Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Thanks To Cherry and Grape Kool-Aid!

So, I eventually took a break from knitting baby socks after knitting up this last pair at the end of 2008, a pair I'm highlighting, because I knit it from yarn that I finally love after dyeing it twice!

The yarn started as Spunky Eclectic's undyed superwash wool sock yarn. Back in 2007, I experimented with acid dyes and handpainted a skein along with some fibre. Unfortunately, I didn't like how the colors came out on the skein, so I let it get buried in my stash and didn't do anything with it until this past November when I got this crazy urge to do some dyeing. So, I dug out the offensive sock yarn and the Kool-Aid packets and found my recycled containers to do some simple overdyeing. I wish I had a "before" picture of this skein, but lazy me didn't take one. Anyhow, on one end of the skein, I dip-dyed the skein (prepped and pre-soaked with cold water and a glug of vinegar) with two packages of cherry mixed with about a cup of water, and on the other end, with a package of cherry and a package of grape mixed with a cup of water. After dip dyeing and placing the colours on either end of the skein, I just pushed the entire skein into the dye jar to absorb every last bit of dye before heat setting in the microwave.

It's amazing how the vinegar helps the wool to just suck up every last bit of dye from the Kool-Aid liquid. (How anyone can ingest this "drink", after using this as a dye, is beyond me.)

After the skein came out of the microwave and air dried, the skein completely transformed from a loud, ugly mix of teal blue, navy blue, white, canary yellow, and grass green to a glorious mix of warm, autumn colors that blend well together. I don't think I'll ever be able to reproduce this skein again, but that's ok, I really love the serendipity of the dyeing process! I'll have to carefully choose the rest of my projects for this single yummy skein, but I'm thinking Jaywalkers or a baby sweater at this point... For now, I can enjoy the baby socks on K, which almost fit perfectly on her curling, tiny feet!

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