As you know, I am just smitten with tiny crochet lately. I love the tiny hooks, I love the tiny thread. I love the tiny projects. When I die, I want my tombstone to read "Here lies Jaime Maraia. Champion of Size 3 Crochet Thread Endeavors". That is how much I am into it right now.
I am having difficulty finding just the right colors in my tiny thread. I wanted to do some tiny dolls, but I haven't been able to find a peachy skin color that made me happy. Plus, even if I could find one shade of peach, beautiful little girls come in loads of colors that wouldn't be represented by that single color... if it existed... which I doubt... because I can't find it...
So, inspired by the awesome podcast and blog of Stacey Trock over at FreshStitches.com, I thought I might be able to use Kool Aid to over-dye some natural colored size 3 crochet cotton and make my own peachy range of colors. (By the way, if you haven't heard Stacey's podcast, Crochet Chat, you should download it immediately! I'm serious! Go do it now, we'll still be here when you get back...)
|These yarns don't look very diverse in this picture. In person, they are multi-hued and gorgeous, instead of, as Mims refered to them "Meat Colored".
I mixed up my own custom blend of Kool Aid, vinegar and water and gave it a go. I was surprised that the cotton dyed so easily and quickly. The lighter colors were made by dying and then washing the yarn with dishsoap under running water. The darker colors were just rinsed. Also, since I was just experimenting, I tea dyed some of it, and then tea dyed over the top of the Kool Aid over-dye. Whew. Luckily, I had bundled little mini-skeins of 23-25 yards before I started, so I wasn't too worried about snarls and knots.
|From Top: Kool Aid dyed (washed), Kool Aid dyed (rinsed), Tea dyed, Kool Aid dyed (washed) + Tea dyed, Kool Aid dyed (rinsed) + Tea dyed
Then I had to figure out what I was going to do with my freshly dyed yarn. I opted to wind it around the back of one of our patio chairs, since I thought it would have excellent air-flow and would dry quicker. I was right. I neglected to remember that these chairs seem to have been claimed by our neighborhood birds, and that they frequently visit the chairs to rest and poop. Ugh. The good news is, only ONE of the yarns got pooped on. The bad news is, ONE of my beautiful new peachy yarns got pooped on!! I wound the rest of them up into little pull-skeins, and then took my bird-poop yarn inside to scrub. I used scalding hot water and a ton of dishsoap and the poop came out. Some of the color lifted as well, but I had expected that. It still is a lovely shade of peach, just not the darker, more interesting shade I had hoped for. I wound it around an empty paper towel tube to dry overnight in the kitchen, safely away from nature. I brought the rest of my yarn upstairs to admire...
I couldn't help it. I had to see how it would work, if it would look right, how it would feel! I got out my size C hook and grabbed my new yarn and began crocheting! My yarn is a little less soft then it was before I dyed it, but I think that's because I roughed up the surface a little when I scrubbed it in dishsoap. Also, it's a little stiff, which I think might be because of the soap. It is just the shade I had hoped for. Twenty yards was just about right for my project, so I'm looking forward to making more dollies to go with the one I made last night.
Overall, this was an incredible success. There was some question, out in the internet, as to whether cotton could be dyed with Kool Aid. I am thrilled that my experience was that cotton can be dyed very nicely with Kool Aid. I am looking forward to see what else I can do with it in future dying adventures!
Have a great weekend, Dynamos!