Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Turkey Awareness Dye

It's that time again--holiday craft season has begun! I started my annual elving about a month ago, but I have only finished one project so far. It only took a day plus a few hours to finish, most of which was drying time, which took up Thanksgiving Day. Most people cook a turkey, but me? I cook yarn.

Using nine envelopes of Kool-Aid powder and 200 yards of wool, I made a very colorful skein of hand-dyed yarn for a friend's Christmas gift. My inspiration for this yarn came from the following image, which is a photograph taken during the Leonids:

 I took the better part of a skein of natural colored Cascade 220 and soaked it in a vinegar-water solution then laid it out in a casserole dish. I separately prepared the three blends of Kool-Aid in three individual jars.

In order to get the colors of the dye to replicate those I observed in the meteor shower, I experimented with flavor combinations. I used three packets for each third of the yarn dyed to get good color saturation. For the green, I used Lemon-Lime exclusively, and for the darker blue, I used Berry Blue. For the blue-green in the center, I combined two envelopes of berry blue and one envelope of lemon-lime.

Once the dyes were mixed in their jars, I poured them individually over the yarn, the green on the top third, the blue-green over the middle third, and the blue over the bottom third of the casserole dish.

 I put the casserole dish, yarn and all, in the oven and baked it for over an hour at 250 degrees. When I rinsed the yarn, some color bled out still, which makes me think it could have baked longer, though there is still a natural color definition between much of the color changes. Finally, I hung it to dry, and made a lovely skein.