Sunday, May 27, 2007

Purple Yarn Experiment

Wouldn't that be a fun band name?

Before I even signed up for Sockapalooza 4, I decided that I would dye my own yarn. The big kids and I had tons o' fun last fall dyeing yarn with Kool-Aid, and I've been itching (I didn't say dying!) to try it again. In order to be sure I could get the colors I want for my Sockapalooza Grapevine Socks, I am experimenting using Paton's Classic Merino Wool, color = Aran.

I wound off a 1 oz. ball of the Paton's, then skeined it using the backs of two kitchen chairs:

I wanted a loose skein, so I used two chairs instead of one. (I don't know if that made any difference or not.)

I tied off the yarn using some crap acrylic I had laying around. (You know you have some, too.) Then, I let the yarn soak for a bit:

While it soaked, I mixed up one packet of Kool-Aid with one cup of water in some used water bottles. The color/flavors are: dark blue = Berry Blue; purple = Grape; green = Lemon-Lime; light blue = Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade; dark red = Black Cherry.

I did some painting on paper to see what color mixes I liked (not shown due to iPhoto's continuing uncooperativeness). I'll use that info when I do the overdyeing. For now, I decided to just use purple as a background color. So, I mixed another packet of Grape and a cup of water and added it to my yarn soak water. Stir gently, gently, gently.

Microwave for two minutes, let rest for two minutes (not shown due to boringness). Repeat until you have this:

See the color in the spoon? No? Good. That means your dye has "exhausted," or completely soaked into the yarn. (Also, a little too much flash.) Some flavors of Kool-Aid will turn more milky white than clear. This seems to be more common with the lemonade variations than with other flavors.

The purple yarn resting and cooling off before washing.

I had a great caption for the above photo - "Stewing in its sickly broil" - which I thought was a quote from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams. Wanting to have an accurate quote, I looked it up. The actual quote is "The creature stirred in his sickly broiling vapor." Rats. I will try to work that into another post later.

I miss Douglas Adams. (Also Jim Henson. But I digress...)

Coming soon... overdyed in stripey goodness (we hope!)

1 comment:

Khadijha Caitlin said...

Yeah that was so cool! Thank you for sharing - I can't wait to try!!!