Monday, February 20, 2006

Dyeing Wool Yarn with Kool-Aid

Dyeing Merino Yarn with Kool-AidWind 100 grams of merino wool into a 4 yard diameter hank, then divide it evenly into 3 sections with a tight cotton tie. Place each section into a large coffee mug, and fill with warm water and a tablespoon of vinegar. Let soak for 30 mins, then add 1 pack of unsweetened Kool-Aid to each cup (2 packs for more intensity) then stir and squish the color into the yarn. Put the mugs on a plate, loosely cover with plastic wrap, then place in a turntable microwave. Nuke to boiling, cool for 2 mins, and repeat the process until water is clear. Let cool naturally to room temp, then rinse with lukewarm water, wring gently, then hang dry.

Kool-Aid Dyed YarnHere's the yarn wound back into a normal sized hank. Eventually, I'll divide it into 2 equal balls for socks. If I did the math correctly, this should make 4 row stripes, but I'm thinking about making much larger socks, then felting them to wear with my big rubber boots for snowy or cold rainy days.

Self-Striping Kool-Aid YarnHere, I divided 1 ball of pure aran wool into several small connecting hanks of 8 to 12 yards each. Then I immersed each hank in warm water and 1 tsp of vinegar in its own 1-cup Pyrex bowl, arranging them in a circle on a plate. Next I added 1 pack of Kool-Aid to each (berry blue, grape, black cherry, strawberry, orange, and lemon-lime), then microwaved as above.

Home-Dyed Rainbow Yarn Now I have 110 yards of crazy rainbow self-striping yarn. It's just enough for either a funky hat, a felted mini-purse, or a super-thin scarf/belt. Whatever it becomes, hopefully it will find a home at skeinalong.


  1. got really vibrant results! A couple years ago I dabbled in KA dyeing, and it was very light, and almost pastel-y great job!

  2. Cool technique--thanks for sharing!

  3. After you hand dye it how do you twist the hank?

  4. Since self-striping patterns require a super-long hank, I put it back onto chairs, and using a swift, wound in back into a normal-sized hank. Then tie it in several places to prevent tangling. To twist it, hold each end and twist, like you're wringing a washcloth, then fold in half, and tuck one end inside the other.

  5. So pretty, but how do you know exactly how long each color segment should be?


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