Watermelon BFL

handspun BFL wool dyed with red Kool-Aid to a watermelon color

Isn’t this yummy? It’s handspun BFL (blue-faced Leicester) that I spun on the wheel and then plied and dyed. With Kool-Aid. Yup. I know, I should get some real acid dyes but for now, this is easier. I don’t have to have special dye pots set aside, etc. I just do this in a glass measuring bowl in the microwave and it works. You can dye any animal fiber such as wool or silk with food dyes and a bit of acid such as vinegar or citric acid. The bonus with Kool-Aid is that it already has the citric acid in it. (Here are some good instructions for dyeing with Kool-Aid.)

I think this yarn is destined to be a little girl bag similar to the one I made for my friend Jan. The girl likes watermelon very much. Would it be too silly if I shaped it like a watermelon? Not with a rind and seeds and all, just a half moon shape. Then I could practice increases.

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  1. Michelle’s avatar

    Nice job! How long do you have to set the dye in the microwave? I have some Wilton icing dyes but haven’t had a chance to try them out. My last dyeing venture was using easter egg dyes and it was mostly successful.

    1. Cindy’s avatar

      I just do a minute or two at a time to heat the water to simmer, until the water is almost clear or cloudy which means all the dye has gone into the fiber. Probably takes about 5 minutes total for a few ounces of wool or a playsilk.

      I’m sure I’ve seen instrux on the web for using the Wilton dyes too. I’ll be interested to see how your experiments turn out, they have a bigger range of colors than Kool-Aid huh?

    2. annie’s avatar

      beautiful! the dyeing and the spinning. you totally rock. axoxo

    3. Nikki LaCrosse’s avatar

      It’s gorgeous. I love the bag idea — with seeds. ;-)

    4. Naomi’s avatar

      Gorgeous. No. You’re right: Yummy. I actually have some very similar wool. But I didn’t spin it myself! You rock!

      Reminds me I bought some silk scarves to dye. Thanks for the explanation of why Kool-Aid is so good for that.

      Do the seeds. Or a cross section. I love the 3 colors of water melon all together!

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