Thursday, August 27, 2009

Back in the Saddle

I know it's been such a long time since my last post. I want to thank Grace, Susan and Marsha for the sweet e-mails. You all inspired me to sit back down at the computer and pound out a post. Thanks girls! I can't believe how fast the time has flown. It's been an event filled summer. Lots of work and not enough play! lol! Our summer here in northern Illinois has been a cold one. It's the coolest summer I can remember. The weather is not helping my garden. I am praying for heat so my tomatoes can ripen. I was able to get several jars of pickles made. Looking at the calendar I was shocked to see that fall is less than 30 days away. The first day of Autumn begins on September 22. Speaking of fall, I have finally started knitting my very first socks. I hand dyed the fiber myself. I call it cornfield colorway.

One of the creative things I have been playing with is dyeing yarn. I have been experimenting with different methods cooking batches of wool yarn. I am using simple supplies like good ole Kool Aid. You know, the stuff you drank as a kid.

First you need to make sure your fiber is 100 percent wool. For this method I used the crock pot. I filled the container half full of water and set the heat on high. Let the water get steamy. Using yarn that has been skeined soak it in water with a touch of soap for at least 20 minutes. Squeeze out the excess water. You are ready to add the yarn to the crock pot. Because I was experimenting I decided to pour the dry Kool Aid right on top of the yarn.

I used lemon lime and orange Kool Aid. The smell from the kitchen was perfumed with fruity scents! I gave the yarn a slight stir to dissolve the powder. I wanted the colors to meld together and still look orange and green. I'm not sure how long it took for the colors to bond to the fiber. Probably not more that 30 minutes. You know it's finished when the dye is gone. The water will look clear.

Take the yarn out of the crock pot. Watch out, it's going to be hot. Let it cool off. I rinsed it in the sink. Hang it out to dry and then re-skein the yarn. Here is the finished product.

What do you think? Pretty cool. I have tried all different methods that I will share with you in the future. I have to say that the entire process is so enjoyable. If you have any questions please ask. I'm not an expert but I can muddle my way around and tell you what not to do! lol!


WhiteStone said...

Is the kool-aid colorfast with wool? I tried it once with cotton but not much luck. But wool works differently than cotton fabric, so I'm wondering. Especially since my daughter asked about dyeing wool with kool-aid and I didn't have an answer for her!

Joyfulsister said...

Hey Sis..
(((Hugz))) It is so good to see you!! sometimes it's good to take a break every now and then, but I missed ya Sistah!!!. Wowo that is awesome how you did that yarn. I have never seen it done like that before. Good to see you!!!

Hugz Lorie

Grace said...

Tom has used the Kool-Aid and microwave method, he hasn't done any in quite a while Glad to see you posting and your sock looks gorgeous

Tea said...

Welcome back! And you're back in great style with a great post!
Our summer has been wetter and a tad cooler than usual, too.

I love the idea of dyeing in the crockpot..I'm going to give that a whirl for sure.

Your sock looks fabulous!
Pass the pickles please. :)

Tea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mim said...

Glad to have you back (I have no room to complain of your absence as I have not posted since late July). Love the sock yarn colors. Good for you trying it out! Can't wait to see what else you come up with.

Wool Winder said...

My summer has been completely opposite of yours--one of the hottest on record. I'd send you some heat if I could.

The yarn looks nice and so do the socks!

stitching under oaks said...

that turned out great. I love the colors and how they work together! Welcome back!

Quiltersal said...

WELCOME BACK!!! I missed you so! Those socks are gonna rock. Love the colors. And the color of the dyed yarn is just yummy! Reminds me of a tropical drink. You zre much braver than I - want to try dying but just won't make the time to do it. Again, welcome back..

Suzy Girl said...

Welcome back! Summer can be a busy time. I can't believe September is right around the corner.
I love the results of your kool-aid dyeing! Those socks are really pretty!

susan said...

yeah....she's back :-) i bought my flip waffle iron from the ginny's website...i love it. i used a receipe by ermeril and you put the egg yolks in batter and whip up the egg whites and fold those into batter...such light and fluffy waffles. it is deffinately the flip waffle iron. i have neve been able to make them successfully before and now i am the waffle champ. i make a full batch (8) and mark just pops them in the toaster for a snack or dessert...he warmed one up, put french vanilla ice cream and then some of my thinner blueberry jam that is more like a syrup...yummy for him! we are going to ohio to visit mark's best friend from high school and wife, her mom sent her a flip waffle iron and it is still in the box unused...well, me and mark have decided they can buy the food and we will do the cooking. and i am busting that baby out of the box and making waffles for breakfast. i will also bring down an assortment of jams and syrups i have made. going to try out my new cricut...everyday paper dolls. they have a cute starter project, a card. i think victoria will love it. so good you are back. xo susan

Debra said...

Your yarn is superb!! I never had results like that!!! Incredible. Please tell me-did you use a mordant to set the dye? I used salt and vinegar-and of course-it all has a smell of pickles!! The smell goes away after a while. But perhaps just salt would be better.
Believe it or not-I think about your various needlework projects. I still love that machine embroidered piece work you did a while back-and your lovely quilt-oh my....You are incredible.. Can't wait to see those socks. Dyeing your own yarn is very contagious!! I'm going to a fiber festival in Sept.-can't wait to get some plain white wool to dye and some raw wool. Maybe I'll do a post about it on my art blog.
Love ya,

Jenny Girl said...

Both dye batches look great! That is your first attempt at socks? No way! It's going very well. Keep up the good work and glad to see you :)

CarpeDyem said...

Good to see you in cyber space again!!

I've done a lot of dyeing with Kool Aid, so if anyone wants to pick my brain.... am willing to share what I know!

Keep dyeing and keep knitting!

susan said...

I wonder about the colorfastness of koolaid dyeing. I want to learn to dye animal fibers with acid dyes. There are a couple women who own sheep and go from sheep to spun hand dyed yarn. I am willing to pay for dye lessons. So different from cotton. My final goal is to be able to buy spun alpaca yarn from my friend and then dye it and knit a project. So glad youre back.

Lanas said...

Hello! I am Inés from Abuelita Yarns Company. I loved the dying process!! very interesting!
We are a uruguaian brand which sells yarns. If you want to know more about us please enter or if you wish to see our articles and pictures enter
Good luck! :D

Anonymous said...

Wow! Beautiful!