Monday, November 18, 2013

Can you believe this Kool Aid Dyed?

I know it has been super quiet around here since I did my giveaway in October.  November is FLYING by and I'm doing my best to work on items for my shop and for Christmas gifts.  Such a busy season for a fiber artist!  :)

Last week, I drove down to Louisville, KY to meet up with a good friend of mine, Beth.  She's a fellow knitter and dyer and now my Kool Aid dyeing mentor!  I was in total awe of the yarns she had dyed using only Kool Aid!  

Beth and I at the dye pot!  
When some people hear that you dyed something with Kool Aid, they ask, "Will it fade or bleed with washing?"  Personally, I have found even commercial grade dyes to fade and bleed given the right circumstances, but for some reason, people think food grade dyes do not equal permanence.  Beth and I talked about this, and she told me of her experiments to prove that this idea is a misconception.

Beth took one of her Kool Aid dyed yarns and had a friend of hers hang it in direct sunlight for around 4 months.  Did the colors fade?  NOPE!  Not one bit.  The Kool Aid yarn looked just as lovely as the day it was dyed.

Her next test was to see if they would fade with washing.  She used regular, everyday laundry detergent and put the yarn through the washer a few times (since it was super wash, there was no worry of it felting...DO NOT DO THIS WITH NON-SUPERWASH YARN!).  Did the colors fade?  NOPE!  They stayed strong.

Of course, some detergents are rougher on yarn than others.  I wash mine using Ecos laundry detergent and hand wash only.  I was amazed myself to find that after washing my freshly dyed yarns, the water was clear!  I don't find that to be the case with commercial dyed yarns and fibers (many of them bleed quite a bit in the wash...and sometimes even Wilton's does a little).

Water so dark with color, you can't even see the yarn in the pot!

We dyed 3 skeins of super wash BFL fingering weight yarn (438 yards each).   Using only Kool Aid packets, we got some BEAUTIFUL color ways!

This first lovely is called "Larkspur".  It is named after the birth flower of my precious sons, Liam & Colin, who were born and passed away in July 2012.  Larkspur, also known as Delphinium, is a beautiful flower made up of purples and blues.  You can view this yarn on my Etsy shop by Clicking Here.

The next color way is "Burgundy Wine".  We used one of Beth's formula recipes to create this, but mine turned out quite different from hers.  Hers was a lighter purple color than mine.  The reason the two came out so different, we believe, was from the yarn bases.  Mine was super wash BFL, and hers was super wash Merino.  Different fibers will take dye differently, so it's so fun experimenting to see what you are going to get in the end!  This color reminds of the deep, gorgeous Burgundy wines my husband and I use to drink when we lived in France.  You can view it on my Etsy shop by Clicking Here.

The last Kool Aid dyed yarn of the day was "Purple Sunset" on BFL fingering weight yarn.  

I named this after seeing this picture online.  The yarn just reminded me so much of this painting!

I keep writing "BFL".  In case you don't know, BFL stands for Bluefaced Leicester sheep wool.  It's one of my favorite fibers to spin and knit with.  They are so cute too!  

I'm so inspired by Beth's fibers, that I'm already hitting the dye pots this week to make more!  I had kind of moved away from Kool Aid and more towards Wilton's, but now, I'm stocking up on Kool Aid and seeing what color ways I can create next!  Stay tuned for more lovely color ways to be added to my shop.  :) 

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