Welcome to The Gingerbread Bunny! I'm Sarah, a textile artist specialising in crochet and felt based in Wigan in the North-West of England.

On my blog, you can find my day-to-day craft adventures and tutorials.

You can find details of my work for sale and workshops on my website - www.thegingerbreadbunny.co.uk

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Sarah and the Amazing Technicolour Yarn

I have finally gotten round to it!  Having a go at dyeing yarn.  It has been on  my crafty list of things to do for some time and this morning I eventually found the time to do it. 
After much Googling and research I settled on the very technical (ha!) method of Kool Aid dyeing!  I had heard about this in the Craftlife podcast and wasn't sure I would be able to get hold of Kool Aid in the UK but, again after much Googling (isn't the Internet a wonderful thing?!) I found a UK based supplier.  Yay!  For those of you unfamiliar with Kool Aid, it is a powder drinks mix that, in the USA, you mix with water to make a drink.  Now then, I am not adverseto e numbers and know all too well what spilling Lucozade and Iron Bru does to your clothes but, given the fact that you can actually dye yarn with Kool Aid, I would not be drinking it!

I bought my Kool Aid from DT Craft & Design, where they have a range of colours as well as brilliantly put together kits.  I wanted to dye some gorgeous natural merino and alpaca wool I bought on my holidays but, as it wasn't cheap, needed to test out my skills first.  So, I bought a Funky Dyeing Kit for the reasonable price of £6 which included a 50g skien of wool, 6 sachets of various colours of Kool Aid, gloves, apron, detailed instructions and a clear, microwavelable plastic tub: everything I needed to get started.  I decided to use all 6 colours to make a multicoloured yarn as this would allow me to see which colours gave the best effects. I also included a piece of the merino yarn to see how it took the colour too!

Brilliant kit from DT Craft & Design

I began by soaking my yarn in a pan of water with a small amount of washing up liquid for around 45 minutes so that the yarn was throughly soaked.  I then sqqeezed out the water carefully, making sure I didn't wring it.

Soaking Yarn
 Whilst the yarn was soaking, I made up my dye.  As I was going for a multicoloured look, I made each colour up in a plastic sports bottle - the lids are great for easy application of the dye!  I used 100ml of water to 1 sachet of Kool Aid.

A range of beautiful colours!
 Next came the application of the dye.  I lay the yarn out in a horseshoe shape and applied the dye in blocks (there are lots of different ways to apply it which you can read about in the instruction leaflet!) You don't actually need an awful lot of dye, although I think I used to much.  Once applied, it was time to cook my yarn.  I put it in the plastic tub provided and microwaved it on high for around 4 minutes, in 1 minute slots until the liquid was boiling - this helps to set the dye in the yarn.

Cooked yarn!

Once cool, I rinsed the yarn in warm water, carefully squeezing and wringing the water out.  I then placed it
out to dry.

The finished product!

I am really glad I bought the dyeing kit as it has given me the chance to try out the colours and technique first before commiting it to my gorgeous yarn!  Some colours work much better than others - the Strawberry Red and Cool Berry Turquoise come out really well!  You need to be really careful not to apply too much dye of you are going for a multicoloured yarn as it can run together and make a muddy brown colour (I got this effect unintentionally). I have decided to dye my yarn in 1 colour next time, and have some Pink Lemonade Kool Aid and Grape to use!) 

Kool Aid dyeing is really easy, really cheap (50p a sachet from DT Craft & Design ~ this will dye 50g of yarn!) and makes your yarn smell pretty good to. It would also be a great activity for kids to as it is pretty messy!  I am so looking forward to my next dyeing adventure!


  1. You should see the amount of sugar you need to put in when you make up Kool Aid... my teeth hurt just thinking about it! Looking forward to seeing the pink lemonade yarn!

  2. I certainly wouldn't drink the stuff but it is great for dyeing yarn with!

  3. OOOh how exciting! Love your multicolours! Looking forward to seeing samples of your next experiments with the dye.
    Resisted using my fave word...cool... or should that be Kool!!
    Ali x