I mentioned back in October that I'd received some undyed yarn and Kool Aid in a swap, so I was eager to give this a go. Being a hopeless overachiever, I was not content with my first go being plain or even random splodges that would knit up with no purpose. Oh no, I wanted self-striping sock yarn, with contrast heels and toes, and god damn it, that's what I was going to do.
I armed myself with this article from Knitty, on how to dye with Kool Aid. I decided to go for a colourway in the red part of the spectrum, using the three flavours of cherry I'd been sent and the colour chart in the article. I planned on using Cherry as a bright red for the contrast yarn, then stripes of Blastin' Berry Cherry (pink) and Black Cherry (purple) with white stripes in a pink-white-purple-white sequence, with four rows per colour, ie a sixteen row repeat.
I must pause here to share my horror at Kool Aid. This is food? For children? Even before opening the packets I was struck by the strong, sweet, violently chemical smell. Opening the packets nearly made me gag. This was not something I'd be prepared to put anywhere near my internal organs. It just can't be good for you. That's not even counting the Jonestown connotations of drinking it.
OK, so I'm not entirely stupid, I did start with the easy bit. In my stash was a 50g skein of undyed Bonny (75% wool, 25% nylon, fairly rough, hardwearing, unknown washability) from The Yarn Yard, which was included as a freebie with an order I made ages ago. I figured that in dyeing that solid red for the contrast yarn, I'd work out anything else I needed to know. I dissolved two packets of Kool Aid in a large glass of water (water quantity doesn't matter by the way, just enough to cover the yarn) and put it into a bowl. Merrily, I started off by completely ignoring the first step of the Knitty article, which was to wash the yarn. Why on earth would I need to do that? It was clean yarn and was going to get wet anyway. Here's why:
Anyway, the big skein was rinsed (a fair bit of excess dye came out but the colour didn't fade) and hung up to try all around my kitchen:
Just to prove that my sums worked, here's how the socks are knitting up:
Finally, look what it did to my hands!