Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Art of Dyeing

I spend many of my free hours knitting. I think it´s so much fun and I really enjoy the creative side of it. Which yarn goes with which pattern... Which colors looks nice together...How can I make changes to make the garment look better....

Lately I´ve been trying the art of dyeing yarn, another creative aspect of the knitting experience. I have read a lot about it and looked at other peoples beautiful (and less beautiful) results.

Since I have a rather small kitchen I don´t have room for big pans and pots, so I decided to try dyeing with Kool Aid. You can´t bye Kool Aid in Sweden so first I had to order some from a website.

It´s very easy to dye with Kool Aid. First you have to make a hank out of the yarn, then you put it in a bowl of rather hot water to soak for half an hour (I am an impatient kind of person so I only waited for 15 minutes...). Meanwhile you go creative and mix different flavors of Kool Aid in another (microwave-safe) bowl of hot water (you can also add food coloring). I used one made of glass. Then you put the soaked hank all the way into the colored water, cover the bowl with plastic film and heat it in the microwave on highest temperature for two minutes. Take out the bowl, stir (be careful not to let the water boil) and repeat the procedure until the water is completely clear. Take out the yarn, let it cool on the bench and then rinse in water the same temperature as the yarn. Hang up to dry and take some time admiring your masterpiece!! If you don´t like the result you can always repeat the procedure with some new color.

So far I have mostly dyed self-striped sock yarn (your yarn has to be from an animal for it to work).
But my first attempt was with two skeins of light-blue Debbie Bliss' Baby Cashmerino. Here is before and after pictures and also a picture of the hat I knitted from the yarn:

My second attempt was with two skeins of Zwerger Garn Opal Hundertwasser in pink, yellow and blue (I don't really know why I bought them in first place, they were probably on sale...).
I overdyed with some different reds and the result was amazing, as is the finished shawl:

Here are some more results (original yarn to the left, over dyed to the right):


  1. Oh, so fun to see all those colors! I have some Cool-Aid lying around, but I´ve never tried to dye, maybe it´s time for some experiments....

  2. I have several skeins of Lorna's Laces sock yarn that came in a trade, not exactly my favorite colors so tonight they are getting the Kool Aid treatment.

  3. your results are fantastic with already 'patterned' yarn!!!
    ^)^ linda (IOWA-USA)