I forgot to add - with kool-aid dyeing the wool you do not need any vinegar. You can also nuke the yarn in the microwave instead of steaming it on the stove top but we do not own a microwave so I am not sure of the time on that.
I dyed this yarn for my friend Shelley and she wanted to know how I did it. E-mailing a bunch of pics never works on my computer so I thought I would just post it here.
I actually learned how to do this from my friend Cat. It's surprisingly really simple and easy. It just can be a bit messy!
*I apologize in advance for the photos. The only way I can do this is late at night when the girls are sleeping so all the pics are taken with a flash and not very good.*
What I used (per skein of yarn):
-100% wool yarn tied in a skein but undone to make a large circle (see pic below)
-3 packages of kool-aid (I used 1 strawberry, 1 orange and 1 pink lemonade)
-3 glasses to hold kool-aid mixture
-large pot with steamer basket
First, get your yarn ready for the dyeing process by soaking it in water for a few minutes so it is completely wet all the way through.
Put on your plastic gloves and get your dyes ready by pouring the kool-aid powder in separate glasses and add water. I know there is an actual ratio of 1 package of unsweetened drink mix per ounce of yarn BUT I tend to just wing it. Use less kool-aid for lighter colors, more for darker colors. I prefer the lighter colors so as you can see I filled the glasses up pretty high (you can see my mark on each glass). That is also what allowed me to only use 1 package of each color per skein.
Take your yarn out of the water and squeeze it a bit to remove most of the access water.Then lay a plastic garbage bag on your floor or table top and place the yarn on top of it like a big circle.
Starting with your lightest color (which for me was pink lemonade) take your turkey baster and squeeze some of the dye onto the yarn in whatever pattern you like. I tend to stick to the simple ratios, almost like cutting the circle like it was a cake.
Turn your skein over carefully and dye it on the back side, too. Then, with plastic gloves, gently press on the yarn to move the dye through all the layers. Beware of white spots, especially where the skein is tied.
Continue this way with the next darkest color (again, for me, it was the orange) and then the next. Make sure you rinse the baster really well between colors to prevent unwanted mixing.
Once you have finished dyeing carefully pick up your skein and place it in the steamer basket on your stove top and steam for 45 minutes over hot water. Do each skein individually so they will not bleed onto each other. Cool and wash your yarn. I use Eucalan wool wash.
Notice the time on the clock! That's why the pics are so bad ;)
Having matching pj pants on while dyeing is a must!
Once yarn is washed hang to dry (if outside make sure to hang out of direct sunlight).
Yes, my drying technique looks silly!
Voila! Beautifully colored yarn made just the way you want it. How perfect is that?!
The yarn will smell fruity for a few washes but it will fade away. The dye itself shouldn't bleed,the acidity in the kool-aid really makes it stick.
Shelley, it's going in the mail ASAP :) Hope you like it!