Monday, April 25, 2011

Dyeing Easter Eggs


You'd think with all the food coloring I have in the house to dye yarn with I'd be set to dye eggs for Easter this year. However I saw an article by Peaceful Parenting about dyeing eggs with natural dyes. Dyes from fruits, vegetables and spices. That sounded like a lot of fun!

Clockwise from top:
red cabbage in the middle

All of the dyes I added a tablespoon of white vinegar to except the coffee. And I let the eggs sit in the dye for an hour.

The coffee dye was just strong brewed coffee.

The beets and red cabbage I bought fresh and chopped it up. The spinach I bought frozen. I put them in a pan with enough water to cover and brought to boil. Once it started boiling, I turned off the heat and let it sit for 15 minutes then I strained out the vegetables (the beets we ate while waiting for the eggs to dye. Yum!)

The blueberries and cherries I also bought frozen. I thawed them and mashed them up. I added a cup of boiling water and stirred.

For the paprika and turmeric, I added 1/8 cup of spices to two cups boiling water. The spices don't disolve so when it was time to take the eggs out, you have to wipe them down a bit to remove the powder.

My kiddos had fun asking what the different dyes were from and I think we'll continue to do this every year. I want to try dyeing with onion skins next time and a friend of mine dyed hers with black currant and her eggs came out stunning. If you've tried a different natural dye with great results, I'd love to hear about it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Little Lego Man

...Cowboy up!

Yesterday I posted on Facebook that I had a hankering to do miniature knitting again. I played around with it last year and found it frustrating yet fascinating. Katie Aaberg challenged me to knit a sweater for a lego man. Challenge accepted!

Did I succeed? You decide. I couldn't knit him a sweater after all because the little lego arms are tight against their little lego bodies making it impossible to get them through sleeves. I then went for a sweater vest look but ended up making it too big. And the tight arms bunches the knitting around. I think it looks like he's wearing a poncho. In my opinion, it works out great since he's a cowboy and all.

Just to give you a scale on how small miniature knitting is, this photo shows my miniature needles up against size US 1 or 2.25mm.

Name: Little Lego Man
Pattern: my own design
Yarn: 3 strands of DMC 6 strand embroidery floss
Needles: 7/0 or .65mm
Gauge: 19sts= 1 inch and 23 rows= 1 inch

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I Feel Pretty

...dinosaurs lookin' fine.

My Monday night SnB is held at Laughing Planet where they have toy dinosaurs on each table to play with. I can't believe I didn't think of it earlier, but it dawned on me to knit them clothes.

Parasaurolophus got the hipster hat.

Pachycephalosaurus needed some boxing gloves.

Ankylosarus wanted a shredded sweater to go over his spikes.

Stegosaurus loved her handspun 80s inspiried leg warmers.

Triceratops looks darling in her new sparkly pink bonnet!

Scelidosarus needed spikes to continue down his tail.

Brachiosaurus got a nice ruffle cowl.

Photos by Katie Aaberg.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Recycled Sweater Project Part 2

... lots of yarn, still just the one sweater.

I recently posted about using a used thrift store sweater to make yarn for yourself- Recycled, Upcycled Sweater. I had knit my son Bailey a sweater after taking apart the used sweater, dyeing it and reknit. His sweater took only the yarn from the front and back of the sweater and I still had enough leftover to make myself some leg warmers.

I took the sleeves off of the original sweater and set them aside for another project. A project I call Friendship Bonnets made for two awesome little girls Molly and Lydia. Instead of unraveling the yarn from the sleeves, I left whole. After hand washing them and soaking them in vinegar water I placed them on a layer of cling wrap. I mixed my food coloring with more vinegar water and used a squirt bottle to squirt stripes onto the sleeves. I used Wiltons black, red and royal blue. After I applied the dye, I added another sheet of cling wrap, rolled it up and microwaved it until the color was all absorbed. I then layed it out to dry.

The great thing about leaving the sleeves whole is when it was time to knit, I could just unravel the sleeve as I went. I didn't have to wind it into a skein or ball. You can buy something similar called a sock blank- a preknitted sheet of wool that you can dye then simply unravel to knit socks.

Each sleeve made one bonnet with no leftover yarn. The pattern is something I came up with on the spot.

There's a phenomenon that occurs (sometimes) with food coloring. It breaks. That means that all the colors that are in the dye separate. The black broke into a brown and green and the royal blue broke into blue, purple and a bit of pink. I think it looks great!

So with one $4.99 thrift store sweater, I was able to make one sweater, two hats and a pair of legwarmers! That's really cool.

Name: Friendship Bonnets
Yarn: recycled, upcycled thrift store sweater yarn
Weight: super bulky
Pattern: my own