Adventures in Yarn Dyeing

Assuming you’re like most people, you no doubt have skeins and skeins of bare wool yarn sitting around and also lots of packets of Kool Aid® drink mix–the old-fashioned kind with no sugar added (say, like 30 or so in an assortment of flavors). Me too! That was EXACTLY the situation I found myself in one weekend when inspiration hit and I decided to try to transform my volumes of bland, natural colored yarn that was sitting around unused into volumes of bright, fruity colored yarn that will sit around unused. Problem solved!

If you wish to recreate my success–besides determination–here is what you will need:


Yarn–natural animal fiber yarn is best for Kool Aid® dyeing. I used 100% wool in lace weight, worsted weight and chunky weightImage

Kool-Aid® other other no sugar added powdered drink mix with vibrant colors–amount depends on color saturation you want, but I used between 6 and 10 packets per 100 grams of yarn (note: you need to divide the yarn and the Kool Aid between  mason jars if you use the microwave method)


Food coloring–I ended up wanting to create a teal color and needed a few drops of black food coloring to achieve it

Vinegar–any kind will do, but I used distilled white vinegar Note: Not necessary with drink mix products, but needed to ‘set’ the dye with food coloring

Canning/mason jars for microwave method


Large stockpot for stovetop method


Crockpot for crockpot method


Master Dyer (me)

Inexplicably Negative Curmudgeon– with ‘opinions’ (my son)


Quality Assurance Officer (Tiny Milt)


Manager willing to turn a blind eye to questionable practices (Gus)



Performance Enhancing Drug (with cream)



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