This post includes affiliate links.
This tutorial will teach you how to dye yarn with Koolaid easily at home. The bare yarn that is used is wool, cotton or a wool mixture with nylon from Knit Picks.
I am such a curious person that I want to try out so many things when it comes to crafts and crochet. Of course, I am not talking about anything bad. I actually mean, that my science heart loves to do and explore more experiments, especially with crochet and yarn.
And for sure, I discovered something I am in love with. It is easy, fast and it has to do with Koolaid. Yes, I dyed yarn with Koolaid and it is the easiest thing I have ever done. Seriously! Dyeing yarn naturally is fun, too, but a bit more complicated. But dyeing yarn with Koolaid is beyond easy and I will teach you how to do it.
Now, you make your own dyed yarn with Koolaid at home and add them to your yarn stash or use them right away in your next project. You just need some simple ingredients and some bare yarn, which I got graciously from Knit Picks for free to try out this experiment.
I prefer teaching and showing how to create something the easy way. It has taken me weeks to figure everything out before even attempted to try it myself. I was scared to mess it up and it would look awful. Then I reminded myself, that hand-dyed yarn will look beautiful no matter what cause it is made with love.
What Do You Need To Dye Yarn with Koolaid?
You really do not need much. You mainly need yarn, preferably animal fibers such as wool, water, Koolaid and some pots. You might need some extra things to prevent getting dyed hands or burn yourself, but I listed them all conveniently below.
- Knit Picks Bare Yarn:
- Large, deep pots or pans (like roasting pans)
- Koolaid packages (2 per skein) which I got at my local grocery store (in the soda section)
- cooking thermometer
- spare yarn to tie yarn together
How To Dye Yarn with Koolaid
First, before we start to actually dye the yarn, we need to prepare the yarn. In order for all hanks and skeins not to tangle up in the water, they need to be made into big loops and tied up in several spots. Then add about 2-3 skeins to each pot to soak in room temperature water for about 30 minutes.
Rotate the yarn gently a bit during that process. Be careful with the Preciosa Tonal yarn as it will felt easy. This yarn was not spun before, so it gets felted easily, especially when it is moved fast and during fast temperature changes which is true for all wool yarn, but this one specifically.
I used the pots with the water that the yarn is soaked in. Before adding the dye, I gently pulled up the yarn and placed it back into the pans in an “S” shape. As I will add two different Koolaid packages to some of the pots, I wanted to make sure the dyes will stay separated as much as possible.
So here are the Koolaid packages I added:
- Wool of the Andes Worsted: Black Cherry and Grape (3 packs each) -> bottom left picture
- Swish Worsted: Blue Raspberry Lemonade and Tropical Punch (3 packs each) -> top right picture
- Felici Worsted: Cherry and Pink Lemonade (3 packs each) -> top left picture
For the following yarn, I only used 3 packs per pot.
I added the dye by simply sprinkling the packs of Koolaid over the yarn in the pots. Then stirred and separated the yarn gently with thongs so the dye can easily spread around. The wool took on the colors immediately. But the cotton yarn did not take on the dye at all. The dye stayed in the water, even after heating. More on that later.
I turned on the heat and brought the pots to a boil, then turned off the heat and let it cool down. If the water turns clear again (which happened quickly for the wool), that is a sign that all the dye was taken up by the yarn.
After that, I watched them all with soapy water (shows you that it is colorfast). Again be careful with the wool so it does not felt (don’t scrub it hard). Then rinse and gently wring the yarn to remove the water and hang it to dry.
Results of Dyeing Yarn with Koolaid
Besides the cotton yarn, all the wool and wool/nylon blends took on the Koolaid dye perfectly and the way I intended it. I am very pleased with the results. I love how some of the yarn still has some white bar yarn in between as the dye did not get there while it was in the pots. I meant it to do that. But because I saw how fast the dye was taken up by the wool, I have listed below some possibilities and options you can take if you want to change anything about this.
Now that you made the bare worsted weighted yarn into gorgeous looking yarn hanks you can use them to crochet. Check out my free crochet pattern collection where you will properly find one perfect for your hand dyed yarn.
Don’t Judge Me – What here is what I would do differently next time
If I dye my own yarn again, which I will do very likely as it is a lot of fun, I would add more Koolaid packages per skein to make sure everything gets dyed, if I do not want to have any white spots leftover. Furthermore, I would add less yarn per pot so they are not cramped up. As you can see above, I added one yarn type to a roasting pan and that one has a lot less white parts on the yarn.
Also, I would also add less water such that I can sprinkle some Koolaid powder over the yarn such that it has speckles in the end. I can really imagine how that will look like in the end.
In addition, I would not dye cotton again with Koolaid. I knew beforehand that it would not work, but I wanted to prove it to me and the world that fact is true. I do know that one can dye cotton with liquid Rit Dye which I will try next for just the cotton yarn and show you the results soon.
I will expand this subject very soon by trying the same yarn dyeing experiment with professional acid dyes also. So stay tuned for that. If you sign up for my Newsletter below you will know when the next part is published and available to read and replicate.
If you love this tutorial on how to dye yarn with Koolaid as much as I do, please use the social media share buttons above or below and share this tutorial link with the world and your friends. They and I will thank you! I promise!