Friday, June 24, 2016

Handpainting Roving with Dry KoolAid

I love dyeing yarn, and I REALLY love to experiment with new techniques.  I've dyed so much fiber with KoolAid over the years but I've always mixed the KoolAid with water before applying it to any fiber.  The only time I added dry KoolAid to fiber was when it first passed through melting snow.  What would happen if I applied dry KoolAid to presoaked fiber?  

Video Contents
  • [0:00] Introduction
  • [0:51] Presoaking Fiber
  • [1:29] Arranging wet roving to be dyed
  • [2:41] Applying the KoolAid
  • [10:04] Spray bottle to help with dissolving the KoolAid
  • [13:25] Adding more yellow koolaid
  • [13:55] After 10 minutes, deciding to let it sit even more for color to wick into the fiber
  • [14:32] Wrapping up the fiber to heat it in the microwave
  • [16:54] Ready to microwave
  • [17:31] Unwrapping the cooked fiber
  • [18:57] Washing the fiber
  • [20:29] Conclusions

I squeezed too much water out of the roving in the beginning which made it hard for the powdered KoolAid to dissolve.  I ended up adding more water back into the system with a squirt bottle to help the process go faster.

I still didn't want to massage the color into the fiber because this would be more like traditional handpainting and I was really hoping to try a different method of application.  I do like how I will end up with random spots of color. 

This project involved a lot of waiting for handpainting, which is unusual for me since the handpaining projects usually go pretty quickly.  This wasn't as long as the snow dyeing experiments, but still took a bit of time.  I let the fiber sit for some hours to avoid massaging the dye into the fiber and to let the spots of color occur more organically.  

I really loved how the koolaid with tiny bits of water looked on the fiber.  I took so many pictures!  

In the end, I got color penetration in spots on half of the fiber.  I love it!  I think this could make a really fun single ply yarn where you could end of with twists of color in rainbow stripes, depending on how I decide to spin it in the end.  I am thrilled with the amount of solid undyed roving this time. 

It was hard to line up the fiber so you could see the sections of the most color and least color at the same time, but I really like the spotted effect of the colors.  You even see a little bit of breaking in the grape section!  I know that this will be stunning once spun and it is a great candidate for a gradient spin.  

If you were me, how would you spin this fiber?  I'm tempted to either do really narrow lengths to have multiple rainbow repeats or to do an N-ply gradient.