Kool Yarn

Dye pure wool yarn with Kool-Aid for bright, vibrant colors!

By Barbara Albright

 Kids love to dye wool -- especially when they can use kid-friendly Kool-Aid, or a similar powdered soft drink mix.

Bright Colors
Kool-Aid dye yields bright, vibrant colors. The longer you leave the wool in the dye mixture, the more vivid the hue.

Mixing flavors allows kids to create their own colors.

Fun Crafts
Use the wool for knitting, weaving, or crocheting. Use it to make hair for dolls and puppets, spool knitting, finger knitting, and decorating collages, party bags, wrapped presents, or even for hair decorations.

Yarn dyed with Kool-Aid is permanently colored. Wash any items made with it separately in cool or tepid water.

How to Do It
These directions are good for two ounces of yarn, but you can multiply the amounts.

Use pure natural-colored wool, or use another natural-fiber yarn that is white, cream or pale gray. Cotton or synthetic fibers will not absorb the color.

Recipe for Success
2 ounces natural-colored wool yarn
A jar or tub large enough to hold the yarn, Kool-Aid, and water.
2 quarts water
2 to 4 packages (.17 ounces each) unsweetened Kool-Aid - more Kool-Aid, the deeper the color.

1. Wind the yarn into a skein -- a loose coil of yarn. If the yarn is sold in a "figure eight," simply untwist it. Otherwise, wrap it loosely around a chair back or let the child wrap it around an adult's hands.

The skein should measure about 48 inches in diameter, so hold your hands about two feet apart.

2. Tie the coil loosely in 4 or 5 places with a length of yarn. If you tie the coil too tightly, you may end up with streaks.

3. Fill a sink with cool water. Soak the yarn in the water. Wet yarn absorbs the color more easily. The yarn can soak for hours.

4. Put the 2 quarts of water in the jar. Stir in the Kool-Aid until dissolved.

5. Add the wet yarn. Let the yarn stand in the Kool-Aid until it turns the color you want. This could be 5 minutes or several hours.

6. Lift the yarn from the dye and rinse it in cool, clear water. Change the water several times until it runs clear.

7. Gently squeeze the excess water from the skein. Hang it to dry in a safe place.

8. Wait until it's completely dry before using.

Making Multi-Colored Yarn
Prepare the yarn as directed through step 3. Squeeze out most of the water and lay the yarn in a circular shape on top of a plastic garbage bag.

Fill several cups with about 1/4 cup of water. Add Kool-Aid to the cups and stir to dissolve. Make as many colors as you want.

Carefully pour the dyes onto sections of the yarn. Use the bottom of the cup to press the Kool-Aid into the yarn. Let the colors run into each other as they meet in the small spaces between blocks of color.

Let the yarn stand until the color is absorbed, preferably overnight. Rinse and dry the skein as explained above.