So, lately I've taken to boiling the remnants of farm animals in the bodily fluids of a structure-destroying glass golem.
And dyeing wool yarn in Kool-Aid is fun!
It's simple. The felting is a problem, but a bit of hair conditioner really helps. The first two individual yarns were skeins of Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool. The second were Ella Rae Classic. The two purple skeins were originally blinding magenta pinky-pink. They were also *full* of knots; I believe one had three and the other four. (One knot came apart as I was hanking the ball.) All the other skeins had about one each. The purple and red skein pair were done in the same pot together.
Now, I have no idea when I'm going to use these, though I have plans for them. (The first lavender ball I've already started a brioche rib scarf, the red will be diagonal garter, the two purples will be a triangular shawl, and the red/purple will be opposing triangles.) I'm still working on last Christmas' knitting.
So, I'm trying to start a new urban legend to assuage my guilt: The Alien Dolphins who will be returning on the Mayan New Year, 2012, are yarnoholics. The more yarn you have, the more likely they are to whisk you away to the stars before the earth freezes or burns or SNL's "Sarah Palin 2012" movie trailer comes true. Face it, it's just as believable as the, "Oh, I still have a few openings in my 2019 Hanukkah knitting plans, so I *know* I'll get to it!" you hear from other knitters.
ADDENDA: So I was sent a note with questions....
The variegation: Each picture is something done in one four quart pot. (It's a cooking pot. Kool Aid and salt are safe. The conditioner washes out easily with soap and bit of Windex.)
400 yards of yarn in a pot does not leave a lot of room for water. There was some KA in the initial water, and a follow-up wash when there was white spots. However, most of the KA was poured in, and so it doesn't travel far. This is how I got red and purple in the same pot. The deep maroon streaks are where the two skeins touched. Otherwise, as long as you have more yarn than water and you don't mix thoroughly, you can keep colors fairly distinct, and even end up with very pale areas.
Otherwise, the two single skeins were done separately the first day, then the two pairs were done separately a few weeks later.
Felting: It is very easy to felt yarn when dyeing it, as you have to heat up the water without reaching a boil and you have to stir the water a bit, and then there is agitation with rinsing. (I do several, as I don't like fruit-scented yarn.) The yarn will felt a little. It doesn't turn to a mass-o-felt. It's what I've seen other knitters call "fulling", but even not that extreme if you're careful. The wool usually comes out slightly felted. With a tiny bit of unscented conditioner (I used stuff for "thick and coarse hair) mixed into the rinse water, the yarn comes out softer. It doesn't and can't undo felting, but it "undoes" the slightly felted feel.