Friday, 7 August 2009

The kool aid's so bright I gotta wear shades

Gentle yarn fetishists, I have something to show you...

However, before we start, you may wish to turn down the colour settings on your computer. Lets just say that Subtlety, your name is not Kool Aid...

As you may have guessed, I have been hand dying yarn, using nothing other than Kool Aid (which I ordered off the interwebs), a glass bowl and a microwave. Instructions for this are available on

The resulting colours are, ahem, zingy. Ideal if you want to knit for Oompa Loompas and just can't get that psychedelic hit from your LYS.

So are you ready?

Ok... here we go...

I have to confess I did not keep a perfect track of what I used... but it was more or less as follows:

  • Skein 1 dyed using 1 part Lemon & Lime to 2 parts Berry Blue

  • Skein 2 dyed using 2 parts Lemon & Lime

  • Skein 3 dyed using 2 parts Orange

  • Skein 4 dyed using 3 parts Cherry

  • Skein 5 dyed twice (the first batch using 1 part Grape to 2 parts Cherry - then overdyed using a crazy mixture of cherry, black cherry tropical punch and grape)

Things I learned about Dying...

  1. The first skein I dyed was the Lemon & Lime and it took me several seconds to dip the second half of the skein into the dye ...this has resulted in a variegated finish - where half of the skein is a brighter green than the other half. So if you prefer a regular coverage, I think it is better to try and dip the whole skein in at once.

  2. After its first dying, I noticed that the deep red skein had a few irregular patches where the dye had not taken, and it did not look good. So I overdyed the skein, this time using loads of koolaid. The interesting bit its that it didn't really take up that much dye the second time around. I think there may be a limit to how much dye a single skein can realistically absorb. The already dyed parts went a slighty deeper red, while the irregular patches took up a full soaking of dye to blend in with the rest.

  3. All of the above skeins are superwash sock yarn, and the microwave method worked beautifully. So much so that I got a little carried away and progressed immediately to two skeins of lace weight Merino/silk. I am not sure these skeins reacted very well to the microwave (will blog the results of that later).

UPDATE... I have posted some follow-on ramblings about kool aid dyeing here:


  1. Congratulations!! Your first attempt may be deemed MUCH more successful than my own! LOL They all look beautiful to me. What's your plan for them?

  2. Hi Nalamienea, thanks for your comment :-)

    I am not sure what do to with them actually... (possibly some very bright socks, or colourful baby wear!)

  3. So beautiful yarn! I especially like the lemon/lime and the orange skein. Really good work :-)

  4. Thank you Ellen. I agree with you about your favourites... the lemon/lime and the orange both have a special appear to me too... they're such fruity colours! :-)