I’ve been working on a little Christmas surprised for my sister-in-law’s family. The project takes a few colors of wool that I don’t usually keep in stock (and that I don’t want hanging around in my stash until the next time I need an odd color). One of the colors is orange.
Before I bought a whole skein of the yarn, I figured I’d check with the Sisters of the Wool. Not only would I get my few yards of odd-colored yarn, but I’d help them get rid of something in their stash that they likely would only use for the odd project. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be huge carrot-orange people either. (They had burnt orange… We do live in Texas after all, but no bright orange.) Julia and Jeri suggested dying my own. They’ve dyed their own on occasion and had fabulous results, and they both assured me that orange kool-aid applied to a white yarn would do the trick. Then Angela, who is likely the biggest fan of orange you’ll ever meet, told me that she had some in the right color that she would be willing to share.
Last night, I ran across some orange Kool-Aid in my pantry, and, where most moms would think, “Hey, it’s time for a tasty, fruity drink.”, I thought, “Hey, I have some natural colored wool but need orange…” Yes, I could wait for Angela’s yarn, but it would be so much faster (and fun) to make my own. Besides, I had a skein of Paton’s Classic Merino in Aran that had been in my stash for eight months, and the last time that I’d bought Kool-Aid was (*blush*) three years ago.
So I wound off the amount I needed and made the most brilliant hunter orange yarn I’ve ever seen. It was amazingly easy. I soaked it in vinegar and a glug (that’s the technical term that I picked up from Lorelei at Heritage Arts) of vinegar, mixed the drink mix with water and another glug of vinegar, and then simmered the yarn in it until all of the orange color disappeared from the water. Then I turned the pan off and let it sit overnight to cool.
Presto! Change-o! Orange yarn! And, as my Sisters assured me, it is the most brilliant orange a person could ask for! (Never doubt the Sisters!) It makes me wish that I’d dyed the whole skein. (Certainly I know a hunter or construction worker that needs a hat!) Oh well, the grocery store will surely be open the next time I need orange yarn!