Dying Yarn With Kool-Aid(c)TM
If you have children, or alas were a child, then you know that Kool Aid stains. With that in mind, let's use that to our advantage and dye some yarn. Here's the catch. It will only work on animal based fibers such as wool, alpaca, cashmere, mohair, ect.... The dye will be permanent and bright. However, if you use the Kool-Aid as a dye on plant fiber yarns, it will not be colorfast andwill fade with washing and grey out over time. Synthetic yarns will not accept the dye and rinse clean. Kool-Aid powder is non-toxic and safe to use with children but not all dyes are, so don't allow the children to taste the Kool-Aid dye solution. Caution should always be used when children are involved so as to avoid product confusion or accidental consumption of other dyes in the future.
*Yarn/wool/alpaca in a twist style skein (do not ball as the dye will not make it into the middle)
*Unsweetened Kool-Aid packets (use multiple packets for stronger colors) 1 to 5 packets depending on desired strength of color and quantity of yarn (usually 1 packet per ounce).
* Something to heat water in, either a crock pot, microwave safe bowls, or a large stovetop pot
Prepare the yarn by putting it into an open skein (twisted skein style opened into a circle). If your yarn is in a ball, you will have to loop it around hands 12-18" apart to create the open skein. Soak the yarn in cool water with a just a few drops of dishsoap or detergent to remove oils from the yarn. Do not agitate the yarn or make the water soapy.
Disolve the Kool-Aid Packets into warm water.
*if using the stove, set the temputature on low and allow steam to rise. Do not boil.
*If using a crock pot, heat until steam rises. Do not boil.
For the stove and crock pot; soak the yarn for 20-30 minutes with the heat set on low.
*If using a microwave, use a microwave safe glass bowl, place yarn into bowl with the dissolved Kool-Aid and heat at 2 minute increments on high until the water solution is hot. Let the yarn soak until the dye is absorbed and the water becomes clear. Note - The water may not become totally clear if there is an excess of dye.
Note: The microwave method had the best results when we experimented.
Rinse yarn in luke warm water being careful not to agitate the yarn as it may felt especially if you are using wool.
Hang to dry.
Ball yarn and Happy Knitting!