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July 11, 2005


Its always about the colors. What color should it be, how will it feel, and (most importantly), will I wear it? Color is always my first consideration when choosing a yarn for a project. I am rarely driven by a fiber type so much as by what shade it is, how it fits into my wardrobe, the intended season.

For the Hot Lava Cardigan, I envisioned a minty green, like Altoids Spearmint:


However, preliminary tests involving Kool-aid dyeing did not quite yield the right shade. The closest I got is evidenced in the sample second from the right in the top row, below. In real life, it resembles that aqua shade often found in acrylic yarns destined for baby garments. oh no.


From left to right and top to bottom, they are in order of dyeing. The colors that turned out the best are the ones I did last.. guess I got the hang of mixing by then!

There were a couple shades that stood out for the Hot Lava Cardigan.

Not-so-Muted Pink. This was 2/3 pink lemonade, and 1/3 lemonade. Could be muted down further though, in person it seems very bright. Perhaps by adding a little tiny bit of green.

Duck Egg Blue. Equal parts blue and green, plus a shake of grape. This is like my go-to color. I am always drawn to it.

Straw. 2/3 yellow, 1/3 orange, plus a shake of grape. I loved the variation in this shade, but wondered about the wearability of the resulting garment.

Following a great deal of deliberation regarding color choices, I decided on muted pink. But, after mixing up an entire dye pot of just the right shade of muted pink, at the last minute I poured it out and went with Duck Egg Blue.


The dye pot is a 21-quart canner I purchased from Kmart for $20. It worked quite well for these 3 skeins(5oz each). They fit with no problem, and I probably could have added another skein too.

The final result is not the blue I expected, but I am very very happy with it. Its like a seafoam green, a darker variant of spearmint green.


The Kool-aid recipe:
4 Flavoraid Lemon-Lime*
5 Berry Blue
5 Raspberry Reaction (also blue)
3/4 packet Grape
1/2 packet Orange

*Flavoraid Lemon-lime seems MUCH more potent than KA green. It only took 4 packets of it to 10 packets blue! It also seemed to penetrate the skeins unevenly, leading to some lovely variation.

Comments (22)

Oh gosh, I love watching the yarn dying process. If I wasn't a messy person (I spill everything) I'd be all over it. One day maybe.

I like how you dye job turned out. I can see the subtle variations. Very nice.

Julia Vesper:

What a Process! Very decisive. I found some great tips over at Claudia's Blog- If you go through her archives, I think you'll find them. One of the good/informative ones talks about how no matter how big your dyepot, when the bath reaches the right Temp, the dye will absorb and be the darkest directly at the heat source. She's a freakin genius with the dyes. Also- go check out a book called "the twisted sisters sock workbook"
It's dye sections are great, and the explanations super simple. There's even a pattern for toe socks!

If I did Kool Aid dying, I'd probably end up dying more of my kitchen than any yarn.


How great that you ended up getting the green after all!

Oh lovely! And thank you for the recipe. Can't wait to see it all knitted up.

Hey, pretty nice colors you got over there! I do like the duck egg blue and the spearmint green in which the recipe for dubk egg blue results :).

I am so impressed! The color is very lovely and I love all of you little sample colors lined up - very pretty. I am too much of a slob to even attempt Kool Aid dyeing. But I enjoy seeing your yarn!

you're so thorough, thanks! i keep intending to do some kool-aid dying, but each time i put if off thinking the colors will be too intense, but youre are very pretty ones that *don't*, in fact, scream kool-aid. ;)

Great photos of your dyeing experiment. Thanks for sharing this.


The colour is lovely - well done :)
One day I will attempt it.

For future reference - try...

ok, I really have to try this! I love the colours you came up with...especially the duck egg blue! The green looks fab! Can't wait to see it knit up.

Yummy! I like what you got - it will be fabulous. I'm really going to have to try this kool aid dyeing stuff.

Dyeing is so much fun--I just love it, but I am definitely messy afterwards! The green you came out with is absolutely lovely :)

Gorgeous! Yay for green!

Your final results look great! I like how you posted your test dyes and the combinations of kool-aid you used. Thanks!

the color looks so delicious!! beautiful green!

now, when you dye the wool with kool-aid, do they all smell fruity, too?

I enjoyed seeing the process that led up to you delish shade of green; thanks! Now *I'm* green, of course. ;o) Gonna have to try that Kool-Aid or Flavoraid dye job myself some day.

Im loving that green, I can't wait to see it knit up.

Dyeing seems so much fun! Really would like to try ... maybe first start by a trip to KMart! ;)
You want green ... and you get it at the end!

I'm so impressed with your dyeing! Do the colors run when washed?

You followed your instinct and got the color you originallly wanted? RIGHT ON!


how many ounces of yarn did you dye with your green recipe?



diana AT streetsandyos DOT com