Saturday, April 10, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
So the first true step in dying yarn would be to wash it. My skein has been prewashed by the woman who spun it, so I get to move on to the next step- the mordant.Mordant is any number of chemicals that you boil into the yarn before putting the yarn into the dye bath for coloring. Mordants vary between types of yarn (wool or cotton) and different mordants will often give off variations in color even when using the same dye material. Common mordants used are alum, chorome, copper, and iron.
The mordant is cooked into the fibers of the yarn and helps the dye really stick into the yarn. Without mordant, the dye would eventually wash out of the yarn and the color would fade drastically.
Mordanting is the unexciting part of dyeing because it follows the same process as dying, except the yarn doesn't end up colored at the end. But it's a necessary step that can't be avoided for a nice dye job.
My mordant of choice: Alum and Cream of Tartar
For my mordant, I am using alum, becuase I can get it at the grocery store! I am dying 1/2 pound of yarn, so into my enamel pot went 1 gallon water, 1/4 cup alum, and 1/8 cup cream of tartar. The cream of tartar helps the alum to be absorbed into the wool fibers. I read that you should always use an enameled pot for dyeing, becuase exposed metals can affect the tints of your dye.
Me waiting for my water to boil...Once the mordant water reached a boil, I added the warm, wet yarn.
The house fills with the smell of wet llamma...
Let simmer for 30 minutes. The book informed me that one shouldn't vigorously boil the yarn because this can roughen it. Keep it at a calm simmer.
30 minutes are up! I took the yarn out, let it drip for a minute, rolled it in a towel to sop up the extra water, and hung it to dry. The yarn should be completley dry before putting it into the dye bath. That's for tomorrow. I can't wait!!
Ready to dye
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Since it's just barely Spring, there's not a lot of plants ready for harvest, but a friend of mine had some frozen elderberry juice (thanks, Debbie!) and it's supposed to give off a blue or purple dye. I thought it would be a good first dye experience.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Friday, December 11, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
I used to have dreadlocks and I had so much fun putting shells, beads, wraps, and decorations in my hair. It was another place to wear jewelery! This Over the Rainbow Dreadlock Sleeve by Knottysleeves reminds me of one I used to have.
I've been seeing a lot of recycled books and book pages lately, and I think it's a creative way to reuse paper that already has something printed on it. These Rainbow Note Cards that Sensitiveartist has redesigned are so cute!! I would love to receive one of these in the mail.
Wonderful craftsmanship by DosPalomas in making this Unicorns and Rainbows Scarf. Handwoven and beautiful, it will pretty much match with anything!
Since I cut my dreads, I've grown my hair long, and one of my favorite ways to wear it is wrapped up in a messy bun and secured with a hair stick. I like how it's such an easy-to-fix style, and it always looks cute. Needless to say, I fell in love with these right away. Stix O SWANKy Pride by Solidswank. These are great!!
Like secret hiding places? You might like this Rainbow Pocket Vase by MintyFreshFusions. It's a cute pendant, and it's got a little pocket at the top for little things: secret notes, flowers, dollar bills...snacks? Whatever you can fit that you don't want anyone else to see.
Now rainbows are all good and fine, but when you put rainbows and mushrooms together, what do you get? Awesomeness. Skatterbrains' playful Rainbow Mushroom Cameo necklace is nothing but awesomeness. It reminds me of being a little girl, but it is something I would still wear. Rainbow mushrooms!
Kudos to all these artists, and I must say, each one had excellent photography. Good job!
Monday, August 10, 2009
This is a wonderful idea! A can cozy by BluePlanetCreations. It looks so comfy, like it would feel really good in my hands. I bet that can o soda is really comfy too. That's why they call it a cozy...
How about this Barbarian/Viking Beanie by candypopcreations? Not your average beanie, folks. I am half Norwegian, so this really appealed to my Norse side. I should wear it while I'm rowing boats down the Colorado River. I love the studs that accent the brim!
Here's to kreations' Saponificozy! Useful and cool! You put the soap into the soap sock and use it like a washcloth. Even better- it helps save those last little slivers of soap from going to waste- stick them in there too instead of leaving them to clog up your drain :)
I am a big fan of cloth diapers. No, I don't have kids, so I have never actually had to wash a dirty cloth diaper myself, and I know that disposable diapers are probably wonderfully convenient, but they are so wasteful! And what are they made out of, anyway? Strange synthetics. But take a look at this 100% wool Diaper Cover by naturegalsmom: it's natural, it's gorgeous, and it's reusable. She's got all kinds of colors, for every occasion!
I think this afghan by JillianEngelhardt is a beautiful piece of work. Look at those colors! Also, it's big enough for a twin bed. It seems like lots of people stop at lap quilts with these things- they do take a lot of time- but there's nothing like a big, heavy blanket to wrap up completely in. It looks so soft...
Something you really don't see a lot of is nice crocheted jewelry. This Old World Crown necklace by irregularexpressions is one of many intricately crafted pieces. This one sort of has an exotic feel, like it came from a marketplace somewhere far, far away.
New ideas for an old craft. Or maybe I should say a timeless craft. That's better. Let's thank our grandmothers for teaching us and go teach a new generation!