Sunday, February 13, 2011

Playing Mad Scientist: Unraveling a Sweater and Kool-Aid Dyeing the Yarn

I saved this old sweater to harvest the yarn.  I wore this sweater a lot, but although the wool yarn was still good, the color had started to fade in spots, and it didn't fit me very well anymore.  

I unraveled it and wound the yarn into skeins. Here's my favorite tutorial on reclaiming yarn from knitted garments.   I got two big skeins: one from the back and one from the front, and two smaller skeins from the sleeves.  I soaked these for several hours until they were good and wet and then Koolaid dyed the yarn similar to the way I did before.

The small skeins got dyed with two colors of Koolaid:  purple and orange.  I just barely dipped part of the skeins in the purple, which resulted in an olive green.  The parts I left in longer dyed a dark brown, and the orange turned into a nice rust color.

Snazzy, huh?  These will make some nice fingerless gloves or a shawlette.  The yarn is fingering weight.

One of the big skeins got dipped in a pot of blue Koolaid, and then I pulled out one end, added more Koolaid to the pot, and let the other end get darker.

This is enough for a nice shawl.  Those light bands are the spots where I tied the skeins.  Next time I'll tie them more loosely, though I like the random light bits.

I ran out of Koolaid for the other skein, which I dyed an almost solid rust after a quick trip to the store for more orange. I've been accumulating  some shawl pattens on Ravelry, but I'll have to wait for the yarn to dry to cast on. 

I hope you're looking forward to a creative week.  I feel my schedule calming down into a more manageable pace, so I'm looking forward to some new projects.


Judy S. said...

Fun! It looks like you got the kinks out too. What gives the liquid (dye?) a milky cast? I can't wait to see what this will look like knit up! (Around here it would take a very long time for the yarn to dry......)

Rian said...

Kool! And I bet it smells juicy, too!

Catherine Arnold said...

I love watching your projects unravel. I solved the triangle scarf mystery after one lob-sided triangle attempt, have started a new sock and need some pattern inspiration for some very old yarn I gathered from an old, unfinished baby bunting--one of those stories where the baby grows faster than the bunting. Let me know if your schedule allows a knitting session soon! Catherine

Plays with Needles said...

I always enjoy your kool aid posts!!

Kay said...

Beautiful! I'm particularly impressed that you got such beautiful colors from the over-dying. I'd think that might be tricky. Have you learned from experience, or are you following rules? I would have guessed the blue greens, but the beautiful browns and rusts must have been trickier.

Debra Spincic said...

You have to be the Queen of Yarn Recycling! Your results are always so good!

Allison Ann Aller said...

How impressive! Low tech, low impact all the way...and so gorgeous! Well done!