Over the weekend I took the plunge and dyed some wool yarn in my crock pot -- with Kool Aid! For years knitterly friends have been trying to convince me to do this, but I've always held back. What if I ruined the yarn? What if it turned out horrible? No, I'm far too type-A for that. Until this weekend. When I needed some yarn in a color I didn't have. And I finally gave in.
For the record, dyeing yarn in a crock pot is by far the easiest thing I've done in several years. You basically put the yarn in, put the Kool Aid in, and let it sit for a few hours. Pat it as dry as you can, then hang it up overnight. For those looking for pictures and some more information, here you go!
Step 1: Place your skeined up natural or white wool into a crock pot full of water. Let the yarn soak for a few minutes, then turn the crock pot on high. Let the yarn soak this way for 15 minutes.
Step 2: Add the Kool Aid and then let it sit. To add the color, you mix one packet of unsweetened Kool Aid for every ounce of yarn you have. I mixed it in a cup with a small bit of water and then poured it into the crock pot. Very, very carefully, give the water a spin. You don't want to agitate the wool too much as it's in hot water so it could felt, but you want the color to spread through all the water and touch all parts of the yarn. Then, you wait. You wait until the yarn has sucked all the color out of the water, and the water looks clear. About an hour in, I spun the yarn a bit to re-distribute it, make sure the yarn that had been on top was now on bottom to get a more even color. Then I waited some more.
Step 3: Dry and skein your yarn! Once the yarn has soaked up all the water from the crock pot, I pulled it out and let it cool off in a colander. I rinsed it a bit, and then blotted it out in a towel. Then I simply hung it to dry overnight and skeined it back up! While the color isn't super even, I'm in love with my first attempt at dyeing yarn and can't wait to do it again! Oh, and I'll be sure to share the hat I make with this yarn!