Sunday, January 6, 2013

What Became of the Witch's Brew

When last I blogged, I had this lovely concoction brewing on my stovetop.

What you see is 134 g of drop spindle-spun merino/silk, 3 packets of Black Cherry Kool-Aid, 9 packets of Grape Kool-Aid, 2 cups of vinegar, and a lot of water. There seems to be disagreement out there concerning the need for vinegar. This Knitty article says "yes", but this source says "no" (on the basis that Kool-Aid is sufficiently acidic due to its citric acid content). On the assumption that more acid probably wouldn't hurt, I added it. In a short time, our entire house was permeated with the not-so-delightful aroma of wet wool, fruity Kool-Aid, and vinegar--sort of like grape pickles! For some reason it seemed to concentrate itself at the top of our second-floor landing.
Following the Knitty instructions, I allowed the whole thing to cool, then I washed it in some dish detergent and finally gave it a soak in some Eucalan. Magically, by the end there wasn't a whiff of fruit scent left in the house or the fibre. Hurray!  After a last whirl in the spin cycle of our washer, I hung the skeins up to dry and this morning hand-wound them into centre-pull balls. Hand-spun, hand-dyed, hand-wound.Whew!

Now I've started in on the knitting. The idea is to replace my moth-eaten (literally) lacy Baktus scarf (which I just discovered wasn't documented on Ravelry--not sure how that got missed), but since it would be boring to knit the same thing, I'm adding some quirks of my own.

Guess you'll just have to wait and see where this is going. Don't hold your breath, though. The packing and other moving preparations start in earnest this week.


  1. I've played with Koolaid a fair bit & dyed a lot of things with it. While it isn't necessary to add acid to it - it dyes everything whether you want it to or not - the extra acid won't hurt anything, that's for sure. Love the color you got!! Can't wait to see what you do with it.

  2. Love the color. I like semi-solids best and this is a great one.

  3. Wonderful job with the Kool-Aid. Your description of the smell made me laugh, because Ron's getting off easy here with only our upstairs bathrooms smelling slightly sheepy when I've got some yarn drying ;)

    Good luck with the preparation & move!