Wednesday, 6 February 2019

A Colourful Adventure with Yarn

In the summer of 2017 while on holiday, I visited Shrewsbury for the day. There are many lovely buildings, a wonderful walk along the river, and many old areas to visit. One thing I like to do is have a leisurely browse around the indoor market. The lower floor is full of stalls with all kinds of products, and there are quite a few wonderful small shops on the upper gallery.

One of those is Ewe & Ply, as they say themselves: "We sell a huge, wonderful range of natural and ethically sourced quality British wool, yarn and fibre". Though they sell much more than that!!

I loved the dyeing I have done before (fabric and threads using different dye techniques), so I was tempted by their kit for indigo dyeing (always wanted to try that) and a kit for dyeing wool with Koolaid (I had just heard about that at the time). Being on holiday I decided to buy both...

And then the kits lay at home. Looked at now and then, but I never got round to using them... until yesterday! Ahem, 19 months later or so...

I decided to try the wool dyeing kit. This kit was from DT Craft & Design, called "Knit'n'Go felted knit sack". It included 100 g undyed DK wool, 10 Koolaid sachets in different flavours/colours, a plastic box (for dyeing in), gloves and a plastic apron. Apart from the dyeing materials and instructions, it contained a pattern to knit and felt a project pouch with belt loops for knitting on the go.

While the wool was soaking in a bowl of warm water (with a drop of Ecover dish liquid - I improvised) I made up some dye solutions from the Koolaid. I had some empty and clean dish soap bottles, so I tipped the content of three sachets into three separate bottles, added some warm water and shook to dissolve. 
My idea was to make my wool deep blue, and adding a little red and yellow for some purple and green accents. With that in mind I used Koolaid in the flavours "Blue Raspberry Lemonade" (blue), "Lemonade" (yellow), and "Strawberry" (red). By the smells you would think I had converted my kitchen into a sweets factory!!!

With the wool sufficiently wet, I poured some of the blue on. The blue turned out to be a bright light blue. Different than I had in mind, but lovely. Unfortunately I did not take a photo of it.

Because when I added a few drops of red (more small squirts than drops to be honest) the red drowned out the blue very quickly. I also added some yellow, and that slightly changed the tone of the colour too. In the end I decided to let it become what it wanted, which was a reddish pink.

To make it more variable in colour I considered trying to add some more blue again, but in the end I opted for a darker purple instead. When this went on the colour seemed a very dark grey really.

After "cooking" in the plastic box in the microwave to set the dye the yarn needed to cool, and I wrote notes (City & Guilds habits - always make notes)! When rinsing later in warm water, the water remained clear. A good sign that the dye had been well set, I imagine.

Drying it the colour seems to have lightened a little, but I am very pleased with the end result!

I am now sooo curious how this will knit up!! I don't think I will knit it into a felted belt pouch according to the kit's instructions. Any experienced knitters out there that can suggest what can be knit with 100g DK in reddish pink with darker areas...???

In the mean time I am looking in my very modest wool stash for wool that can be dyed with some of the remaining Koolaid!



  1. Dyeing with Koolaid sounds rather concerning - actually its probably the drinking of such a dyeing product that is more concerning! Albeit that your colours didn't turn out as expected, I think you have ended up with a beautiful result. Hope you find something pretty to knit it up into.

  2. that's beautiful! I didn't know you could buy Koolaid over here. Will the yarn be colourfast?


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