Home Full of Love – Curls

– The best thing about having a creative family is the love you see in every creation they have made. Q and my homes are filled with this love that we feel every time we look at them.

In my guest bathroom, I have a few small wall hangings that grandma made and a plaster of paris art work that I made in high school.

        

My breakfast nook has a floral cross stitch that I did. This is my favorite one. It took about two years to stitch. The teapot is done by my mother. She gave me the tea pot to go with the picture. The doily is done by my great aunt Mable, grandma’s sister. The two Crabby Patties are made out of play dough by my two older grandchildren, Baylie and Gavin.

This cross stitch is hung over my kitchen sink. It is one of my first cross stitch projects. I sign all of my projects, usually, in the lower right hand corner.

  

In my living room are so many had crafted items, it was hard to choose which ones to spotlight. The pillow on the left was done by dad. He made one for Q too. He was very crafty. He could fix just about anything. He enjoyed working with his hands. He got into beading and made some wonderful necklaces. One of his tips was published in Beading. The hand stitched lace, on the end table, was done by great-aunt Mable. I have tried to crochet lace like this but the hand work was too small for me to do. The cross stitch flower, on the wall,  was done by my husband’s step-grandmother Katie (close up below). The wall hanging on the right was done by grandma. Grandma did not do the “conventional” type of needlework, her items were pieces of art. Oh, the settee belonged to my great-grandparents. It also has a place of honor in my home!

           

                   

The TV room is where I work. My husband’s chair is on the left and is draped with the blanket that I made for him. It has old time RV and travel trailers on it. Q gave me the material for my yellow ducky blanket, it was the first one I made. I love yellow, rubber duckies. I have since  made one for all of the grand-children. See the basket next to my chair, my knitting projects are in the basket. The green felted bag, I made, has my Wreck This Journal plus pens and supplies in it.  The spinning wheel corner has another cross stitch I made for my husband and another hanging done by grandma. Grandma LOVE to make this type of wall hanging.  All of us grandchildren have some. The spinning wheel was hand crafted in Norway. It was made for the new home in America. Great-grandma Slette brought it over.

           

This is the toy cross stitch I made for my husband. He loves toys. The four duck picture was drawn by youngest son, in high school. All the duck’s beaks are colored yellow except one, so I told him that was me. The only female in the family. The ceramics were made by oldest boy, in high school and the colored eggs  by my youngest. There use to be five. 😦

The master bedroom has my only quilt that I have ever finished, so far. It is the pattern “Turning Twenty”, by Tricia Cribbs. The crochet afghan was crochet by grandma. The wall hanging was quilted by sister Terri.

          

The end table is an old sewing table with the singer sewing machine still inside. On the table is another lace cover done by great-aunt Mable. She did such fab work. Closeup picture below.

         

The Peter Rabbit wall hanging was done by sister Terri.  It hangs in the grand-children’s room. The quest bedroom’s bathroom has a wall hanging done by grandma. Sitting on the toilet is a small creation done by her, also.

Hope you all have enjoyed looking at a small example of the wonderful creations that surround me everyday. Q and I have started early with our grand-children teaching them how to be creative.

Guess I’m Not a Vanilla Type of Gal

 Yesterday I started spinning some vanilla colored Ashland Bay Portuguese Wool Top Spinning Fiber. After spinning about 20 oz I decided I could not spin that vanilla color one more minute.  It was so boring I almost fell asleep at the wheel.  Yawn.  I kept saying, “Dye it when you’re done.”  Didn’t work.  Pulled out the crockpot and some KoolAid.  I tried a new dyeing method.  Don’t you just love craft blogs?  I found this method at the do stuff! blog.  This should make kind of a “spotchy” yarn.  Filled the crockpot with water and added some vinegar, even though Kool-Aid has citric acid this is thick wool and I wanted to make sure.  Added the wool, poked it down, turned it over, tons of air in this top.  You can see air bubbles in the picture. Soaked for about 20 minutes.  Then turn crockpot to high; it only has a low and a high setting.  Let it “cook” for an hour.

Colors I used; Ice Blue Raspberry, Orange, Strawberry, Lemonade, and Lemon-Lime:

Sprinkled Lemon-lime color on one side and orange on the other.  Yes, the Kool-Aid package was torn open and sprinkled directly onto the yarn top.  I did have to poke the orange a bit so it would dissolve.  You can see some of the orange Kool-Aid chunks in the picture. I left a swath of neutral color in the middle since I know the colors will bleed together.  Kinda reminds me of the Italian flag!

Top back on and let it cook.  Had to show this picture of my favorite dying tool – the wooden fork!  It is the best yarn-poker, turn-the-wet-yarn-over, and lifter-out-of-pot tool ever!

After about 30 min the dye was exhausted.  I carefully turned the yarn over, making sure I kept the green side to the left and orange to the right.  This time, I sprinkled blue on the green side and 1/2 of the strawberry package onto the orange side.  Red is so strong it will just take over if a whole pack is used.  Blue + green = Blue-green; Red + orange = red=orange.  Yum! Last dye step.  After all of the blue and the red have been exhausted, look for any white spots and add yellow lemonade.  You can see that there is a small white line going around the yarn top.  Gently turn the yarn and add yellow to the back portion.  Now the yellow lemonade has been sprinkled all around.  After the yellow has been exhausted, I let the yarn cool down in the crockpot.  With spun yarn I dump it into a colander to drain the water.  This is my first time doing a top, it seems more fragile.  I did not want to agitate too much, so I turned the crockpot off and let it cool down slowly.

Ta Da!  The final product.  I let the top cool down in the crockpot, carefully lifted into the colander to drain for awhile, then gently rinsed in a cake pan. Now it’s on the boot tray to dry.  Love the boot trays from Target.  They are large, heavy, unbreakable plastic, with about 1/2 inch lip all around. Perfect for putting wet yarn on.

My husband said, “It looks like cotton candy.”  😎  Really is quite vivid.  When it dries, I’ll spin it.  Can’t wait to see how the splotchy colors turn out!!!  Easy peasy way to dye.

Off to sister Barb’s today.  What trouble can we get into? At least, how much trouble can we get into that allows Curls to sit with her sprained ankle up?

Dyeing to Meet the Challenge!

Q –  This is my dye challenge the Fair Isle Beret featured in Prima November 2009! Will I be able to take the raw yarn below and dye it to match the purple, brown, and pink colors found in the beret?  Saturday was rainy, windy day so I couldn’t go outside and use the Jacquard dyes, I don’t like using them inside.  I stayed warm and dry indoors and used food color dye.  I know, I know, these colors tend to be WAY to bright, but that’s what was in the house.  After rewinding the yarn onto the nitty noddy, it was soaked in a mixture of Kookaburra Delicate and vinegar for 48 hours.  Since I don’t need as much brown and pink yarn, I made small 20 gram hanks which were soaked in the mixture for an hour.

I used Wilton’s Food Coloring in brown, pink, and purple.  See the dye splotches? I was just checking to see the colors.  Very cool!  They really do look BRIGHT!  The brown looks more greenish.  We’ll see!

I started with the brown.  It really looks green.  Amazing how you can’t tell what color the yarn will be based on the color of the liquid.    I added about 8 cups of water into the crockpot and poured in about 2 tablespoons more vinegar for mordant.  I poured in brown dye until it looked as if it were dark enough.  I was trying for a tan color, not dark brown.  I’m thrilled with the crockpot that I found on Friday for $8!  Another one of my fabulous thrift store finds. Thank you to the person who gave it away.

Turned the crockpot to high.  It took about an hour for the dye to be exhausted.  Took the yarn out and cooled it.  Really wasn’t 100% happy with the color so after I dyed the pink and the purple yarns I redyed the brown and it turned out perfect!  The first time it was too mottled and there were green spots.

The pink yarn was dyed next. Rather interesting that the pink dye left a pink rim around the inside of the crockpot.  It turned out a bit to bright, even though I used about 1/8 teaspoon to 1 cup of water.  It was then diluted further when only a tiny bit was added into 8 cups of vinegar – water mixture in the crockpot. Everything I’ve read said that adding vinegar to pink food coloring or easter egg dyes would make a lighter color.  Didn’t work in this instance.  I put it into Oxyclean and desaturated it a tiny bit.  Rinsed really well.

Last to dye was the purple.  It really came out mottled.  I had soaked the yarn in yarn soak for about 48 hours so the yarn was throughly wet.  I have about 100 grams of wool.  It took a few hours to exhaust the purple. After I took it out it didn’t look as if it was the purple I was looking for. It’s hard to see but the yarn is too periwinkle blue with lots of hot pink thrown in – definitely not what I’m going for! Pretty, but not up to meeting the challenge. So, I decided to wait until the morning to check it in morning light. Since yesterday was sunny, I took the purple yarn outside and studied it.  It really was too periwinkle blue – hot pink- blue instead of a purple.  It had to go back into the dye pot. Re-soaked the yarn for an hour. Then I made a mixture of two purple Kool-Aids.  Kool-Aid has citric acid as the main ingredient so I didn’t add any more vinegar to the water mixture.   Added the yarn, plugged in the crockpot (lol), and heated the yarn-dye bath until all of the dye was exhausted.  The dye was perfect.

Original purple which had to be redyed:

Voila! The results!  The colors in “real-life” turned out quite well.  Recap time:  1. The brown had to go through the dye bath twice, but the food coloring worked just fine, 2. The pink frosting turned the yarn “hot pink”.  Redyed with pink lemonade and the results were a much softer pink. 3. The purple frosting gave a periwinkle-hot pink-blue color so I redyed with purple Kool-aid!  I think the results are close enough to meet the challenge.  What do you think?

A note about yesterday – It was one of those days!  Sister Barb, Curls, was having a wonderful day, with her husband, at the bike race in Los Angeles.

While riding along doing wonderfully well, her bike fell over on her.  I personally think the bike turned into “Christine”. lol  She ended up with a bruised, swollen ankle.  Thus proving my point that yesterday was really Friday the 13th!

Poor Curls is RICEing her ankle today so we aren’t having our Monday Meeting.  When she’s feeling better she’ll probably tell you all about it.

Ok, I had a tax reprieve from yesterday – they’re not due until tomorrow!  So, ta-ta I’m off to have real fun! lol  I just have to resist the call of the Siren aka Mariah the Spinning Wheel.  Taxes, taxes, taxes!