I have been knitting for about 10 months now and I’ll admit it, I’m convert. It’s fun. And yarn, how can you not love all the pretty yarn out there? 

You know what I do not love? The price of yarn. Especially all those amazing skeins that people painted by hand. I’m sure once I’ve been knitting for a bit longer and I don’t screw up so much I will be much more willing to spend money on quality hand-painted yarn. In the meantime, being the overly ambitious DIYer that I am, I started to wonder: Could I make my own?

Yes. Yes I can.

Yarrn dyeing on the lawn

And it’s so much fun!

I found so many tutorials online, but decided that I would go to the Kool-Aid route to keep it nice and cheap. We followed this Knitty tutorial but we could only find the liquid squirt bottles of Kool-Aid, not the envelopes of powder. Armed with these, some crystal light and some food colouring we laid out all the yarn on the grass and started squirting haphazardly.

The colours were definitely not as vivid as shown in the tutorial, but I think this was due to the Kool-Aid we used, also because of all the sugar the grass became VERY sticky.

We tried setting the dye of one skein using the bowl of water in the microwave method, but all the colours started to run and bleed together (and it smelt really, really bad). For the rest of the skeins I used a pot of boiling water and my steamer basket. After they cooled I rinsed them until the water was clear (luckily no colour bleed) and then hung them to dry


They looked so pretty on the drying rack…but tangled…so very tangled. It took FOREVER to get them all wound into neat little balls, but Daytona helped


We used Bare yarn from KnitPicks in a few different weights (DK, Bulky, Worsted & Aran). My favourite of all of them is definitely the bulky.

All in all, I will definitely be trying this again, but with the sugar-free Kool-Aid powder AND I will be much more careful when laying out and moving the yarn to prevent as many tangles as possible! Now I just need to figure out what to knit with my pretty new hand-painted yarn!



Hand-painted yarn with kool-aid

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