How to Dye Yarn with Kool-Aid

By Monday, March 21, 2016 , ,

Remember that post I shared last week about felting yarn ends together to make one continuous piece of yarn? As I was deconstructing the sweater I realized I was not a big fan of the light blue or cream portions of the yarn because they seemed pretty dull and somewhat dingy compared to the other 14 colors in the sweater.
The other 14 colors
When I was a camp counselor, I would dye wool roving each week with the kids to create bright wool to be felted. We dyed the wool with Kool-Aid - it worked really well and the campers loved the smell. Fast-forward a few years to now and I have seen wool dyeing with Kool-Aid all over Pinterest. I decided to give Kool-Aid dyeing a go with this dull blue yarn because I didn't really care what happened to it because I knew it wouldn't be using it any time soon in its dingy state and also because Kool-Aid powder is so stinking cheap.

I just wasn't feeling this light blue!
What you'll need:
- wool yarn to dye
- Kool-Aid packets, get at least a few in each color you want to dye (tip: the pitcher that is being held by the Kool-Aid Man shows what color the powder will be)
- crockpot (can be your regular cooking one since no chemicals are going in it (besides the Kool-Aid)
- white vinegar
- scrap yarn
- spoon

Here's how you do it:
- Start by creating a loop of your yarn. You can use a yarn swifter if you have one but wrapping your yarn around a chair (or television in my case) works too!
- Loosely tie off the yarn using scrap yarn pieces. The more you tie it off, the less tangled it will get.

- With your crockpot on the warm setting, soak your yarn for at least 20 minutes

- Drain out most of the water so that the yarn is about have in water
- Add in a few splashes of white vinegar
- Pour your Kool-Aid over the yarn, you can dump for a full color or sprinkle it for a concentrated effect. Keep in mind the amount of water and powder will affect the saturation of the color. You can do multiple colors like I did or keep it simple with a single color.
- Let the yarn sit until the water is clear when spooned up. This means the wool has absorbed all the powder.

- Carefully picking up the yarn, flip so that the undyed section is exposed and repeat all the steps until the water is clear. Do this until all the yarn is dyed or you achieve the look you are going for.
- Turn you crockpot off and let the yarn cool to room temperature.
- Rinse with cool water, being very careful not to felt the yarn! Your water should be clear.
- Lightly squeeze to drain excess water.
- Place on a towel and roll to squeeze out even more water.
- Hang it somewhere to dry
- Re-hank and admire or roll into a ball/cake it.

Show off all your skillz.

You can check this project out on Kollabora too!