When reading about dyeing wool yarn, the instructions usually say to dye the yarn before you knit it.

Since I wasn’t sure how much my project would take, I decided to finish the baby jacket first, then dye it.

Undyed Baby Surprise Jacket

Baby Surprise Jacket before dye

I used Kool Aid and food coloring for a nontoxic dye, and am happy with the results:

Baby Surprise Jacket after dye

Baby Surprise Jacket after dye

The dye looks as even as dyeing the wool first, both inside and outside. I first soaked the jacket for 20 minutes in cold water with white (distilled) vinegar. It took 1-1/2 quarts of water to cover the jacket in the pot.

After 20 minutes, I removed the jacket, and gently squeezed out the excess water. Then I added a packet of Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade Kool Aid plus a few drops of blue food coloring to the water. The blue food coloring seemed to tone down the almost neon shade of Kool Aid blue.

Using vinyl gloves, I carefully put the sweater into the dye water. Over medium heat, I brought it to a boil and turned off the stove. Then, I let it cool on the hot burner to room temperature.The dye absorbed into the jacket, and the water turned clear.

After it cooled to room temperature, I rinsed the jacket in lukewarm or cooler water, and it rinsed clear.

Some directions say the vinegar is unnecessary with the Kool Aid, while others say it’s optional.

I’ve dyed yarn before with Kool Aid. I suggest before dyeing a completed sweater you try yarn or even a sample of yarn first. If you’re interested, there are more complete directions online, including one at Knitty.com.

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