Our crafternoon family had a very sudden loss at the beginning of July when our friend Crystal and her young daughter passed away unexpectedly in an accident at their home. I think it made us all realize how much our little rag-tag group of crafternooners means to each of us. We all met up soon after and held a midcentury potluck in her honor, something Crystal would of really loved. There was even pickle dip because she absolutely loved pickles. The loss of Crystal has made me want to double my effort in getting crafternoon going again. These monthly meet-ups are some times the only time I get to see most of these wonderful ladies and I don’t want to let months slip by before connecting with them. So far we have a September crafternoon scheduled at my friend Jillian’s, and then October here at my house. I am really excited about getting the crafternoon gang back together each month.
Here is how we dyed our wool yarns…
You need 100% wool yarn, I got my wool skeins from YarnUndyedUSA but you can use the cheapest yarn you can find from major craft stores (with those 40% off coupons) it just has to be 100% wool. Next it needs to be in a skein (also called a hank), not ball. If you buy from a place like YarnUndyed it will come in skein, but if you have a ball from the craft shop you can follow instructions here to turn it into a skein. You’ll want to tie a few pieces of scrap yarn around the skein spaced out (3-4) to keep each area secure so it doesn’t become tangled.
You’ll also need packs of unsweetened kool-aid (the store brand works fine too, it just cannot contain sugar or sugar alternatives, they would leave your wool a sticky mess)
1. First I laid out some brown paper to protect the table, kool-aid is non toxic and you can wipe it up, but it can stain. Newspaper works great too. Then I laid down some wax paper because that is what I had on hand, you can use plastic wrap too.
2. Next I soaked each yarn gently in warm water, till the water seemed to really soak in. Then a couple of gentle squeezes so the water wasn’t dripping everywhere.
3. Then have fun with the kool-aid. You can sprinkle it, turn your yarn over, add more, add less etc. The more colors you add and the more you handle your yarn, the more the colors will mix and muddy.
4. We carefully rolled up the wax paper and placed it down inside a microwave safe bowl. I added water to cover the yarn and microwaved for about 2-3 minutes until the water is a murky grey free of all color. The citric acid in the kool-aid when heated adheres the food dye to the wool, so once the water is clear you know its set. The yarn will be very hot. Let sit in water cooling until you can handle it safely. If you want to ensure that none of your colors blend and bleed together you can use a microwave steamer basket set over a bowl of water in the microwave instead, but you may have to cook it a bit longer. I try not to move the yarn around too much and we didn’t have too much muddying.
5. Rinse your yarn gently, do not ring, or agitate the wool too much or some of your yarn could felt. Then just hang to dry.
There are tons of great recourses and info on dyeing yarn with kool-aid, food coloring, and Easter egg dye here. It really is so much fun and inexpensive to experiment with!
I don’t have any photos of Katie’s bag except here on Instagram because I took these photos later, but she did such a great job! While I think Katie does enjoy sewing, I’m pretty sure she was cursing me for making her attempt such an involved bag. In the end though you could tell she was super proud and had a new makeup carrying case for her next trip!
I love my bag and still have not decided exactly what I want to keep in it, which probably means I need a new special project just to store in my bag.
–Sew Together bag pattern
–Kim Kight’s Lucky Strikes fabric for Cotton & Steel (this is what I used on my bag, I love these fabrics so much!)