Thursday, 5 December 2013

In this case, Jelly = Gelatin/Jell-O (not jam).

I have decided to start dyeing with what is readily available in New Zealand. Sure, Kool-Aid produces some cool colours, and its simple to use because it has citric acid in it already, but guess what? So does Jelly. (330, E330).

I had a lace skein that I bought for a secret santa gift, so I did a little snooping to find out what colours she likes, and she knits with a decent amount of varying pink shades. So I decided to give it a go.

I soaked the skein in a bowl of warm water with a little citric acid for half an hour while I prepped everything else.

I put down a baby changing pad (the thin soak pads) on the table, and covered it with glad wrap and spread the skein out on it. Seperate the yarn as much as possible while still leaving a workable area.

I used 4 dessert spoons of each colour. I put them in a large dip bowl and mixed it up.

Using a spoon, I sprinkled the jelly all over the yarn, pressing it with my hand. (Be careful to not muddy the yarn, just press it and pull your hand off).

Over the skein ties, I put a lot of colour and pressed it heavily to get it through as many layers of yarn as I could.

Flip the yarn over and repeat on the other side.

Wrap the yarn up in the cling wrap and place in a microwave safe bowl. I heated it for 2 mins, over 4x 30 second bursts.

I left it to cool down to room temperature (it took about 2 hours), then I pulled a little bit out from the end of the cling wrap and rinsed it to check the colour had set. It had, so I dumped it in the sink. This is the point where you need to take the time to get it right. Jelly is full of sugar and it makes the yarn sticky. You need to be careful that you don't do anything that felts it, but that sugar needs to come out.

If the colour runs, put it back int he microwave (or however you heat set your yarn). Even with all the jelly crystals and lumps of jelly through the yarn, the colour was still set and my water was still clear, so don't just assume that its the excess jelly. There was only a hint of colour when a couple of actual globs were rinsed out. Almost light enough for me to wonder if I had imagined it.

So, in the sink covered in sugary globules...

At this point I sat in the bathroom in front of the sink and ran the yarn under lukewarm water for 10 minutes. You will need to check and search for the sugar globules but don't rip them out. Just work them under the water and they will drop away.

After the 10 minute rinse, I let it soak in a wool wash (I use EcoStore) for half an hour.

After the soak, I gently squeezed the excess water out and hung it out to dry.

Once it was dry, I twisted it back up and I have a super soft, gorgoeusly tonal coloured yarn.

I would not recommened this for the feint of heart!! Dealing wth the sugar aspect is at least half the process, but to be hoenst, I would rather deal with the sugar than have to wait for KoolAid to arrive form overseas (and its a lot pricier, because I have to figure out the cost in NZD, then get someone to be my middle man, then pay shipping. Which isn't cheap). And I can pick up jelly boxes 2 for $1 on special.

One day I will buy 'real' dye, but for now, I really love how this turned out!!!

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  1. WOW.... that is so cool, I've been crocheting for over 20 yrs (agressively for the last 5) & would have never guessed you could do this or have never seen this before, I will be buying more whiteish colors and jello type colors, as I really like veragated colors the best, & sometime you just can't get the color your looking for.!!!!
    Tks so very much again for this wonderful idea!!!!!