To Dye or Not to Dye

Years ago I read an very funny article can’t remember the author, think it was Gene Sheppard, or what the entire article was about.  What I remember is the description of  a car the author had that was an awful shade of green.  He referred to the color as “goat-vomit-green”.  That’s how I feel about this yarn.  What was I thinking?  Try as I may, I could not get the digital camera to show the true ugliness of this yarn! I did make a yarn cake holder for my sister from the yarn  Now, I’ve decided to try some Kool-Aid on it.

I had a left-over mixture of Blue Ice Lemonade and Lemon- Lime so I tried that first.  It turned into a beautiful green color.  But, I decided it looks to much like a primary school color and that’s not what I’m after.

I decided a reddish color might just be the ticket.  I put a sample into Black Cherry.  The sample is such a beautiful dark red-orange color.  It is stunning.  This is the comparison:

Out came the nitty noddy and the ball was turned into a skein.  I love my home-made nitty noddy.  Made it from instructions found on the web at The Lost Pages.  I brought the measurements to the hardware store and had them make the cuts for me.  I spray painted it pink since I didn’t like the PVC pipe with the black writing on it. I made sure that I tied the skein in four places so the yarn won’t tangle.

Skein went into the Kookaburra Delicate soak for 20 minutes.  Since Kool-Aid already has citric acid added as the first ingredient, I didn’t add any vinegar to the soak or Kool-aid solution.  I know different people have mentioned they add salt to the mix. I didn’t since salt is the second ingredient in Kool-Aid. Go figure!

While the yarn soaks, I prepare the Kool-Aid mixture.  It is recommended to use 1 package of Kool-Aide for every ounce of yarn.  I have 2.5 ounces of yarn so I used three packages.  I added about 72 ounces of water. Using my handy-dandy, recycled, plastic, 48 oz, mixed nut container as a measuring cup.

After 20 minutes, I squeezed the excess water gently from the soaked yarn.  I don’t bother to rinse the yarn out.  The yarn goes into the Kool-Aid mixture which is the same temperature as the soak so there isn’t any temperature shock to felt the wool.  I push the wool into the dye bath so all parts are under.  Now, I turn the stove on to a medium heat – just enough to cause the bath to simmer. I keep checking until I see that the dye has been depleted.  You can see that the yarn has absorbed all of it.

This lot only took about 25 minutes.  Now I dump the yarn into a colander to drain. To cool the yarn down, I transfer the skein to this fabulous boot mat that I got for $2 at Target!  I have to go back for more.  I need some for planting my seedlings.  What you can’t see in the picture is that there is a slight variation in the way the dye was absorbed so the yarn has a great variation of colors. Now all I have to do is wait for the yarn to cool, gently rinse it, then soak in the Kookaburra Delicate, squeeze, and dry.  I’ll post the dried yarn later.

I’m going to stay home today and go out into the garden for awhile.  My flowers are screaming for attention!  Really have to get my flowers blooming.  My house’s totem butterfly, the Gulf Fritillary, hasn’t been around much thanks to the winter.  I had one last week and I’m sure it followed Barb home because she said it showed up at her place!!  We live about 40 miles apart.  I told her she’d better bring it back. This is the basket I keep by the back door and always take into the backyard. As a Girl Scout, I’m always prepared.  It contains: camera, butterfly book, bird book, sunglasses, a book to read, and binoculars.