
812 Posts

Posted - 02/15/2005 :  12:04:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit Wovenflame's Homepage Send Wovenflame a Private Message
In another thread I was asking about dying cotton. Apparently it can not be done with Kool-Aid. You must use a protein based fiber for the Kool-Aid to work.

-Marlene-
Come visit me at: http://wovenflame.blogspot.com/

"First is to shift the perception. If you learn to look at something differently, you will change it in an instant. The point of perception from which you view any situation determines your entire reality." - The Group
Go to Top of Page

Carie
Chatty Knitter

249 Posts

Posted - 02/16/2005 :  08:00:49 AM  Show Profile  Visit Carie's Homepage Send Carie a Private Message
I don't know about dying cotton with Koolaid, but cotton is a protein-based fiber, I believe. Have you ever gotten Koolaid on a T-shirt and tried to get it out? I think the synthetics are not protein based, and blends (part wool, part acrylic, and yarns like that) will not home-dye well.

C

My name is Carie and I'm a yarnaholic.

(***hi carie***)
Go to Top of Page

SerMom
Permanent Resident

Canada
6412 Posts

Posted - 02/16/2005 :  12:55:33 PM  Show Profile Send SerMom a Private Message
You can stain cotton with food colouring, but you can't dye it. I know, I've tried. In other words, you can do it accidently, but not on purpose - Murphy's law at work!

Also, for the conditioning, I'd suggest a hair conditioner rather than a fabric softener, it'll be better for the 'hair' you're conditioning.

Barbara
Remember, we're self-selecting!

My photos: I've gone back to yahoo!
My blog:
Go to Top of Page

RachelKnitter
Permanent Resident

USA
2995 Posts

Posted - 02/16/2005 :  2:22:29 PM  Show Profile Send RachelKnitter a Private Message
If I understand correctly, a protein fiber is the same thing as an animal fiber. Cotton, on the other hand, is a plant fiber, and is composed of cellulose.

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep; his cupidity may at some point be satiated: but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." C.S. Lewis
Go to Top of Page

Lissa
Permanent Resident

USA
4942 Posts

Posted - 02/16/2005 :  2:31:54 PM  Show Profile  Visit Lissa's Homepage Send Lissa a Private Message
Rachel and Barbara, you're spot on. And Carie, you've demonstrated exactly why, if you really want to get what you want, forgoing the convenience of being able to use your pots for both dyeing and food for the reliability of commercial acid dyes is the way to go. They're much less expensive, too. Many people have problems with the KA "dyes" separating into their original color elements - especially the purple, which separates out to blues and reds. If I had a bigger kitchen (it's 9 x 12 BEFORE you put in the cupboards and appliances...), I'd be hopping off to a Wally World equivalent and picking up a couple of cheap lobster pots and utility spoons for dedicated dyeing use. It's well worth it.

Lissa

Hey - I MEANT to do that!
Oh, and I now have a blog:http://knittnlissa.typepad.com/knittnlissa/
Go to Top of Page

SerMom
Permanent Resident

Canada
6412 Posts

Posted - 02/16/2005 :  4:12:57 PM  Show Profile Send SerMom a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Lissa

Rachel and Barbara, you're spot on. And Carie, you've demonstrated exactly why, if you really want to get what you want, forgoing the convenience of being able to use your pots for both dyeing and food for the reliability of commercial acid dyes is the way to go. They're much less expensive, too. Many people have problems with the KA "dyes" separating into their original color elements - especially the purple, which separates out to blues and reds. I


Yeah, but it's such fun to tell ppl "I did it with food colouring" when they admire a home-dye. Not to mention it's fun for the kids (and I do include my blue-handed self).

Barbara
Remember, we're self-selecting!

My photos: I've gone back to yahoo!
My blog:
Go to Top of Page

Carie
Chatty Knitter

249 Posts

Posted - 02/17/2005 :  07:42:25 AM  Show Profile  Visit Carie's Homepage Send Carie a Private Message
Live and learn. Thanks for straightening me out.

Is there an on-line place to get chemical dyes? Can you get a "sampler" with a bunch of different colors to mix around? Can you use the utility basin in the laundry room instead of pots? (altho I guess I would have to carry the yarn to the kitchen to be "cooked")

Thx,

Carie

My name is Carie and I'm a yarnaholic.

(***hi carie***)
Go to Top of Page

Renee77
Chatty Knitter

261 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2005 :  8:32:22 PM  Show Profile Send Renee77 a Private Message
I've dyed with Koolaid and Wilton food colors in the kitchen. But when I switched to using Lanaset dyes, I did it in the bathroom, since I didn't want the dyes anywhere near food or my countertops.

I bought a two burner portable electric range (or whatever you call it ) from Toastmaster. Amazon sells one:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00006IV0A/104-6942208-2795103

It's no different than electric burners that are on a kitchentop range, and it worked really well for me.

Back to the original post in this thread - whenever I've done dyeing where I was trying to get a particular solid shade, I worked with 5g hanks, and did the dyeing in canning jars. That way, you get 10 little color experiments out of a 50g skein of yarn. Just divide the yardage in the 50g skein by 10, and you have how many yards to wind off for each little hank. Saved me a lot of trouble.
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  Topic Locked
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Knitter's Review Forums © 2001-2014 Knitter's Review Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 0.47 seconds. Snitz Forums 2000
line This week's bandwidth
kindly brought to you by


and by knitters like you.
How can I sponsor?


line subscribe to Knitter's Reviwe