Crafts · Yarn Dyeing

Yarn Dyeing II – Experimenting with Kool-Aid

     Hello everyone, hope you’re doing well!

     I hope you enjoyed seeing that yarn post last week because guess what – I have some more yarn dying to show you from experimenting I did earlier this month. I’d been watching a lot of yarn dying videos on YouTube and that led me to videos of people dying with Kool-Aid seeing as there’s a lot of food colouring in it. In fact, when dying wool with food colouring, you need the food colouring and an acid like vinegar to help the colour strike the yarn, but Kool-Aid is full of citric acid and food colouring so that’s both ingredients in the one, well, ingredient.

     Anyway, you can’t actually get Kool-Aid in Ireland and other brands of powdered drinks like that aren’t very common here either so I had to go to Amazon to get some Kool-Aid sachets (which made them a bit expensive and didn’t give me the full selection of flavours/colours).

     For the previous yarn dyeing session I had used a pot to dye the mini skeins but I wanted to do some more speckled/sections of colour this time round so I went with pre-soaking the yarn, laying the yarn out and adding colour and then microwaving it to set the colour. It was quite fun – my friend was over at my house so we had a bit of a crafting day with it. I died four mini skeins and she dyed the camo inspired skein on the right (using liquid food colourings I had in addition to mixing some of the Kool-Aid colours).

     So, with my yarn laid out on top of some cling-film in a roasting tin (extra protection for the table) and eight small glasses with a different Kool-Aid flavour in each, I set to experimenting. Of the colours I had, there was one yellow, one green, one purple and the rest were various shades of pink and red.

     First up, I used a fork to start adding specks of red and pink to one skein and then I added some purple specks. It reminds me of summer fruits so seems fitting for a summer dyed yarn. Second up was where I just tried using all the colours I had in one mini skein by having bands of colour. The yellow was quite pale so it was hard to keep the other colours from overpowering it, especially that red.

     Next up is the yellow skein – this one was inspired by a snowball melon. I soaked the mini skein in a bowl with all the yellow Kool-Aid to get a very pale yellow base, added some more concentrated spots of yellow food colouring I have to add variation and then used a fork to add some green specs. Yellow isn’t really a colour I use much but I am very happy with how this skein came out.

     Last though was my favourite of the bunch – the purple and pink one. I started by soaking the yarn in a bowl with what I had left of the pale pink to get the base colour and then added the purple I had to the bowl. I didn’t have that much purple left so it didn’t cover the full mini skein, allowing the pink to show through. It looks like I used a blue as well but that’s the purple colour breaking and the blue in it coming through.

     With the yarns coloured, I wrapped them up in cling-film, stuck them in the microwave to heat set the colours, let them cool, rinsed them and set them up to dry.

     All in all, I’m really happy with how these yarns came out and I had a lot of fun dyeing with Kool-Aid. Obviously with Kool-Aid, there’s a much more limited colour choice to use use as most flavours end up looking either red or pink but they’re nice colours…and smell lovely. Yes, a benefit of dying with Kool-Aid is definitely the nice sweet smell!  My favourite colour combo was definitely the pink lemonade with the grape and I would love to try that again, maybe in a full 100g skein. Which is your favourite from this round of dye experimentation?

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18 thoughts on “Yarn Dyeing II – Experimenting with Kool-Aid

    1. I think so too actually! I think it’s because everything’s was so expensive… I’m unsure if there is still one of those shops in the Crescent shopping centre😌

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    2. No, think the one in the Crescent is now a (very popular judging by the queues I’ve heard about) barber shop. Guessing they couldn’t survive because of how expensive they were because damn, they were expensive – I understand the imported American brands being expensive but even the stuff not made in America was way overpriced!

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  1. I love how they turned out. The colors are beautiful. I would never have thought to use kool-aid as a yarn dye. Are you able to wash a finished piece if needed or will it wash the color out?

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    1. Definitely recommend if for dyeing for the smell while you’re at it xD The yarn is safe to wash – well, I don’t know about machine washing seeing as that messes with most yarns anyway, but perfectly fine to hand wash, the colour shouldn’t wash out.

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    1. Thanks! If I were to rank favourite colours, yellow would definitely be near the bottom of the list but I do absolutely love how that mini skein came out and it does make me want to try it on a full 100g skein!

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  2. I love seeing you learn something new. The colors are very pretty. Do you think they will last? I haven’t done much dying myself.
    I will look for Kool-Aid packets for you since there is no shortage of them here in the US. I don’t like it as a drink, but the colors are fabulous.

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    1. They should last. I’ve watched a few videos of people talking about food colouring as a dye and yes, colour will fade if it’s kept in direct sunlight at all times but so will any colour. It should be fine otherwise and the colour won’t fade with washing either.
      Oh thank you! Yeah, don’t think I’ve ever actually drank kool-aid and probably never will but as a dye it’s lovely – I much prefer the smell of sweet kool-aid with citrus acid in it than the vinegar I was using as an acid in the last batch 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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