Last Sunday, myself and my favourite likeminded nerdy girls held the much-anticipated ‘dying party’ at our (subsequently trashed) condo.
Rayna and Leslie came over bearing bearing armfuls of fibre and edibles, (Tito retreated to the bedroom with the computer and headphones), and we did our best to make the apartment look like a herd of unicorns had thrown a rambunctious party, drank to excess, and thrown up all over it.
We had 3 skeins of yarn each to play with – the Cascade 220 sport was only 164 yards, and we used it to get our feet wet by hand painting with Kool-aid.
Our technique, for those interested, was very basic:
- Lay down plastic
- Lay pre-soaked yarn on top of plastic
- Mix different colours of Kool-aid with about 1/3 cup of water each
- Pour/paint/smear Kool-aid on top of yarn
- Wrap plastic around yarn
- Punch holes in the plastic so it doesn’t explode (I forgot this bit once; it was messy)
- Put the entire plastic package in a microwaveable bowl, to catch drippy dye
- Microwave it a minute at a time (letting it rest between for about a minute) up to 5 minutes or until all the Kool-aid has been absorbed.
- Carefully remove it, let it cool, remove the plastic and wash it gently in the sink.
- Parade yarn around the living room like a boss
Here are our Kool-aid creations:
Leslie’s colourway “Hematoma“
Rayna’s as-yet-unnamed colourway
My colourway, which Tito named “Wow, this looks just like all your other s!@t.”
Next up was the worsted. I purchased huge skeins (271 yards) of wool worsted weight for the RIT dying experiment. The technique was the same as the above, but sub out Kool Aid for RIT and soak the yarn in water with vinegar before starting. The RIT bleeds like heck, so washing it up took a bit longer, but the results are lovely.
Leslie’s colourway, which was given a name so rude I cannot repeat it here.
Rayna’s colourway, which also was given a name so rude I cannot repeat it here.
My skein, (of which I was very proud) – was intended to give the impression of the lovely colours of an autumn forest… but apparently only succeeded in being evocative of mozzarella and tomato sauce because Tito named this one “There are three women in my kitchen and I have to order pizza.“.
Finally we moved on to the lace-weight merino, which we had been saving for last. Rayna opted to continue with the RIT, resulting in this most impressive skein:
Leslie and I opted to dive into an herbal dye kit that I picked up at the KW fair a few years ago. It’s a bit more of a process, requiring that the yarn be mordanted before dyeing. We both opted for immersion dyeing in this case. Leslie produced this lovely thing:
And I produced what certainly became my favourite skein of the day:
After the girls joked about absconding with it I chose the name “Theft is the greatest form of flattery“.
In between yarns, we dyed some of our inexhaustible supply of fibre, mostly as experiments to learn how a dye behaved before trying it out on the yarn.
There were lots of jokes about how ‘This is how Tanis and Indigodragonfly got started!’ and even a name for our fantasy dye company: ‘I don’t want to dye alone’. We certainly all felt daunted though, by the idea of trying to come up with a sweaters worth of a consistent colour way. Even so, we loved it enough that we’re already planning another dye party, with acid dyes this time, and nicer yarn bases!