After reading stitch | craft | create magazine in the spring, and their article on dying yarn with kool-aid, I knew I had to give it a try. I decided instead of yarn I was going to have a go with wool roving and come up with a felted project with all the bright colours. I left the roving immersed in the kool-aid (1/2 cup water added to one package for each colour) for the better part of 24 hours. Then according to the girls at Craft Magazine, I needed to set it in the microwave. I put each colour of roving in its own microwavable bowl and sealed it with plastic wrap. In for 30 seconds on high to check. Then another 1 minute and 30 seconds to set the colour.
I decided to make topper for knitting needles and made the balls by needle felting on a felting pad using the technique I showed with my heart knitting needles and my bird pencil toppers for inspired magazine.
After the initial needle felting, I like to give the balls a hot wash in net bag in the washing machine. See the above before (left) and after (right). I find they come out nice and compact with a consistent shape.
A little snip into the bottom of each ball for the needle and a snip (if required) of the needle top, for insertion. Into the pouch made in each ball by the slit, I add a squirt of fabric glue - and the newly snipped needle end, and you are good to go ... or knit:)
One quick note. You may need to add a number to your needle with permanent ink so you know what size it is. Some of the needles I use just have the size on the wooden top that you will be snipping off.
And ... A word of caution. After the roving dried almost completely, I put it in an aluminum pie tray to completely dry. We were off to a cottage and when I returned I found that the kool-aid dyed roving ate through the tray. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT ?! Did you ever do that experiment in school where you took a tooth meant for the tooth fairy and dropped it into a cup of coke for a week to see what would happen. And you found that your tooth was well rotted by the end of the week. (That worked for me ... never wanted to drink coke again!) Well this does it for me with kool-aid - not that we had it around here for but it does make me think of the amount of sugar our kids can be exposed to!!!! I asked my chemical engineer father what caused it and he things it was the citric acid and ascorbic acid in the mix.
I think that the reaction with the aluminum took away from some of the vibrancy of the roving but it is still a pop of colour in another wise plain pot of needles. With the August weather (and the feeling of fall just a few weeks away) I need to stock up on fun little projects like this. It will make my fall knitting just that much more cheerier.