Yarn Dyeing – Kool-aid & Food Coloring

So the next experiment was to be the biggest experiment yet – Kool-aid and Food Color! Who knew that Kool-aid could be such a great yarn dye? It started with a trip to the local Wal-mart to buy every flavor possible, and wow my Wal-mart likes Kool-Aid. I was able to purchase the following flavors –

  • Grape
  • Tropical Punch
  • Strawberry Kiwi
  • Strawberry
  • Black Cherry
  • Sharkleberry Fin
  • Strawberry Lemonade
  • Blue Raspberry Lemonade
  • Orange
  • Lemonade
  • Peach Mangp
  • Mixed Berry
  • Pink Lemonade
  • Green Apple
  • Cherry

I also picked up McCormick’s Regular & Neon Food Coloring.

To make the Kool-aid mixture I mixed up 2 oz of white vinegar + 6 oz of water + Kool-aid for each flavor. To make the food coloring mixture  I mixed 2 oz of white vinegar + 6 oz of water + 25 drops of color. I then cut up a skein of KnitPicks Bare Wool of the Andes into several 10 ft segments. For each color I put in an ounce of color  +  2 oz of water. I then microwaved each segment for 3 minutes intervals until the water was clear. Most of the time it was just one nuking. After the yarn was done absorbing the dye it went into a lukewarm soapy bath and then rinsed thoroughly.

Once rinsed a color label was attached to the yarn and it was hung on hooks to get ready for phase three. Phase two was experimenting with 2 color recipes, I perfected a few good browns doing this and learned a bright purple is very hard to achieve.

Phase Three involved over-dyeing the segments with five different colors – Green Apple, Strawberry, Peach Mango, Weak Black and Yellow. From this experiment I learned that Peach Mango & Yellow are virtually the same when used as over-dyes.


Now I am working up each segment into an I-cord I can then use as references.

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