Over the holidays I purchased several skeins of Elsebeth Lavold's Angora "smoke" at a greatly reduced price. It is a worsted weight, classic plied yarn composed of 60% angora, 20% wool and 20% nylon.
Unfortunately, it was an odd color, not quite grey, not quite tan. The longer that I had the yarn, the less I liked the color. I looked into the possibility of dyeing the yarn and found instructions on using Kool-Aid as a dye.
This weekend I decided to try it out. The process was extremely simple. And the result, absolutely satisfying. I went to the store and got orange Kool-Aid and grape Kool-Aid and dyed small pieces of the yarn to see which I preferred. I liked the result of both colors. Because the yarn was already a color, the rich, saturated colors of the Kool-Aid became deeper and more earthy. The orange Kool-Aid created a bright rust colored yarn. The grape Kool-Aid created a deep plum-purple. I ended up choosing the grape to dye the rest of the skeins, as I have a nice mohair yarn that would go very well with the angora to make a comfy neck warmer.
If you are using a 100% wool, all you need is Kool-Aid and water. But, because the angora yarn, like lots of angora, was blended with nylon, I added vinegar to help with the dyeing. Nylon, unlike most other synthetics, can be dyed if an acidic agent is added. I used vinegar to help make the yarn more porous and allow the dye to soak into the yarn.
If you haven't tried Kool-Aid dyeing or have been afraid to try it. I highly recommend giving it a try. It is a lot of fun!
You can see pictures of the yarn before and after on my blog: