Crafty Saturday

On Saturday, Annika and I drove all the way out to San Gabriel to attend a fiber-arts yard sale. We were both primarily in search of wool that would work for diaper soakers*, and thus were delighted to find an entire bin of undyed fisherman’s wool for $10. Rubbing our hands together in cartoonish excitement, we purchased the bin and divided it between the two of us.

Unfortunately for me, most of my skeins turned out to be infested with moth larvae, and even the one that wasn’t infested was chewed through in about six or seven places. I threw out the buggy ones, but decided to keep the unbugged one and Kool-Aid dye it.

First I unwound the skein, cursing at all the moth-munched breakages, and washed it in mild soap and water.

Washing unddyed yarn

Then I prepared my Kool-Aid, using three tablespoons of water to one packet of drink powder (except for the yellow, for which I used a lower ratio of water to powder because I didn’t want it to come out too pale).

All prepared to dye

Using my turkey baster (not just for lesbian inseminators anymore!), I carefully applied the Kool-Aid in stripes to the yarn.

Halfway dyed

Totally forgot to wear gloves. (It washed off by Monday, but I went around all weekend telling people to “look at the red hand of death!” This went over particularly well at the picnic we attended on Sunday.)

Handpainted

Microwaved it, washed it again, and hung it up to dry overnight.

Hand dyed yarn drying

Et voila!

Finished Handdyed yarn

Unfortunately, because only one skein turned out to be usable and the yarn itself is in such poor condition (Fisherman’s Wool from Sears, anyone? I’m guessing it’s about thirty years old), I may not be able to knit a whole soaker out of it. I think I’m going to stripe it with some Lamb’s Pride.

*(Annika says the wonderful pattern she has developed for soakers will be available soon at her Etsy shop).

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15 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    MonkeyGurrl said,

    I’m just glad to see you so full of crafty goodness (I was getting a *little* concerned).

  2. 2

    Mom said,

    Undyed, it looks amazingly like spaghetti.

  3. 3

    uccellina said,

    I thought so too 🙂

  4. 4

    MonkeyGurrl said,

    Me too! But in my excitement, I forgot to say anything. Great minds, yadda yadda.

  5. 5

    Mom said,

    Much yummier with the dye, however.

  6. 6

    desiknitter said,

    You actually coloured a bunch of noodles and now you’re going to have a feast, yes?
    It looks great – I’ve never dyed yarn and now I’m tempted! I love those colours.

  7. 7

    This looks like much fun and I agree with previous, I thought it was noodles at first as well. But, wouldn’t it be fun to do so with noodles? Yes? Yes?

  8. 8

    Celeste said,

    How long did you microwave it? I don’t understand how to tell when it’s done.

    Seeing your pot of wool noodles reminds me of the time my mom dyed something with Rit in a pan on the stove. I was the next one to use the pan a couple of days later and of all things, heated milk in the pan for hot chocolate (I’m old–there was no microwave then!). To our horror the green dye started bleeding out from the edges into the milk.

    Good times, good times.

  9. 9

    uccellina said,

    Celeste – Ew. I hope the green milk incident was on or near St. Patrick’s day, at least?

    You microwave the dyed yarn for two minutes, let it sit for two minutes, and then zap it again for another two minutes. When it’s done, the water in the bowl should be mostly clear.

    Oddly, even after all the zapping and washing and drying, the finished product still smells distinctly of Kool-Aid.

  10. 10

    Husband said,

    You mean that WASN’T spaghetti we had the other night??!!!

  11. 11

    uccellina said,

    Husband – Um . . . Uh . . . damn. I forgot you read this thing.

  12. 12

    MonkeyGurrl said,

    You cooked dinner!?!?!?!!

  13. 13

    dancinpistachio said,

    i still drink kool aid now and then. i don’t know that i’m going to continue.

  14. 14

    uccellina said,

    dancinpistachio,

    Most dyes require vinegar or some other mordant to “fix” them, so they won’t bleed out of the yarn/fabric later. Kool-Aid is is so acidic that it does not require any fixative. This does not make me feel good about anyone drinking it, I have to say.

    Add to the “maybe you shouldn’t drink this” list: Orange Tang can be used to bleach dishwashers, sinks and bathtubs.

  15. 15

    cheryl said,

    Diaper soakers! Do you plan on cloth diapering? I did cloth until sami was about 8 months old, and then she started going through so few diapers, and water got so expensive here, that I gave up on the huge time suck and waste of water and am now using 2 sposies a day.

    But the cloth was SO MUCH CUTER.


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