So, I did a little Kool-Aid dyeing this weekend. It's been on my knitterly to-do list ever since I discovered the idea... there's even an ancient post back in the blog archives about it, in which I was ever-so gung-ho to do it, and then never actually did. I even bought some "Bare" yarn from KnitPicks for the express purpose of dyeing, and then never got around to it... until this weekend. The first thing I tried was dyeing over a colour of Lion Brand Wool-Ease - it was a lightish raspberry colour that I wasn't incredibly thrilled with. I used Berry Blue and Cherry to attempt a purple dye-bath; I didn't expect a radical change, and it wasn't - it just deepened the hue somewhat. I didn't save a snippet of the yarn pre-dye, unfortunately, so I can't really catalogue the change. Next time I do a dye-over, I'll make sure to document that!
I managed to dig up the aforementioned KnitPicks yarn from my stash (I won't disclose the incredibly embarrassing amount of hours spent detangling the one skein that I foolishly removed the ties from upon unpacking the yarn), and made an attempt at vareigated dyeing on Sunday. (I used this tutorial from Knitty; other sources of information and inspiration can be found at Streets & Yos, and Fiber Arts.) Rather than bore you with the details (though I will say that it would have been a good idea to use a syringe or turkey baster; I had neither of these so just poured the Kool-Aid on in random places), here's some pictures!
Plain wool, skeined loosely, soaking in the sink awaiting the dyeing process.
Same wool, laying out on a plastic bag (don't want to dye the countertop too!).
Skein 2; I sort of wound it into a coil and applied colour from the centre out.
Hot yarn, straight out of the microwave. There's something counter-intuitive about microwaving wool. I could smell it and even hear slight pops now and then and I was afraid I was destroying it. It turned out just fine (any fuzzing you see that looks like felting is actually a result of the manhandling given to the skein pre-dyeing while trying to get it untangled).
Skein 1, dry, pre-winding. I didn't really take a picture of it during the dye job.
Skein 2, dry. Haven't wound it yet, but will post a picture when I do. This is the one I showed above while still wet.
Skein 1, dry, wound, and pretty! I really should think of a name instead of just "skein 1". I was thinking of calling it "Fairy Vomit" (well, it's a lot of really pretty colours in incredibly random order... but it's not a very enticing name, haha).
Another view of the ball of yarn, where you can see the purples. The grape flavour Kool-Aid actually produces a range of blues and purples - it doesn't dye all one colour. I was expecting this, and looked forward to how it would turn out. :)
The beginning of a swatch in Skein 1 (aka Fairy Vomit). So pretty!
The flavours/colours I used were Grape, Cherry, Pink Lemonade, Lemonade, and Orange. The Pink Lemonade makes a very pretty, candy like pink and the Lemonade makes a very sunny yellow - I'm hoping at some stage to use various strengths of Lemonade and Orange to make my own 'brand' of yellow (variegated yellows are my white whale - I'm very particular about yellow yarn and I'm always searching for the best, sunniest, warmest hues I can find).
I also did a batch of plain red using Cherry and Pink Lemonade - the result was a vivid and slightly variegated pink, red and white yarn (even though I dyed it in a pot on the stove, there were interior sections of the skein that remained white... looks pretty neat). I haven't wound that one yet as the skein was slightly bigger and it's still a little damp, but pictures will be up soon!