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How to dye multi-color skeins with Kool-Aid

I’m loving all the fun techniques you can do with Kool-Aid… are you having a blast?

Today, I’m going to tell you about how to dye those multi-color skeins you so often see from Indie Dyers! It’s a great chance to play around with color!

I’ve dyed my skein red, orange and yellow (and left a little bit white!). I’ll show you how to do it, plus show you how to calculate the length of the color repeats that you’ll get in your final yarn.


You’ll need:

  • yarn made from natural animal-fibers (undyed is best), in a skein
  • a few packets of Kool-Aid in any colors you want! (see this post about testing colors)
  • a glass bowl or dish for each different color you’re using
  • boiling water

The Process

Step 1: Prepare your color

Remember how I told you last time that you had two choices for setting your color? You could either use boiling water, or regular water and then microwave the yarn. Since this technique requires dunking sections of yarn in different posts of color, I’m going to recommend the boiling water technique. It makes life easier… and we all want that, right?

To prepare, mix your Kool-Aid packets in boiling water… one color in each dish.

Step 2: Dye your first section

In this technique, you’re starting with a skein of yarn (you know, that big yarn loop?):

Chances are, if you’re purchasing undyed yarn, it’ll come this way. If not, it’s no big deal. Just wind it around a box and make your own!

To dye your first section, dunk a part of the skein in your first color:

You can dye as much or as little of a section of the skein as you want, but keep in mind that the more colors you want to use, the smaller each section will have to be.

Step 3: Keep going!

Now, dip an undyed section of your skein in your next color:

In my yarn, I try to keep the dyed sections from overlapping- which will result in a nice, crisp color changes!

Keep doing this for as many colors as you want to use!

Step 4: Rinse and let dry

Hooray, you’re done!

Determining Color-repeat Lengths

This technique is great for getting lots of colors, but it doesn’t result in very long lengths of color. You can tell this when I wind my yarn into a ball:

So, how do you tell how long each color repeat is going to be? By measuring your skein!

Here, I’ve laid out my (dyed) skein, and set a ruler to the length of red:

My length of red is 12″ long.

I know from experience that when I single crochet, I use 1.8″ per stitch. This means that using this yarn, I’ll crochet about 6 stitches before the yarn turns to a new color.

This is helpful info to know when planning a project! It means that using this technique, you won’t get stripes, but small puddles of color. (Tune in tomorrow, where I’ll show you how to get stripes!)

You can alter the length of your color repeats either by dyeing larger/smaller sections of your skein, or by winding your skein into a larger/smaller loop. The possibilities are endless, so give them a try!




  1. Dawn SAYS...

    Ooooh, I LOVE this idea!!! Funnly enough I saw some Kool Aid in my local department store the other day, as they have an American food section (I live in the UK). I don’t know how expensive it was though – usually quite inflated prices – so guess what i’ll be on the lookout for next time i visit the States!! :o) Thank you so much for all your tips and ideas Stacey :oD

  2. I can’t wait to learn how to make stripes!