koolaidI have been thinking a lot about next steps lately.  Next steps as far as where we will go after Ryan is done with his PhD, next steps in treating my chronic illnesses, next steps in my crafting skills, and next steps in building my business.  It’s the last two that I was focusing on with my Kool-Aid experiment.

I’m preparing things in my shop for spring.  Building up my inventory for both online as well as getting ready to send some things out for consignment, which I will tell you all about soon.  I’ve been spinning loads of fiber that I’ve picked up from the store and that has been given to me by friends, but what I’ve been interested in is dying my own.  So I recently purchased un-dyed wool top from Lucky Cat Craft.

If you remember from the 90s, hair can by dyed by Kool-Aid, which means wool can also be dyed by Kool-Aid and this was the first approach I wanted to take for dying my wool.  I chose this method because it’s inexpensive, non-toxic, relatively easy to clean up, and can be done in very small batches.  I’ve been a tye-dying wiz pretty much my whole life, but I’ve always found the problem with tie dying kits is you have to do so much at once.  And that just makes a mess, and at this point in my life is absolutely exhausting.

There are any number of Kool-Aid dying tutorial out there, most of them for yarn, but can easily be translated to be used for un-spun wool.  I used my excellent Google skills and used this how-to guide from thepiper.com.

I’m not going to describe the process here, as the how-to is very thorough and I did exactly how it says to in the link.  I started with only two ounces of wool, as it was past 10 pm when I got started but I was very anxious to start.

koolaiddying

 

As you can see I was working on a small area above our dishwasher, next time I will clear a much larger work space and do a much larger batch of fiber.  It was not labor intensive at all and I think it will go faster with more fiber, or at least get more for the work that is involved.

Overall I was pleased with the results, I will most likely use more “dye” to fiber ratio when I dye the rest of my fiber.  I have yellow, purple, and more blue to do the rest.  I took this last picture last night when the fiber was still wet.  This morning it is almost dry and back to it’s fluffier self.  Hopefully it will be ready to spin tonight!

dyedwool