Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Journey into Madness

Oh the Kool Aid! Can you spot all the flavors? There are EIGHTEEN different ones. So many packages... So much sacrifice to the yarn gods. (We used 3 packages of each flavor.) You can also see all the little circles that I crocheted. These were just the ones for each color. There were also others (3 of each) of the six different types of yarn tested. In all there were over 30 of the little rounds. (Psst... Only the 100% wool really dyed. The 100% nylon dyed as well, but the color was anything but what it looked like in the cup. The same color that dyed the wool green made the nylon gold.)
The yarn soaking in water and vinegar. While researching the Kool Aid dyeing techniques we came across sites that said just to soak the yarn in water, others said to soak it in water with a little vinegar added and others said to wash the yarn and then soak it. So many choices... We picked the water & vinegar mixture. And then it was on to all the purty dyes. Look at them all waiting there so tempting in their individual cups. Let the yarn orgy begin!
Toss some circles into the cups and watch them gasp for their last breath of sickly sweet scented air. "Hmmm... Smells like Kool Aid." Glug, glug. Then the mad, mad dyeing continues as you mercilessly torture more yarn. Splashing color upon color upon it until it screams for mercy! "The colors! Oh the colors!" You cackle with glee. Heehee. (Yes, I know I need help. Perhaps inhaling too much powdered drink mix is not good for you after all.)
Of course after you drown your yarn, you need to do something absolutely diabolical. You nuke it. Then you give it a little reprieve, tease the yarn with thoughts of sweet, sweet freedom. Then slam it on back in the microwave for more time in the "hot seat". Notice how in the first picture the water is blue and in the second it is a milky white color? That means the yarn soaked up all the dye out of the water like a greedy little Gus. And here it kept screaming during the torture session. Yarn, me thinks thou dost protest to much!
After such a strenuous work out during the torture session, everyone needs a nice relaxing bath. Ahhhh... Good stuff. (Please disregard the dirty drain. Eeeew. Yuck! Where's my Comet?)
No torture session would be complete without a little time on the rack. (It's actually a plant hanger, but I won't tell if you won't. Shhh...) Note the lovely views of the dead grass of our back yard. Well, at least the snow is all melted.
Drip, drip, drip. The soothing sounds of drying yarn. Now you know why it's hanging up outside. It would make quite a mess indoors.
Whatever happened to all the poor little circles swimming in the dye? Don't worry, they got their fair share of the torture as well. Note the improvised popsicle stick and brick drying apparatus. The things you resort to when your HOA* won't let you have a clothesline.
It's dry! It's dry! Woohoo! It's dry! Now where did I put that swift and ball winder? Oh. Yeah. That's right. I don't have those things. Dang it. Oldest DD stood in for the swift (and she is sure that there are child labor laws against such things) and I pretended to be a ball winder. Wee! And around, and around, and around we go... A few hundred times or so.
Look Ma! YARN! Check out the psychedelic rainbow. DD is particularly enamored of the blue. But then again, it is her favorite color. Then there is the little rainbow circle crocheted with the new yarn. Can you imagine a whole blanket out of this stuff? Definitely not for the faint of heart.
I must present, with some astonishment, my first ever knitted finished objects. Lol. Two swatches about 4 inches square each of both yarns. Hey, I got to practice binding off. It will come in handy when I get to the end of my long, long practice scarf. I think it's neat how different the yarn looks when you use it in different ways. Take a gander at the differences between rainbow yarn when it's knit and when it's crocheted.
Oh yes... Just in case you didn't figure it out by now... Kool Aid will stain. Yeah, I got tired of putting on and pulling off the rubber gloves. Shame on me! The good news is that my hands are no longer pruney or stained. Although I am still in dire need of a good manicure. Not that I ever had one to begin with. Lol.
And so ends the journey into Kool Aid Madness. I hope you made it through in one piece. Oh the colors! **ADDED** Where did I get the directions to dye? From the article "Dyed in the Wool" at Knitty. Also, I have a webring called Drink Mix Mania for people who like to dye with Kool Aid and other drink mixes so if you are a webring-a-holic I thought I'd let you know of this grand addiction promotion. Lol. *HOA = Home Owner's Association = Nasty little things with tons of rules that make you wonder why on Earth you ever signed those closing papers.


Blogger Kuruku said...


3/23/2005 1:33 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

That's it! I absolutely positively haveto try this!! I love the way the rainbow/phsychedelic one came out.

3/23/2005 2:44 AM  
Blogger Hunny said...

I just love the way the multi color yarn worked up! I have to try!!

3/23/2005 7:28 AM  
Anonymous Sheila said...

I must tell others!!!

3/23/2005 8:49 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Very very nice! I also love the rainbow ones. So, what colors...er I mean flavors did you like the best? Can I live vicariously through your flavor experience? You know...post pics of the circles with their flavors? hee hee...I live in an apartment, so know what you mean about not being able to have a clothes line.

3/23/2005 4:43 PM  
Blogger justcinful said...

The only flavor that we found (out of the 18) that did not do anything is "Lemon Ice". It makes a white drink. I think it may have made the yarn a shade paler, but it is tough to tell.

When my DD gets her project back I will have to take pics of all the different colors and post it.

I would be curious to see how the yarn died with less color used. (We used 3 packets per color.)

3/23/2005 9:05 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Thanks for sharing, all the pictures were great! I have some wool and koolaid ready to go as soon as I finish up my birthday projects! That is cool and looks so fun!

3/24/2005 10:51 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

what a great read! reminded me to put kool aid on my grocery list! thanks for sharing it. i hope she gets a good grade for all that yarn sacrificed!!! :)

3/25/2005 5:16 PM  
Blogger goldi said...

Well, it looks like I will just have to indulge in a bit of my own Koolaid Madness just as soon as I can! This was just plain fun, and what a wonderful end result! Thanks for spreading the madness, lol!

3/26/2005 3:25 AM  
Blogger Rosesandtea said...

Great project! Thanks for all the photos.

Ugh, HOAs. I know if we move to the US (back home for me) I definately want to watch out for those things - I am a clothes-line kind of person! Backyard chickens too.

Home of the free, anyone?

3/27/2005 5:46 AM  
Anonymous Kyrie said...

I'm just curious how long you leave the wool in the dye. As well how long you nuke the yarn. I seemed to have missed that information if you ever posted it.

8/24/2005 9:56 PM  

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