Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Koolaid + Yarn = Color!!!! Painting Version

Start with several sqeeze bottles or pop up topped water bottles for mixing and applying dye. We put two packages of Koolaid in each bottle with about a cup to a cup and a half of hot water. The hot water is only necessary to help disolve the Kool Aid.

You probably want to use rubber gloves while doing this as Kool Aid will not only dye the yarn, it will dye your fingers and anything you are wearing or spill it on. For some reason, the dye only needs to be heat set on the yarn, everything else takes it quite nicely without heat.

Since the dye does stain everything it touches, we usually dye outside on a tarp (a large heavy duty garbage bag slit up one side). Lay the yarn down on a plastic bag or some saran wrap and start squirting your dye from the bottles where you want it to be. Be sure that you sqeeze the yarn to get the dye all the way thru and when you think you are done, turn the hank over and check the backside for white blotches. At the same time, try not to get too much of the dye liquid on the yarn or it will all run together and make a mess.
You can either wrap the painted hanks in saran wrap to keep the colors seperate or just place them in pyrex baking dishes for heating. The methods are very similar to acid dyes, but with acid dyes, any implements you use become dyeing only and can never be used for food again. If you are using kool aid, the pyrex can go back in the kitchen cupboard when you're done.

As I said, either wrap the entire hank of yarn in saran wrap or put it in a pyrex dish. If you put it in the pyrex dish, you want to cover that with saran wrap to keep the moisture in with the yarn. If the yarn is too dry, it will burn and sometimes catch on fire.

Microwave the yarn for 2 minutes on high and then let it rest for two minutes. Then you repeat that process - until all the dye is absorbed and any water is clear. I usually microwave for two minutes at least 3 times, sometimes 4, with two minute rests between.

Now comes the hard part. You just leave the yarn sitting in the pyrex until it is completely cool. We folded a couple of loads of laundry and it was still pretty warm. You need to leave it until it is COMPLETELY cool.

Then you get to take it out and see what it looks like.

Lastly, you rinse the yarn. The water should run clear if the dye was all absorbed.

Then you hang your hanks to dry. We hung it last night and it wasn't dry yet this morning. As soon as it's dry, I'll take some finished pictures and then I'll wind it into balls and take some more pics . . . . it really is lovely tho and Miss M is making plans for hers . . . .

Koolaid + Yarn = Color!!!!

First, the yarn needs to soak in cold water until it blooms. I let it soak for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour. The yarn gets fatter and opens up which helps it take up the dye. You need to get some (but not all) of the water back out before you put the yarn in the dye or the dye on the yarn, but it needs to be wet before you start.

Mix the Kool Aid into the water in a pot on the stove top. I use warm water so the koolaid will disolve better.

Add the yarn to the water and then turn on the heat. Bring the water to a simmer, not a boil. Keep it on the heat until the dye is completely absorbed by the yarn.

Make sure the yarn is completely submerged in the dye bath.

Keep the heat on until all the dye is absorbed into the yarn. The water will turn clear on blues and greens (tho we couldn't find any kool aid in those colors yesterday) and slightly white on reds and purples and oranges.

Rinse the yarn (tho there won't be any color left to rinse out).

For our orange yarn, we wanted it to have some darker blotches so the goldfish wouldn't be so boring. So, we took the wet, newly dyed yarn and put it in a pyrex baking dish. Then we opened another pack of orange Kool Aid and sprinkled the contents on the yarn. Then we microwaved it (instructions in the painting post) and it came out with lovely dark orange blotches on the orange yarn. Right now I don't have pics of the finished product because it doesn't photograph well. I'll try for those later.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Some more shawls . . . for the poor russians . . . .

Ok, I know I promised a tutorial on how to dye yarn using kool aid . . . . and I promised it tonight. But it ain't gonna happen tonight. Yes, I did dye the yarn using the koolaid, and I did take many pictures of both methods. And Yes, I will post the tutorial. I just don't have time to do it tonight so hold your breath and it'll come tomorrow.

Tonight, I will post pictures of the shawls I made for the poor russian jewish folk in Anatevka . . . . from Fiddler on the Roof.

Notice my lovely model has one black shawl on each shoulder? and the oatmeal colored one makes three . . . . and Bielke's shawl is black with brown bits . . . .

And young Bielke in her shawl - the first one I made:

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sorry . . . . and very cool sock yarn site!

I know I haven't posted here in who knows how long. It's been a bit crazy here and I'm afraid that's going to continue for at least another 2 weeks or so . . . . until the Fiddler show goes on, runs thru it's booking and then closes and we tear it all down and make it go away. None of us are home - Miss M and I are either painting the set or working in the costume shop and Miss S is practicing about 30 hours a week (in addition to regular stuff at school). Miss M and I have been at the school till 6pm most week nights (working around her afterschool schedule of course) and from 11 to 5 most weekend days. Of course then we wait for Miss S to change clothes, finish up and come out and we get home about 45 minutes later. Add to that the fact that Dad isn't home and has his own family issues to deal with and we're busier than we can handle.

I found this very cool sock yarn site. I've never really wanted to join a sock club before, but this one lets you pick your colorway (sortof) and it's not a full year committment (which can be hugely expensive). You sign up for 3 months (at a reasonable price) and for each of those months you get to pick your colorway. Now they don't just toss your colorway out there and say pick - you get an email from her with pics that have been altered so they no longer look like yarn - like looking thru a kalaidascope - but have the yarn colors in them still. I'm not sure if the yarn comes with a pattern, but even if it doesn't, I have enough of those and tend to make them up myself anyway. I'm going to sign up . . . . anyone care to join me? (Please post a yes or no response so I know if I'm the only one that thinks this is cool.)

You can find the info here:
Then click on Sock club in the categories. Or just go here:

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Knitting Accomplishments

I finally have the LIST done and it is out on the web. You should have gotten an email telling you the details. If not let me know. This link will take you to the google page.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Some Shawls . . . .

These are part of the costumes for Fiddler on the Roof. One of them will be part of Miss S's costume and the other will go to someone else. They are just quick and dirty shawls - knit with big yarn on big needles with a simple increase at the beginning and end, and twice in the middle of every other row. One shawl is made using Lion Brand Homespun and the other used a Paton's Bulky (have to look up what type it was).


Knit some more things with Malabrigo: First, the Danish Night Cap from the Nordic Knits book. I knit this in the Malabrigo Silky which is a pretty fine yarn. I used size 3 needles. This hat would have gone a lot quicker in a bigger yarn on bigger needles and since the pattern doesn't call for any particular size yarn or needles, . . . . Well, if you decide to knit it be aware that it takes a while to knit all those tiny stitches. But the hat turned out quite nice - and I love the feel of the yarn, both during the knitting process and in the finished item.

I also knit a cute little headband out of the malabrigo merino worsted. I love the way the slight variations in the yarn show up with the texture of this knitted cable. (No, there is no pattern for this, I made it up.) I'm going to knit a few more of these and maybe start an etsy shop to sell some little things. That man I live with thinks my knitting should do more than just drain his wallet . . . . cannot imagine why.