There was fun and mess in the kitchen yesterday! Lovely Anna came over to watch and play with a bit of dyeing and to meet the cats (obviously, the primary reason ;)

I'd stocked up on Koolaid and wanted to have a try at those, having never used it before. Wool in 200g skeins was soaking in the bath with a dab of extra vinegar, to make sure it would take the colour well. Had also mixed up some concentrated easy acid dye solutions in squeezy bottles, just in case, and managed to turn my hands a lovely shade of purple (I'm not good with rubber gloves)

We mixed the Koolaid with boiling water in plastic containers and just started dipping, not being entirely sure how the colours would come out! Now, the colour saturated pretty quickly and we both kinda figured that maybe a 200g skein was a bit big for these sachets (and the containers) Nonetheless, we worked our way through the sachets trying to make sure that every section of yarn took up colour. Oh, and the kitchen worktop flooded pretty well too. Some of the packets were a surprise colourwise, some fizzed, and some were more smelly than others.

Must admit, I wasn't greatly impressed with the colours, although the flat smelt all yummy afterwards. Mostly, they're a little too bubblegumish for my liking I think. We managed 2 skeins with the Koolaid; one reds and purples, the other blues and greens. Now the blues and greens we definitely didn't like - so stuck it in my big dye pot with a weak solution of Kemtex slate blue and it came out a wonder - it needed something to bring the colours together tonally. Anna had bought with her a small skein of wool she'd tried dyeing with Dylon cold dye, so we topped that up with some purple colour.

Food soon beckoned, so after we managed a small amount of shopping of hand painted yarns, Anna headed home and we had pasta. But my dyeing adventures for the day didn't end there. Oh no. I mean, what else would you rather be doing on a saturday night?

So the red/purple skein that had had the Koolaid treatment also got over-dyed with the last red koolaid sachet and some red acid dye - again the small amounts of natural colour yarn left between the colours were bothering me (in photo above with the blue/green skein) Have to say at this point, that if anyone wants to know which Koolaid we used for which colours, I can't help you. We opened so many that I've forgotten which were which.. and although we tried to keep the empty sachets by the containers as a guide, they all got soaked when the worktop flooded. I do however remember that Grape was the only one that left a strong colour....

Here's a shot of the other skeins I dyed - all acid dyes. The colours aren't showing very well, as the flash bleaches them and there isn't enough natural light. They are all subtle colourwise; bottom skeins dyed firstly with Kemtex rust then splashed with some red and bordeaux. The top middle was dyed with Kemtex sage then dipped into dark blues and greys. The other two blues were also dipped into blues, purples and greys.

Have also finished 2 more hats - one was the knitted cheapy aran, dyed with rust and splash dyed with purple and grey. The 2nd is the fine red wool plyed... now I thought there'd only be enough for one hat, but there's stacks left. Which is cool, as it's a lovely deep red. I'm still not sure about the splash-dyeing; I seem to be over doing it a bit. It's definitely loads better with a base colour first though. Same for the skeins.

Verdict? I won't be buying anymore Koolaid. It's been fun to try it, but I don't like the colours that much and it seems a much more expensive way of dyeing... so I'll stick to my acid dyes. For variegated colour effects, I prefer having a base colour and adding on top - it brings the colours together better. And I really must be less dye-happy for some of the techniques - less is more and all that.

Now, having been woken at a daft hour by our neighbours playing (and singing along to) xmas carols, I might go back to bed. It is sunday after all, and that means a lie in. To end this post, here's Minky being rather naughty. All serious spinners look away now! The fleece was still drying and I left it uncovered to let the air circulate to avoid any mouldy patches... but someone has decided it's her bed and it's proving difficult keeping her off it.

AuthorWoolly Wormhead