Knitting & Crocheting: How to Dye and Full at Once
Have you ever fulled (or felted) a crochet or knitting project? Have you ever dyed yarn with Kool-Aid? It is a pretty easy process, for each. Some yarn will full, or felt in the same color that they appear, but others (like Cascade Pastaza, for instance) in certain shades, change a bit after they’ve been felted. One day I was looking at a purse I’d knitted and I was thinking how I really disliked the color that it turned out after felting. So then it hit me- why not try felting it a bit more and add the Kool-Aid packets to the hot water?! I did, and it worked! I had a felted purse with a better color, so I was very pleased.
Things You’ll Need:
- Kool-Aid in the color of your choice….. Kool-Aid comes in more colors than red
- Wool and/or mohair project to be felted.
- Non-metal container large enough for your project (or try using the bathtub or sink if you have one)
So you have a knitted or crocheted project that you want to felt, and dye; now you need a container for this process. Usually when I’ve dyed wool with Kool-Aid, I used a bowl that fit into the microwave and I heated the water until it was hot, added and mixed the Kool-Aid, then put the wool into the dye-bath. However, my last project was too big for that, so I just used a plastic tupper-ware container large enough. Basically you need to use a packet of Kool-Aid per cup of hot water. To felt something you need hot water, soap, wool and agitation (which is why lots of people felt things in their washing machines). However, some of us don’t have a washing-machine at home and the local Laundromat wouldn’t allow Kool-Aid dying or felting wool. So use whatever container will work for your project, and for your living situation
When I was Kool-Aid dying wool in a bowl in my microwave, I just kept microwaving it in 5 minute intervals until all the dye was soaked into the wool and the water was clear. So if your project is small enough, I would do that and add a couple squirts of soap, and pull it out of the microwave every 30 seconds to agitate it like a washing-machine.
If your project is too big, then just use hot water- but not too hot or you’ll burn your hands- and add soap, and start agitating. When your project is close to being all the way felted, mix the Kool-Aid with hot water in a another container and add your project to that. Then add some more soap, and agitate a little more. Now you just wait until the water goes clear or your wool has turned the shade you wanted. TA-DA! Two processes in one!!
Now you rinse it in cold water, and roll out the water, and re-shape it or hand to dry. Once it dries, if it did not get the color you wanted but it felted enough, you can repeat the steps without agitation and just dye it more. Or if it hadn’t felted enough, you just repeat with hot water and soap and agitation. Then rinse with cold water, as before.
Tips & Warnings
- Your knitted or crocheted project cannot be treated/washable-wool or it won’t felt. If the label on the yarn says “Superwash” or “washable wool” or “treated wool” you will not be able to felt it.
- Ravelry and Craftster have some great projects online for free with all sorts of patterns for you to try this out with.
- Knitting on the Internet
- Crocheting on the Internet
- Handmade art and crafts at Arte de Shelley