Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hand Dyed Wool-Ease Yarn

So I will have a ton of extra wool ease yarn left over from my sampler afghan. I want my fast chunky blanket to have more color than cream, so I decided to try to dye this blend.

Now this yarn is a wool acrylic blend, so I thought that if only the wool got dyed, it could have an interesting effect. I thought that the wool content was as high as 40%, but it is actually only 20%. My concern grew as I found this website, and saw that with 5 packets of dye per ounce of yarn, they saw very little color effect in a wool-acrylic blend.

In my kitchen, the Lion's Brand Wool-Ease yarn soaked up the dye very easily. There is a whiteish halo on the yarn, which is likely the acrylic. I love the way it ended up!

General Protocol (Stove Top)
  • Soak yarn (about 1.5 ounces or 40 g) in water until it is wet
  • mix food coloring/KoolAid into 1-2 cups water
  • in a pot, pour the dye onto the yarn and add enough water so the yarn is just barely covered
  • Simmer for 30 minutes (a little past the time when the water is clear, I wanted the dye to be set really well.)
  • When I rinsed the yarn, very little dye came off. Wash with mild soap, and then hang to dry.
Kool-Aid Pink
  • 2 packets Pink Lemonade Kool-Aid, 2 packets Cherry Kool-Aid
This looked a little like ground beef while it was simmering (it completely freaked my roommate out!)

Kool-Aid Grape-Grey
  • 3 packets Grape Kool-Aid
I suppose that this must look purple when it is diluted to the drink, but the dye looked black... and the resulting color is very gray.

Boosted Kool-Aid blue raz teal
  • 2 Ice Blue raspberry lemonade Kool-Aid packets. 4 drops blue food coloring, 2 drops yellow
Bright and fun!

Purple Attempt - take 1!
  • 1 Kool-Aid Ice Blue raspberry lemonade packet, 1 packet pink lemonade. 5 drops blue food coloring, 10 drops red.
I was disappointed. I was hoping that the purple would come out as vibrant as the pink and the teal, but when combined the purple is fairly muted.

I'm super excited that I was able to dye this wool-acrylic blend! Now my remnant afghan will have some more punch to it and stand out more than the sampler afghan.

Some helpful dying references


  1. Hi! So, have you washed the blanket since you dyed it? Did the koolaid wash out of the acrylic any??? I was thinking about trying this myself....

  2. I haven't had a chance to knit the blanket yet, but I feel confident about the color-stay power. In boiling water, the water became almost completely clear. In luke-warm water, no color came out at any point, even with soap.