Tag Archives: Kool Aid Dyeing

More felted vases

Last month I made my first attempts at felting around glass vases.  I didn’t think they were too bad for a first try, although the square one didn’t make me very happy.

Yesterday and today I continued my journey and am getting much better at creating a pattern for the resist that is closer to the correct size.

I dyed the tall one from last month.   The spiky top made me think of flames, so I used Kool-Aid to complete the fiery look.

orange red vase

Vase on fire

The color is more vivid in real life.  It is about 7.5 inches tall and 3 inches in diameter at the widest point.  The shape of this vase allows the vase to slide out of the alpaca felt covering.

gray with blue stripe vase

Tall and gray

This one is made with gray alpaca fiber with a band of blue dyed around it. It’s about 9.5 inches tall and 3.5 inches in diameter.

white with purple stripes

Curvy

This one’s about 7 inches tall, 4.5 inches in diameter at the widest point. While wet, I sprinkled grape Kool-Aid powder around this one and then squirted vinegar on the powder.  The blue dye ran out of the purple dye for the two-tone effect.  Quite unexpected and unique.

black and white felted vase

Black and white

For this one I used both black and white fiber, no dyeing involved.  It’s about 6 inches tall, 3 inches in diameter.

green and purple felt

Meet in the middle

This one is also made with alpaca fiber that was dyed before it was felted.  It is 8 inches tall and 5 inches in diameter at the widest point.

Since they all have glass inside, they can be used for fresh flowers.  Or they can hold a silk flower arrangement, pencils on your desk or knitting needles.  You can put a battery operated candle in them or just admire them on their own.  I’m planning to take these five vases to Gumball Collective in Minneapolis where they will be for sale.  I can’t wait to see how they are accepted there.

5 vases

The group!

So what do you think?   I would love to hear your thoughts.

Hey, Kool-aid Man!

I had a wonderful day yesterday!   I spent it cooking Kool-aid!  Leslie of Drummond Farms came over in the morning.  She is new to dyeing.   She brought white yarn, Kool-aid and lunch – not much makes me happier!  We spent the morning with big dye pots on the stove.  We did 4 batches. 

Our morning's accomplishment

The green, red and orange/yellow are all pretty solid colored.   A little variation, but mostly solid.  The purple dye pot, however started out blue, then red (tropical punch, I think) was sprinkled on the yarn, let sit a short time, then stirred in.

Crazy colors

And this is the result.  Mine is the bulky, Leslie has the Suri lace weight.  We shared dye pots on the batches. 

Then we ate lunch on the deck.  Leslie’s coleslaw was as yummy as the yarn we dyed!   Then visited the alpacas in the barn and walked around the yard a bit.

Afternoon was ‘nuke the Kool-aid’ class!   Kool-aid was mixed in little squirt bottles and applied in various patterns to wet yarn.  The yarn was wrapped in cellophane and popped in the microwave! 

And for dessert!

And this is our afternoon’s work!   (Leslie’s on the right, mine on the left)  A day filled with fun conversation and beautiful yarn besides!   If your interested in buying, Leslie’s is all lace weight.  Contact her for more info.   My hand painted is 80% alpaca / 20% silk lace weight, all other is 100% alpaca yarn.

I got nuthin’

Nothing, Nada, Zip, Zilch!  I didn’t even get one puny pair of mittens knit last week for charity.   I will do better this week!

I did get the red mittens felted.  This is a testimony to dyeing with Kool-Aid.  To felt the mittens, I put a big pot of water on my stove and heated to nearly boiling, added that to the hottest tap water I could get in my wash machine, added detergent (not gentle Aquilaun like I recommend for alpaca) and agitated the bejeebers out of those poor mittens for at least 15 minutes.  This is NOT the care I suggest be given to alpaca products – especially those dyed deep, dark colors.   But here is the set:

Red set

Red set

The felting gives the mittens a fuzziness the wrist warmers and scarf don’t have, so they do look a little different.  And they did fade some – the water was pink.  But I was amazed at how little they faded – since I did not think of that possibility when I started the set (duh!)

My finished objects!

First – my grocery / project / carry-anything bag!

My bag

My bag

It doesn’t look like much until it is filled with something.  I stuffed a couple little pillows in it. 

Stuffed bag

Stuffed bag

It stretches, but the crochet cotton is so strong, I think it could carry groceries.  I can’t wait to try it out! 

This set is almost finished.  I have to felt the mittens yet. 

Scarf, mittens, wristwarmers

Scarf, mittens, wristwarmers

But then it will be mailed off to its destination, so I thought I would show you this – incase I forget to photograph the felted mittens.  Next set – scarf, mittens, wristwarmers, and hat from yarn I’ll dye with walnut husks!

Something for others

They are my standby!  Mittens from the bags of acrylic yarn donated to my knitting group.   They still need to have seams sewn – which will be done by another gal in the group.   She offers – how can I refuse!

3 little pairs of mittens

3 little pairs of mittens

We meet tomorrow, so these will be on their way to warm little school kids’ fingers soon. 

Legwarmers are finished – ready to be picked up later this week.  I think I will make another pair soon to have in the gift shop and maybe list onEtsy.   These were fun to knit.

Legwarmers

Legwarmers

Striped like these or solid color?   Which do you like?

I may have overdone the Kool-Aid in the dye bath!  A combination of cherry and tropical punch and, man, is it red!   I don’t know if I can get this bright a red from commercial dyes.  Not sure I need to try!

Really red yarn

Really red yarn

This is for a custom order of mittens and wristwarmers of the sport weight and a scarf of the bulky yarn.  Notice the white ties on the skeins – that is acrylic yarn that went thru the dyeing same as the skeins of alpaca.  I’m always amazed that acrylic just doesn’t pick up dye like natural fiber!   Makes you wonder how they dye acrylic in the factory!

Better late than never?

Here’s the end to the red scarflette saga.

I decided to put in 3 buttonholes for the 2 white and 1 red buttons.   I found this great tutorial on making buttonholes.   After a few tries, I was making pretty good buttonholes – much better than the ‘bind off, next row cast on’ type I had previously made.  So I switched from the bumpy seed stitch to smooth stockinette, knit a few rows, put in buttonholes, knit a few more and bound off.   I sewed my center red button on the other end and take a look!!!

One button one

One button one

End to end

End to end

The stockinette rows pulled in shorter than the seed stitch and the buttonhole row even more so.  Bad scarf!   So the scarflette went into time-out for a few weeks! 

When I determined that the scarflette had sufficiently repented, I ripped back to the seed stitch and started again.  I put in 4 buttonholes for the 4 red buttons.  (Thanks to Linda and Karen for agreeing on this!)  I continued to do the seed stitch and attempted to keep it as consistent as possible on each side of the buttonholes.  And here it is!

The buttons are on

The buttons are on

Buttoned

Buttoned

Over the head with one button

Over the head with one buttonThe buttonholes still pull that row in a little, but it is much improved.Wide front

Pointed down in front

Pointed down in front

It is finally done!  I even had fun fashioning it is different ways on my mannequin head.   It is knit from bulky 100% alpaca yarn, dyed with Kool-aid.  $20.  I think it will go into my Etsy shop, but my blog readers get first chance.   I can say it is warm and cuddly!

Week 1 – wrap up

Week One’s goal was to have 25 pair of wrist warmers completed.  Did I make it?   Not quite.  I have 12 on the shelf.  I have another 11 pair knit and in various stages of completion.   Some only need the frilly edge and the seam done, some are on the blocking board, one is waiting for its turn to be blocked.    I will continue to work on these in the remaining weeks.   (Side note – I did dye on Wednesday and also on Saturday, so have a couple skeins of yarn to add to the inventory!)

Week Two’s Schedule:

Monday – Felt 15 bars of soap

Tuesday – Knit a pair of women’s mittens, weigh them and start winding skeins of the correct amount of yarn for dyeing.  Hand knit baby hats – at least one.  Each requires about 6 hours.

Wednesday – Dye a batch of mitten yarn and roving for a very cool (unannounced) project.  Knit a baby hat or two.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday – each day dye a batch of mitten yarn (it needs to cool overnight, so only one color a day), and knit a couple baby hats.   I’ve since had 2 groups schedule visits on Friday!

Final goal is to finish the wrist warmers, felt 15 bars of soap, knit one pair of mittens, dye yarn for mittens, and knit over half of the 11 baby hats.   I’ve already finished one baby hat, and am 3/4 done with a second.  These were done while reading the computer and riding in the vehicle! 

I went to the dyeing session at Little Gidding Suri farm on Saturday and learned about production dyeing – being able to repeat a color, calculating dye level, temperature, duration — LOTS of info.  And came home with skein and dye ready to use.    And I did dye that skein yesterday.  It is drying and I’ll show pictures when dry. 

And, of course, pictures of today’s beautiful, wet, sloppy snow must be shown.

From my doorway

From my doorway

Eating in the snow

Eating in the snow