Dyeing To Knit (Sorry)

Yesterday was great.

Number One Son suddenly decided that he needed to find pictures of cars from an old favourite movie of his, print them out, cut them out and stick them together in a book. With very little input from me (beyond stapling together some pages of construction paper for the book, finding a glue stick, and instructing him on the use of the “Ctrl+P” combo) he amused himself for, quite literally, hours.  A couple of times my four year old techno child came down to tell me that one or other ink tank needed changed, but apart from that, I was left alone.

Number Two finally took a nap, so my brain actually had time to turn on and hatch plots, such as knitting a gift for friends we’re going to see on Tuesday, who have a new-ish baby boy.

I dived into the stash, trying to find a suitable yarn for the sweater I wanted to knit. I found a nice un-dyed fisherman’s wool and though, ooo, I could dye this!

So I broke out the Kool-Aid…only to discover that the big vats I had bought, specifically for this purpose, and while shopping with the rugrats and therefore unable to look closely, were sugar-sweetened and therefore no use. Which was sad, because that was my only source of blue, the colour I really wanted to end up with.

Not to be put off by tiny details (such as the lack of blue or the fact that I need this done by Tuesday), I soldiered on. Hanks were wound and pre-soaked. I didn’t have enough Kool-Aid in the house for the 400 yards of wool I was going to need, but I did have enough for one batch, and who could resist that?

With the help of Number One Son, who had by now waned on the cut-and-paste project and sensed that there was Something Interesting happening in the kitchen, I did a little cold pour dyeing of my first, smallest skien. I reckoned I could use it as an accent colour, for the collar and cuffs, so it wouldnt matter if it matched the rest of the cardigan. Truth be told, I was a bit dye-crazed by this point and probably would have dyed it even if there had been no hope of using it for anything.

We used some kind of tropical berry blend which, although it came in a blue packet was, disappointingly, red. A nice red, but not what I was after. But we used it. And yellow. And orange, and some kind of purple blend thing too.

After microwave steaming, cooling, rinsing and hanging up to dry, it looked quite pretty. Sadly my journalistic instincts have deserted me (and today was not quite as tranquil), so I forgot to take pictures of it in skien form. But here it is wound (and photographed with a flash under fluorescent lights, sorry).

Cold-Pour Kool-Aid dyed yarn

Later on, after a trip to the store, I tore open several packets of Strawberry Kool Aid and dunked a skien into a bowl, leaving the top of the skien above water, so that the colour would be thin there. It looked really nice as a skein. Sorry you won’t be seeing that…

Dip-Dyed Kool-Aid yarn

Desperate to see how these yarns would look when knitted, I cast on immediately, even though these colours were nothing like what I wanted for the Boy. And I like how it’s coming along.

The Boy Cardi

The yarn smells nice and fruity. My only concern is that the colours might be too, well, fruity for our conservative and straight-laced friends to want to put on their baby boy. Now me, I was never one for denying my boys the pleasure of wearing a cool colour just because it was less than the most manly of colours, but then again I am, let’s face it, the kind of person who dyes her own yarn. With Kool-Aid.

And yes, I eat granola.

So, I might be taking a trip to the local yarn store tomorrow to buy something in blue, but this technicoloured dream coat will not go to waste. Every time I turn around these days someone I know is having a baby…

PS My first gift is in the mailbox waiting to be taken to my Secret Pal. We’re starting small, so that we don’t raise the expectations too high!

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