What a Mess!

So, a couple of weekends ago some friends of mine had a slumber party where we planned to do Kool-Aid dye and knit. We dubbed it Yarn Fest. Below are pictures from the event, documenting the whole dyeing process. My friend, Laura, is my guest photo-blographer for this post. Sadly, because she took most of these photos, she is not in them.

First, we tore open dozens of Kool-Aid packets and mixed up some colors. We also set off some Paas Easter Egg pellets. Each color went into a little cup with some vinegar and water, a straw to stir, and a short loop of yarn to see the color. The Kool-Aid cups all have their flavor names sitting under them.

Then we each grabbed a skein of yarn and got it wet. I had one book suggest not to, so I tried it dry. Dyeing might work better dry if you’re going for a lot of control in dyeing a small number of strands. It sucks with a full skein. Here’s Steph soaking her yarn:

Then we started painting. Here I am using a foam paint brush and purple easter egg dye. We later figured out that spoons worked much better.

Here’s Sarah with her yarn:

And Rachel:

And Heather:

After we were finished painting, we wrapped each skein in plastic wrap and stuck it in a giant ziplock back for several trips through the microwave. Here’s Heather carefully laying her plastic-skein in a bag.

And Steph’s yarn all ready to go into the microwave:

Because the kitchen was pretty crowded with all the dye, I was the Master of the Microwave. Here Steph is watching me prep her yarn for a trip in. The crumpled bag you see next to it is one that is hot and “resting”. They got really, really hot!

And this is what all our carefully arranged cups look like after a night of dyeing fun. Looks a little illicit…cups of strange colored beverages…discarded wrappers….a box of latex gloves…

After the microwaving, hot yarn was left to cool in the tub. When it was touchable, we rinsed our skeins and then hung them up to dry. Here’s what Steph’s final yarn looked like (worsted weight):

And my own (fingering weight):

Later I wound mine up into a cake:

And swatched it up. It’s mostly pastel purple, blue, and green. Those were all Paas colors. I really wanted a nice purple and I wasn’t too keen on the Grape Kool-Aid so I’m pleased with this one. However, I thought a punch of red might be nice. I maybe gave it one punch too many. But these will make some fun socks. And maybe also some gloves. It certainly is soft.

In addition to the dyeing, we had lots of other fiber fun. I brought my ball winder and swift. The crowd was amazed. And I think I’m now required to bring it to all future gatherings, no matter whether yarn will be attending or not.

Here’s Rachel proudly showing off her first knitting project. She’s going through some tough times and wanted something to keep her busy in the evenings, so I taught her how to knit. She’s very happy with her first fiber creation. She says that looking over her progress you can actually see the nights that were most stressful for her.

And here I am the next morning, working on the first Clap Cap prototype (note the Knitty pattern below my hands in my lap). So this is what I look like knitting. Hmm.

And finally, here’s a lovely close up of Steph’s dog Gus, with Rachel hard at work on her second scarf in the background.