Koolaid Speckle Dyeing

I’m so excited to share with you my 2nd tutorial using Koolaid to dye yarn and this time it’s SPECKLES! Speckles are so popular in the indie dyeing world right now. You can achieve this look easily at home with just a handful of simple materials!

Materials:

  • Koolaid colors of your choice
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Large tub or bowl
  • Plastic zip ties (optional)
  • Cups
  • Forks
  • Plastic wrap
  • Latex gloves (optional)
  • Natural yarn of your choice. I’m using Knitpicks Stroll Fingering (75% superwash merino, 25% nylon) split into two 50g minis.

Step 1: Fill your large tub/bowl with water and 3 tbsp of vinegar. Add your yarn and let soak until completely saturated, at least 30 minutes. I like to add plastic zip ties to my yarn for the ease of taking the yarn in and out of water/dye.

Step 2: Prep your koolaid dye. Empty each of your koolaid packets into separate cups. Add 1 tbsp of water to each cup and mix well. Koolaid will temporarily dye your skin, so use gloves if you would like.

Step 3: Protect your work surface with plastic wrap. Lay down 2-3 pieces of plastic on your table. Make sure it’s a little bigger than the size of your skein of yarn when layed out because you will be using this to wrap the yarn up for the heat setting.

Step 4: Gently squeeze out most of the water from your yarn, leaving it damp. Lay the yarn down on top of the plastic wrap.

Step 5: Dip your fork into your koolaid dye and tap the fork onto the yarn to speckle.

Once you’re done speckling one side, carefully flip your yarn over and speckle the other side.

Step 6: Once you’ve achieved the coverage you’re happy with, wrap your yarn up with the plastic wrap you covered your work surface with. Fold over the tops and sides of the plastic, then roll the yarn up like a big jelly roll!

Step 7: Place your wrapped up yarn on a microwave safe plate and microwave for a total of 4 min. Let your yarn cool completely before unwrapping.

Step 8: Wash your yarn with your favorite wool wash or a little dish detergent. Rinse until the water runs clear.

*If you’re using non superwash yarn, be careful not to agitate the yarn too much in the washing process to avoid felting*

Step 9: Hang your yarn to dry!

If you try out this tutorial, please tag me on IG@wildwooddesignsme. I’d love to see what you come up with!

Please follow my blog via email. You can sign up on the main page and then you can stay up to date with all my new posts! I plan to post many more tutorials and free patterns!

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Avocado Dyeing

I’m so excited to share with you my very first yarn dyeing tutorial on my new blog.. and it’s with avocado! I’ve been dyeing yarn for a few years now but only recently started natural dyeing. I find it so satisfying to get beautiful colors from food and plants vs just buying a commercial dye.

If you’re a guacamole lover, make sure you’re saving all those pits and skins! If you’re like me and don’t really eat avocado, I have my neighbor save hers for me! You can save the pits and skins over time by freezing them. Make sure to clean them really well. Scrub all the excess green flesh off and let them dry out on the counter for a little bit before sticking in the freezer.

What you will need:

  • Avocado skins and pits, I used 4.
  • Water (Tap is fine)
  • Containers for soaking (I used a plastic dish pan)
  • Large Pot (I use a 12 quart stockpot)
  • Natural fiber yarn (I used Knit Picks Stroll Fingering)
  • Alum (Optional, spice aisle of the grocery store)
  • Cream of Tartar (Optional, spice aisle of grocery store)

Dye Prep:Β 

Place your hank of yarn into a large container or dish pan, fill with enough water to cover and let soak for at least 30 min until yarn is fully saturated.

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Prepare your avocado pits and skins by cleaning them very well. You don’t want any of the green flesh left on them because it will make your dye bath cloudy and effect the color of your dye.

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This next step is optional, adding a mordant to your yarn. A mordant is what helps your natural dye stick to your yarn. Most natural dyes require this step but the pit of an avocado acts as a natural mordant, so an additional mordant isn’t necessary but it doesn’t hurt to do so.

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Fill your pot with enough water to cover your yarn. Bring the water to a light simmer and add 2 teaspoons each of Alum and Cream of Tartar and mix until dissolved. Add your yarn and let it simmer for an hour to let the mordant adhere to the yarn.

*If you’re using non superwash yarn, be careful not to agitate the yarn too much in the cooking and washing process to avoid felting*

While your yarn is in the pot with the mordant, prepare your avocado dye. I typically don’t measure anything when using natural dyes, but for this tutorial I added 1 gallon of water to the pot and added the pits and skins of 4 avocados. You can play around with the amount of ingredients you use to get different levels of color.

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Bring the pot to a low simmer and let it cook for about an hour or until your water turns a deep reddish color.

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Strain out the avocado pits and skins from your pot. I like to pour the water through a strainer lined with a kitchen towel so I can get all the tiny little bits and pieces out. Then add your yarn to the pot and let it lightly simmer for up to an hour or until your dye water has mostly cleared.

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Take your pot off the heat and let the yarn cool completely. Wash your yarn with your favorite wool wash or a little bit of dish detergent. Rinse the yarn until the wash water runs clear and then hang to dry! Yarn dries fast outside on a nice sunny day but you can let it dry indoors. I will sometimes put my drying rack in my bath tub and let it dry for 24-48 hours.

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Here are my results from 2 different dye baths. Your results may vary depending on the PH level of your water and the amount of pits and skins you use. I’ve seen some people get more pinky red colors. So far I’ve only seen these peachy tones. I plan to keep playing around and see what other results I can get!

If you try out this tutorial, please tag me on IG @wildwooddesignsme. I’d love to see what you come up with!

Please follow my blog via email. You can sign up on the main page and then you can stay up to date with all my new posts! I plan to post many more tutorials and free patterns!