Round Peg In a Square Hole-crafts

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sock Wars! Round 3 and Dying with KoolAid

O.K., I finished the socks Thursday or Friday, then dyed them over the weekend. Let me just say, for starters, that dying with KoolAid is quite easy....if you want a shade of red or orange, or even purple. Blue and green are HARD! Partly, this is because the available blue is kind of turquoise-y or robin's-egg-ish, not a true blue, and partly because it is virtually impossible to find GREEN KoolAid. The one packaged drink mix I found in limeade-flavor was made with natural flavors and colors--THAT'S not going to do me any good! I need artificial! I need chemicals! I need things-not-found-in-nature (besides the blue)!

Anyway, I set up a bunch of cups with water in them, three knitted swatches (I wanted to test the advice of another Sock Warrior, who said the socks don't "wick" very well--and she was right), and several little bobbins of yarn, along with all the packages of KoolAid I had bought. My aim was to get a true green and a true blue, with the intersection of the colors being some combo of the two. Tested the straight blue (bobbin in the middle) and yellow first: yellow was a little light, and the blue, as I said, wasn't a particularly true color. Putting the yellow-dyed bobbin into the blue, produced a green, (bobbin diagonally below and to the left of purple) but not very intense, or true. Tried dying part of a swatch yellow, then putting the whole thing into the blue (middle swatch), which was O.K., but still not really the colors I was going for. Next, I added a little red to the blue, thinking to true it up a little, as well as darken it. WRONG! Got a lovely shade of purple (purple bobbin on right), but since I could have gotten that using straight grape KoolAid, and it wasn't the color I was going for, anyway, I considered that a failure. So next, I added a little orange to the blue. This came out MUCH better, a deeper blue, with greenish overtones. Putting this into the yellow gave a good color (bobbin diagonally above and the left of purple), though not very intense, and I was worried about running out of yellow and orange.

Next, I tried food coloring (blue and green bobbins on the left). The green was a little "grassy" for me, but the blue was much better, so I tried one of my swatches in those cups (far left swatch), with not too satisfactory results (may have needed more color?) Finally, I tried a hybrid of the yellow KoolAid and the blue food coloring, (bobbin in the middle, above and between two swatches) again getting a little "grassy" result, and not nearly dark enough.

So, in the end, I decided to go for straight green, since I couldn't get a good blue to shade into it. I washed the socks in Orvis, then dyed them with two packages of yellow in a shallow glass baking dish with about half and inch of water. Removed the socks, then dumped in two packages of blue and about 2/3 of a package of orange, then returned the socks, making sure to turn them several times to make sure both sides got dyed. Didn't seem like enough, so I added my tester-pot of yellow and the tester-pot of blue/orange. Was happy with that result, though I still wish I could have gotten it just a little bit darker. Ah, well; it was something I wanted to try, and I can see that you could have alot of fun with it--as long as you wanted to dye in the red realm.

Labels: , ,