So this month I sent out the fabulous "fireworks" hand dyed yarn, and I wanted to share a bit about how it was done!
First - get your yarn! The more natural fiber, the better the dye will take. I used 75% superwash wool with 25% nylon in DK light yarn for YOTM subscribers.
You'll want yarn, water, a big pot, kool aid packets (don't add sugar), and white vinegar. You'll also want tongs, a towel and a fan, and clothes hangers. A yarn winder if you have it will come in handy at the end.
Next - soak the yarn in water for about 20 minutes.
Put it on the stove and heat up the water. It doesn't need to boil, but it should be nice and steamy. Add a few glugs of vinegar as the mordant so the dye will set.
Then go to town with your kool aid! I used grape, cherry, orange, peach, lemonade, blue...something... basically every packet of kool aid our store had, I bought and tried out. I think I ended up using roughly 5 or 6 kool aid packets per skein of yarn. If you sprinkle it in the water, it will get soaked up and sort of make a background color on the yarn. If you sprinkle it lightly on parts of yarn sticking up out of the water, it will make more of the speckled "fireworks" look that I was going for.
Once the water looks clear (maybe a little cloudy) that means the yarn has soaked it all up! Mix it, move it, sprinkle more... sometimes leaving bare yarn is nice for contrast, other times you might want to make sure it's dying the whole thing through consistently.
Then rinse the yarn in cool water. Be careful not to agitate it too much - wool + warm + agitation = felt.
Then hang your yarn up to dry and take many artsy photos. Including selfies. Because when else will you have a tree full of hand dyed yarn?
They took a long time to dry. Every once in a while I would squeeze the bottoms. At night I brought them into my bathroom, put a towel underneath, and put a fan on them.
Once they are dry, time for winding and using! Voila! Hand dyed yarn!