Friday, August 26, 2011

Dyeing Yarn: Day I

A few Fridays ago I mentioned my Try It/Dye It Kit from In between migraines and earthquakes (more on that later) I was able to start!

I decided to take advantage of the Virginia summer's heat and humidity and follow the tutorial I found on Kool-Aid Popsicle dyeing. Fun, easy and solar powered, just the way I like it. Yesterday I decided I would make my ice cubes. Turned out into a bigger event than I thought it would be, because things for me are hardly ever easy. 

All supplies ready! I didn't have any plain square old-fashioned ice cube trays, and had to use hearts, Santas, bunnies, and long thin rectangles that fit in water bottles. 

Yay primary colors! Except for green. Stupid green. 

I need things to be really precise so I mixed 1/2 cup of water with one packet of Kool Aid. From top to bottom: Cherry (red); Berry Blue (blue); Lemon Lime (green); Mango (yellow). And then I had to pour them into the cute little cubes. 

Now I really thought I'd end up with perfect little multi-colored hearts and Santa Clauses to put on my yarn, but I apparently don't have a steady hand, and am a complete failure at pouring liquid into ice cube trays.

Exhibit A.
Kool-Aid also stains, so I had to watch out for our white kitchen counter, and threw a cookie sheet under there. Thank goodness for stainless steel, or whatever it was, because the Kool-Aid liquid mixture didn't stain it. (It ended up mixing all together, and making ucky brown.)

I ended up doing another round of Kool-Aid packets, and then didn't gauge the room in the freezer properly, so I have about 3/4 cup of blue and green Kool-Aid and water sitting on my counter, waiting to be turned into bunny cubes. 

Here they are, sitting in the freezer, looking nice and pretty, not like the little evil demons they were to create.

Hopefully before the hurricane hits us tomorrow, I'll be able to throw them outside and let them do their thing. If not, I have to wait until Monday. 

I also learned a lot while doing this. Such as...
  • Kool-Aid smells disgusting. The mango mix smelled good, but the cherry was overpowering, and I don't even know what the berry blue and lemon lime smelled like. Then they all mixed together, and it was this sweet, fruity nasty smell, like fruit had been rotting in my kitchen.
  • Kool-Aid stains. This was a given, as my kit and Maiya Knits said "make sure to wear your gloves!" I'll make sure to wear gloves then I throw the cubes on the yarn, but when I was a kid and made this stuff, I don't ever remember it staining my hands or clothes.
  • Which brings me to another point, I drank this stuff. What American kid doesn't like Kool-Aid? But it dyes yarn, what the heck did it do to my insides? Sure, coffee, tea, berries all stain and we eat those, but those are natural, and since this is some weird powder, it just creeps me out. Like, if it turned out Tang was actually ground up asbestos.
  • My children will never drink Kool-Aid. 
  • Square cubes would have been much easier, for pouring purposes especially. It was a lot easier for me to pour into the long rectangles than trying to get the bunnies and hearts filled nicely and without spilling.
  • Make sure to measure the freezer next time, so I don't have a glass of Kool-Aid sitting on the kitchen counter.
  • Thank goodness for water's concave meniscus. The what? It's is the curve in the upper surface of a standing body of liquid to the surface of the container or another object, and water has a concave meniscus which occurs when the molecules of the liquid attract those of the container's, causing the surface of the liquid to cave downwards. (via) If it wasn't for that, when I carried the trays of cubes to the freezer, Kool-Aid would have been everywhere. I could even see the little 'bubble' or curve and was just thrilled the water didn't spill over.
  • Do dark colors first! A little yellow in your blue won't make green, but a little blue in your yellow will. (Which is why it looks like I have all green bunnies.)
  • Paper towels are the best invention ever.
All in all, it was fun, and probably would do it again. I just can't wait until I get to start working with the yarn!
And once we survive the hurricane, I'll update everyone on the Virginia Earthquake. (Yeah, we felt it!)


Esshaych said...

Wow, it looks like so much fun! I want to try it!! And I have those heart trays - did you get them from Ikea?!
I can see what you mean about what it does to your insides :S That stuff is lethal!
Hope the hurricane doesn't effect (affect?) you - is it actually ment to hit where you are? Keep safe :)

Jillie the Great said...

Don't worry, Kool Aid is definitely going to be coming your way. ;]
Yes, Ikea heart trays!! I wanted to get the puzzle ones too!
And as for the hurricane, we're getting wind and rain. And a screen fell out one of our windows. THE HORROR. But we've had worse hurricanes, and storms even. Nbd.

Esshaych said...

Yay Kool Aid! :D

I got the puzzle ones too! I bought them for when I was having a go at resin molds. They didn't turn out that great :(

Glad the hurricane isn't giving you too much hassle :)

Jillie the Great said...

You'll have delicious smelling yarn! And now you can put those puzzle cube trays to good use.

I don't even want to TRY resin. Ahah. The Kool-Aid gave me enough problems. :p

Thanks! Glad you guys didn't feel anything from Apocalypse Week!