Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dying Wool

So what was cooking in that pot in the previous post? Wool of course! "What?", you say? Yes, we were dying wool on the stove. Wool is an animal fiber and takes dye nicely. Kool aid dying is a favorite method to change the color of wool and very easy to do.

First, pick your colors. There are many websites/blogs that will give you good visuals on the colors that each "flavor" of kool aid produce. You will need several packets - depending on the amount of wool you will be dying in each batch. If you want a lighter color, then use less - use more for darker colors. If you want a tie dye effect - use less and see what fun project turns up!

Gather your materials: wool (fabric or yarn), kool aid packets, big pot, and spoon.

Wet the wool in the sink in lukewarm water while you dissolve the kool aid in the pot. Put a few cups of lukewarm water in the pot to mix with your kool aid packets. When the kool aid is dissolved, add more water (you will want enough to cover the wool once it is in the pot). Add the wet wool to the kool aid mixture in the pot. Set the pot on the stove and turn on high (like you were going to boil it). As the mixture heats, be sure to stir often and turn the wool around. You will notice the wool taking color and the water in the pot will turn clear. When the water is completely clear (this usually happens before the water actually boils), turn off the stove and remove the pot from the heat. Let cool. Do not remove the wool from the pot until the water is cool - room temperature cool. Once cool, take the wool from the pot and rinse it under luke warm water. You can wash the wool at this point with some wool wash too. We like to use Sudzndudz liquid wool wash. Squeeze the excess water from the wool and lay flat to dry on a towel or rack.

Viola! You've just dyed wool with kool aid! Perk - your kitchen gets to smell like pink lemonade or maybe kiwi strawberry! :) Oh, what fun project will you create with your new wool? Diaper covers? Wool pants for a little one?

Here's a stack of wool we dyed:
(top pink lemonade, middle grape, bottom was a mixture of black cherry, strawberry and pink lemonade)

Some yoga baby pants I made for our Sweetness - perfect for winter diapering and bedtimes:

I like this pattern but next time I might size it down as the pants came out a little larger than the size chart suggested.
I should be catching up on my bookkeeping, but this was so much fun I wanted to share it with you!

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