Saturday, October 8, 2011

Dye Party

Here's grape Kool Aid and Berry Blast (or Blue Berry, can't remember) on a boucle merino non superwash. A good time was had by all.

General Instructions
RECIPE for FOUR ounces or 100 grams of fiber (one skein of 880 yards of lace or 440 fingering or 220 worsted)
One package of unsweetened Kool-Aid per ounce, 4 packages for 4 ounces - dissolve completely in
4 ounces of hot water (put the kettle on) 2 ounces of vinegar

If you want the color to be paler, use less Kool-Aid in the same amount of water. More Kool-Aid will give you a deeper color or it just wont set so be careful not to add too much.
You can do this on the stove or in the nuker your choice. At times I find I get the color darker with the stove top and it has lovely high and low lights.
Your fiber has soaked over night, now make the above recipe of dye and wring out your skein.
Place the fiber on a long sheet of plastic wrap to protect your counter or you can just use a bowl for either method. Hand painted skeins are better on the wrap. Solid works great in a bowl.
Pour dye over fiber be sure that you cover as much of the fiber as possible. Smush the dye into the fiber taking care to get under the yarn wrapped sections on the skein.
Wrap the fiber up in the plastic wrap, place in a bowl and nuke. If you used a bowl to dye on instead of the wrap then just place it into the Nuker - 2 mins, flip nuke 1 min or till heated through. Be very careful as this is where it can felt. The contents will be very, very hot!!! I find thick rubber gloves work great. Be careful of any escaping steam. If you decide to purchase chemical dyes later we will have to do another party as that’s a whole other ball of wax.

Mix dye, add dye and vinegar to pot of water, just enough to cover fiber-add fiber AFTER putting the dye and vinegar into the pot… water should be same temperature as the soak water was so you don’t shock the fiber into felting. Be sure that the fiber is completely submerged in the dye pot. If necessary, add more water so your fiber is completely covered and ensure even dyeing. Adding more water will not affect the final result so long as you get it mixed well. Make sure that the dye can touch under the ties on the skein.

Simmer (do not boil!) for about 45 minutes or until all the color is gone from the water into the fiber. Turn the fiber ONCE in the pot so it absorbs the color more evenly. When the color in the pot disappears, the bath becomes a clear colorless liquid or a white, milky liquid - depending on the flavor of Kool-Aid you used, turn off the burner.
RINSE both methods
Check to see if it’s running clear. If what is draining out isn’t clear you can wait till it cools a bit or nuke some vinegar to help set it again… repeat heating up… then too at times the color will stick more over the cooling time.
WHEN SET AND TOTALLY COOLED DOWN… not a minute before or you might felt….
Rinse fiber thoroughly in water the same temperature as the dye bath. At this point you may want to wash the fiber with hair shampoo (the stronger the more likely it will leach the colors) or Soak or another brand of fiber care, rinse then use conditioner if you like. I use Green Suave (Kiwi or melon) on my finished items.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE the purple, what colors did you use of KA?