Dyeing with Kool Aid

I think almost every knitter has thought about dyeing some yarn. I’ve always heard that you can dye yarn with Kool Aid so I thought I’d give it a go. I found some really great tutorials on YouTube. The best ones I found were by ChemKnit Tutorials. She’s got probably 10 videos just on Kool Aid dyeing.

One of the benefits of using Kool Aid is that it’s safe. You don’t need anything special outside of what you have in your kitchen.

You’ll need:

  • plastic wrap
  • cups
  • Kool Aid
  • squirt bottle/spoon (you really want something that can hold and control liquid. I actually used baby Tylenol syringes)
  • undyed wool yarn
  • microwave

I split my 100 grams hank into 25 grams to try out different techniques. After separating them up I put them in a big pot of water to soak overnight. I added a bit of vinegar but it isn’t needed. The Kool Aid has citric acid in it which helps with the dyeing process.

To get set up I put two layers of plastic wrap onto my counter. One layer was meant to protect the counter and the second layer was so I can wrap up the dyed yarn without having to move stuff around.

For the Kool Aid I put two packets into each cup with only a small bit of water about 1/3 cup. If you want a stronger/lighter color you can dilute it more or add more powder. In one of ChemKnit’s tutorials she used a loose leaf tea strainer to shake out dry Kool Aid to add speckles to the yarn. The darkest color I used was black cherry and one packet went to the tea strainer and one into a cup.

My attempt at speckling.
Added other colors and the speckles kinda disappeared. Plus too many speckles.

Less is more! It might have been just because I didn’t know what I was doing but the darker colors really took over the lighter colors. The yellow and pink aren’t as prominent as I intended but I think there was some bleeding and just user error. The skein that has the best light colors is the one where we just dipped the yarn into the cup of dye.

Once you are satisfied with your dyed yarn you just roll it up in the plastic wrap and pop it in the microwave, one minute at a time til it is hot to the touch. The 25 grams skeins only took one minute. You pull it out of the microwave and let it sit until it is cool.

After its cool then you rinse and wash the yarn. I was so surprised to take the yarn out of the plastic wrap and see no color coming off. Even rinsing the skein, no color was washed away. My drying rack was super classy. I just clipped some chip clips onto a wine rack and slipped it onto the play slide.

I really loved how it turned out. I’m waiting for my 40 inch size 1 needles to come in so I can try out some two at a time socks. I had so much fun dyeing this yarn. The outcome was better then I expected and I can’t wait to do it again with different colors!

Stay happy and healthy!

Happy Knitting.

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