Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sock Yarn Kool-Aid Dyeing

10/16/14      This summer, I enjoyed working on tie-dyed projects outside, in the NH sunshine with my daughter & grandkids.  With that experience, knew I had the confidence to try the Kool-Aid dyeing process on bare yarn, in my kitchen, here in Oregon.  I gathered the supplies, and got started.

The project took a couple hours, clean up was nothing more than washing a few dishes, and I had a good time.

Resource:SOCKS, SOCKS, SOCKS; Edited by Elaine Rowley, (1998) 2007, p72, Dye-Your-Own Socks by Traci Bunkers.    I've had the book since 2008, and finally decided to give this project go!

I also ran a Google search: "Kool-Aid yarn dyeing", and found an
Additional Resource:  Dyed in Wool , by Kristi Porter,

Supplies: bare yarn, microwave-safe dish, powdered drink mixes, mixing containers, tools to apply the dye, water, vinegar, rubber gloves.
Additional Supplies: string, measuring cups, bowl, cookie sheet w/parchment, food color, microwave, cooling rack, sink, tablecloth, apron, washing machine, towel.

I had the directions available, and gathered the recommended supplies. I also had the "crafting" tablecloth at hand. 
As I unwrapped the hank of bare yarn, I knew I wanted to secure the rounds in a couple, really 4 more places.  I used cotton kitchen string to tie the additional bands around the yarn.
Once the yarn was secured, I placed it in a bowl with 2 cups warm water and 1/2 cup vinegar.   While the yarn was soaking, I prepared the drink mixes.
The yarn soaked, and the drink mixes were prepared.  I mixed two packets (one flavor) in 1/2 cup warm water.
I carefully squeezed the excess water from the soaked yarn, and placed the yarn on a cookie sheet w/parchment.  I used a very old cookie sheet, and lined it with parchment to have a white surface. Using the Chef's Condiment Dispenser, I first applied the lemon yellow, and was disappointed because the color/liquid didn't go very far.  I then applied the cherry red with better results, but I didn't have the coverage I wanted.  I was looking at the colorful crafting tablecloth and said, "Why not try food color just like the grandkids used for Easter Eggs?"
The "egg dye" recipes are on the back.  I selected yellow and dusty rose.
Using the Chef's Condiment Dispenser, I applies the "egg" dye. I was much happier with the coverage.
I squeezed out some excess water, I placed the dyed yarn into the microwave-safe dish.
I placed the yarn and dish in the microwave.  The directions said to "cook" for 2 minutes. Let it rest for 2 minutes. Flip the yarn over, and "cook" for 2 more minutes.  If the color wasn't set, let it rest, and "cook" it again.  I "cooked" it again, why not?  Then I set the dish on a cooling rack, and let everything cool. 
I rinsed the yarn in the sink, no excess color rinsed out.
The author suggested putting the yarn into the washer, and running the spin cycle.  I did that.   I have a top loading washer because I like to craft!
I placed the the yarn on a towel to dry.  It was outside for the photo, I brought it inside to dry.

It will be a few days before I can wind the yarn into balls, and start the socks.  I'll work on another project until then.

I moved the yarn inside, and hung it on the back of a door to swing over a heater vent.
I finished another project, and set up for the Socks-Take 5!
It was time to wind the yarn into two balls.  I do not have a swift, and the back of the chair works well.
I wound the yarn around my fingers, then continue to wind the ball with a finger inserted just to keep it winding loosely.
I have a (kitchen) scale that I use only for yarn.  One ball was ready.
Both balls were wound, and I'd cast on for the two socks. 
This was a great project!  I really enjoyed taking the time to dye my own yarn!
If you're still with me, please follow the post for Socks-Take 5 Kool-Aid as I knit the socks.

Socks-Take 5 Kool-Aid

The Socks-Take 5 work well in a superwash wool blend, and this yarn dyed wonderfully! 

                                              Socks-Take 5 Kool-Aid
The Kool-Aid dyed yarn was dry!
Marilynn Blacketer '14

The Socks-Take 5 work well in a superwash wool blend. The Take 5 ribbing is fun work, and the socks can be knit in just a few days making them the perfect gift or accessory.
This may be considered an intermediate level pattern because knowledge of sock (and stitch) construction is helpful.

Finished size: leg height about 10”,  
leg width about 7” flat, stretch 10”circumference
Gauge: 8 stitches = 1”  Adjust needle size, and row count to match gauge.
Yarn: MC superwash wool blend in fingering weight, 
CC cotton/elastic blend,  
or CC superwash wool blend in fingering weight, 
and 2 yards of waist yarn in a different color

Photo: KnitPicks Stroll, Bare; 75%Superwash Merino Wool/ 25%Nylon;
462yards/100g; Hand dyed with Kool-Aid colors:Black Cherry, Lemonade  
                      (& yellow food color)
KnitPicks Dancing; 41%Cotton, 39%Wool, 13%Nylon, 7%Elastic; color23587

Needles: Size US#2, 16”and 24” circular needles or size US#2 set double pointed needles
tapestry needle, stitch markers

 Resources: Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles   by Cat Bordhi 
KNITTING circles around SOCKS  by Antje Gillingham
Learn to Knit SOCKS   by Edie Eckman

Abbreviations: CO=cast on   k = knit   p= purl   k2tog=knit 2 stitches together      Rnd/s=round/s      sts=stitches       MC = main color       CC= contrasting color

Special Stitches: Take 5 Ribbing 
Rnds 1-4: with MC,  * Knit 3, purl 2; repeat from * to end
Rnd 5: with CC, * Knit 3, purl 2; repeat from * to end 

Directions: The directions are written for adult size (small, medium, large) in parentheses, and working with 2 circular needles. (notes are in italic) Make 2 socks.  
(Detailed tutorial available at Socks-Take 5)

Use the long-tail cast-on method, with size US#2 needles, with MC, cast on (75, 90, 105) stitches.
Place marker & join together by knitting first stitch being careful not to twist,
with MC, * K1, k2tog; repeat from * to end. (50, 60, 70) sts
Modification: Size US#3 needles
Sock Leg:
Rnds 1-4: with MC, * K3, p2; repeat from * to end
Rnd 5: with CC, * K3, p2; repeat from * to end
Repeat rnds 1-5, working leg to the desired length, ending on rnd 4, set up for heel and foot.
(7”, 8”, 9”) from CO

Instep and Heel set up:
(If working with cotton/elastic yarn, cut CC.)
With MC/CC as established, [K3,p2](4,5,6)times, k3; instep stitches. (23, 28, 33)sts instep
Drop MC/CC yarn, and with a strand of different colored yarn knit across heel (27, 32, 37)stitches.
Drop colored strand, pick up MC/CC, and knit across heel (27, 32, 37) stitches once more. After this work instep as established, and knit sole; the heel will be put in later.
Instep and Sole:
Work instep as established, and knit sole until sock measures from heel (colored yarn) marker:
(4.5”, 5.5”,6.5”) for desired length.

Rnd 1 & odd rounds: with MC, * K1, k2tog, knit to the last 3 stitches on needle, k2tog, k1;(instep)
repeat from * to end(sole) (4sts decreased)
Rnd 2 & even rounds: with MC, knit
Continue until (13, 14, 13)sts remain for instep, and (17, 18, 17)sts remain for sole.
Work 2 more rounds: K(13, 14, 13)(instep), k1, k2tog, knit to last 3 stitches on needle, k2tog, k1(sole) With (26, 28, 26) stitches remaining, cut 18” yarn, and work Kitchener Stitch to finish the toe.
I had the Learn to Knit Socks available for the Kitchener Stitch!
Carefully slide the (27, 32, 37)sts below(sole), and (27, 32, 37)sts above the colored yarn(leg) to needles. Carefully remove the colored yarn.
Attach MC yarn, knit a round, and pick up one stitch at the beginning and end of the needles. (You'll have (29, 34, 39)sts on each needle, and this will help avoid “holes” on the heel sides.)
Now work the heel the same as the toe.
Rnd 1 & odd rounds: with MC, * K1, k2tog, knit to the last 3 stitches on needle, k2tog, k1;
repeat from * to end (4 sts decreased)
Rnd 2 & even rounds: with MC, knit
Continue until (26, 28, 26) stitches remain.
Cut 18”yarn, and work Kitchener Stitch to finish the heel.

Finishing: Weave in tails. Make second sock. 
This pattern is available on
Socks- Take 5 pattern pdf is available on Ravelry (login needed)
Copyright 2014, Marilynn Blacketer. All rights reserved. 10-24-14
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