Don’t Drink the KoolAid
October 1, 2005
I went to visit Cristina on Wednesday. Cristina lives in Philadelphia. This used to mean that I got to knit for 3 hours each way on NJ Transit and then SEPTA. But that left little time for crafting (i.e., borrowing Cristina’s Pfaff), lunching, tea-ing, and yakking–before I had to turn around and get on the train back home. So the last two times, I have driven despite the toll it takes on knitting time.
I do get to listen to NPR and WFUV. All alone. And this time, I not only had sole and compleat power over the radio, but FOUR CDs that I won from Wendy (I can’t remember what I did to win the prize; I think I was the someteenth commenter on something). Despite her near-infancy, Wendy knows her way around a country song, and what’s more, the girl can rock. She gave me: John Prine’s Fair & Square, Iris DeMent’s Infamous Angel, Steve Earle’s The Revolution Starts Now and one I know you’re kinda fond of: Loretta Lynn’s Van Lear Rose. (I think of Van Lear Rose as the Monteagle/Tailgate Soundtrack, October 2004).
Suffice it to say, I was wailin’ all the way down I-95 on Wednesday morning. Just twangin’ my heart out. I sang ‘It’s Hotter Than the Hy-Vee in My Heart” and was only a little bit surprised to find out the actual lyric is ‘It’s Hotter than Mojave In My Heart’ (I kinda like my version). When Iris’s momma came on, and she warbled a gospel tune about planting her feet on higher ground, the turnpike signs went blurry for a minute, but I kept singing through the moisture.
Then I got to Cristina’s. We inspected Weavettes, but we did not Weavette ourselves. We did a little lunching. Then we did some Tea. Then she gave me a hank of her local Hardware Store Yarn, a butter-colored fisherman’s wool, and 3 packs of Koolaid. She didn’t want to push it on me, but she thought Carrie might enjoy it. So, after some hemming and hawing (not being a wool person OR, since 1976, a KoolAid person), I took it home. (As a kid my dinnertime jobs were: set the table and make the Daily KoolAid. I think KoolAid was its own food group back then. Not for nothing, but it does have Vitamin C.)
So last night Carrie and I dyed some hardware store wool. Here’s how it went. Technical note: we did not use vinegar. Cristina said it was not necessary in her experience, and just made a bad smell (barnyardy/hardware store-y wool plus the chemical overtones of KoolAid) worse. So here we go:
Plain wool, badly in need of perking up with artificial colors and artificial flavors.
Put wool in water; bring water to the simmer. “It looks like spagetti, Mommy!” Indeed.
You mix the packets of KoolAid in a cup of water (we mixed them all together, 2 Mango and 1 Cherry).
Pour it in.
Then it looks like Spaghetti Marinara.
We had tied the skein loosely with cotton yarn, and discovered proof that you can’t dye cotton with KoolAid.
The wool quickly sucks all the dye out, leaving the water a milky white.
You let it cool, then you squeeze out the water and let it dry.
This morning, we had this lovely peachy-rose wool. It would take quite a lot of KoolAid to get a deep shade, but the colors of KoolAid are lovely.
I’m not complaining, but the wool smells really, really awful. Eau de KoolAid does not improve the scent of fisherman’s wool. I’m off to google ‘Eucalan stinky KoolAid’. If you know a good remedy for deskunking home-brewed wool, please pass it on.
P.S. I’m laughing because the ‘Eucalan stinky Kool Aid’ search turned up a Knitter’s Review thread on the question. The cure? Vinegar bath!