Saturday, August 4, 2012

More Kool Aid Popsicle Dyeing

Remember my tutorial from last summer? Yesterday, my two sons did some more dyeing using this method. They chose their colors, helped make the ice cubes. They arranged their popsicles on the yarn and waited not so patiently for the sun to dye it. I told them I would use their yarn to knit them new winter hats.

NOTE: This technique will NOT work on cotton. Kool Aid and food coloring will only successfully dye on wool, silk and other animal fibers/hairs.

My son Bailey chose McCormick yellow food coloring, Kool Aid Mixed Berry, Kool Aid Cherry and Kool Aid Black Cherry for his yarn colors.

My son Silas chose McCormick green food coloring, Kool Aid Lemon Lime, Kool Aid Mixed Berry and Kool Aid Peach Mango for his yarn.

Here are some things that I did differently from last time.

  • As soon as my boys were done arranging their ice cubes on the yarn, I covered the glass dish with saran wrap. I didn't wait like last time.
  • We did this in the morning when it was 68 degrees out. We laid the covered yarn in the shade. After a couple of hours (we ran errands) we came home and saw that the ice cubes were all melted but the yarn was still in the shade and still relatively cool.
  • Once I saw that the dye was all melted, I peeled back the saran wrap and gently flipped the  yarn over. A lot of the dye was on the bottom and now it's on the top and will slowly drip its way through the rest of the yarn.
  • I recovered the yarn and put it in direct sunlight (It got up to the high 80s in the afternoon.) We went to the park after this for a few hours. When we got back, the saran wrap was all steamy and the glass was hot to touch! I brought it inside and pulled the yarn out. It was really hot too. Perfect! The water dripping off the yarn was clear, all the dye was absorbed into the yarn.
Including shade and sunlight time, the yarn was outside for about 6 hours. I thought by letting the ice cubes melt in the shade, it would melt slower. Giving it a less spotty, polka dot look. I also think turning the yarn over was a good idea. Their yarn is more uniform. Yay success!  Feel free to ask me any questions below.

UPDATE!! See the hats that I knit for them on this post here.

10 comments:

  1. I love the tye-dyed look that this creates. I definitely need to try this. Thanks for the tutorial!

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  2. That is such a wonderful idea. I love that you let your sons be involved in dyeing the yarn for their hats. I'm going to be trying this. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Can you do that to acrylic yarn to or just wool?

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    1. This won't work on acrylic or cotton or any man-made and plant fiber. It only works on wool and animal fibers (like silk and alpaca.)

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  4. Beautiful. When you use food coloring, what is the ratio to water you use?

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    1. Since I use ice cube trays, I use the amount of water that a cube holds. As far as how much food coloring to use, that's a matter of preference on how bright you want the dye to be.

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  5. How fascinating! Does the color wash out or bleed on other colors? For example, I wouldn't want the color to transfer onto another article of clothing. Any problems with that?

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    1. Once your yarn is dyed, when you rinse the yarn, the water should be clear. If it is, then the dye is set and it won't bleed at all. Ever. Make sure to click on the link to the original tutorial at the top of the article to read more about it.

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  6. hi!! i love this idea! Do you presoak your yarn with white vinegar?

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  7. This is so cool! Can't wait to try it! Thanks for sharing your idea of dyeing yarn! :-)

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