Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sock Monkey Longies--Winner!

The winner of the Sock Monkey Longies Giveaway is Liz!

with post #11:

"How can I choose just one item in your etsy shop to comment about?! I suppose I would have to say I am most smitten with the pink longies with the ruffle skirt. I just found out I am expecting #2 and if this new baby is a girl she WILL be wearing these adorable longies!!"

Liz, you have 48 hours to contact me with shipping information for your prize.
CONGRATULATIONS!

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Easiest Diaper to Make-- Sewing up Daddy Flats

Okay, maybe not as easy as just edging a square piece of cotton to use as a regular diaper flat, but at least as easy as making your own prefolds! This is not a tutorial. The Daddy Flats pattern is superbly done and the pattern designer herself is extremely helpful. I'm just sharing some hints and tips I have learned as I have made my own.

First let me tell you some of the reasons I like Daddy Flats (click here if you are wondering, "what in the world is a Daddy Flat?")

1) Super easy to make
2) Inexpensive to make
3) Super easy to use
4) No elastic to wear out over time
5) Easier to sanitize
5) Fast dry time (20 minutes?)
6) Customizable rise for longer or shorter babies


Why would you want to try Daddy Flats? Maybe for the reasons above. Maybe you aren't using cloth diapers yet, but you want to give it a try inexpensively. Remember, you don't have to sew a whole stash at once. Make a few at time and work yourself up to full-time cloth diapering. Maybe you are using sized cloth diapers and are about to outgrow your current stash, and the thought of the cost of moving up a size is daunting you. TRY THESE! Maybe you are tired of bulky, these are definitely trim.

Even if this is your very first sewing project, I believe you could sew up a stash of Daddy Flats in no time! The photos I am posting are from 2 diapers I recently sewed, a daytime version, and a nighttime version. A Daytime version has one wing, and a Nighttime version has two wings. If you have a really heavy wetter you could just use the Nighttime version all the time.

A NightTime Daddy Flat

There are only five basic steps to sewing up a Daddy Flat.

1) Cut out the basic shape. If you can lay your two layers right sides together and cut them both out at once, all the better!

2) Pin, pin, pin! I hate all the prep work that goes with sewing, I just want to sew! In this case, do the prep work because it's really not much. Pin your layers together. It is just a simple shape you are sewing around, but if you don't pin you may end up with a wronky mess. The part I especially pin a lot is in the curve of the wing. Make sure those wing edges are really well aligned because you only have a 1/4" seam allowance.


3) Sew. Sew around the edges. After sewing you will trim the corners. It is VERYimportant to follow the instructions about clipping in this corner where the wings fold is. If you do not clip, it will not lay flat when turned.

4) Turn the diaper right side out. I always like to press the diaper and the opening to make it easier to sew that opening closed.

5) Sew the opening shut. All you have to do is sew the little opening shut. I was so tempted to top-stitch the whole thing on my first diaper. Doesn't everything need to be top-stitched? I resisted the urge to ignore the instructions, and guess what? They really don't need to be top-stitched. They wash up well sewn just the way the instructions tell you to!

Now at this point you can add snaps, as I always do, but if you don't have access to snap pliers (can also be found at Joann's) or press (maybe a birthday present--like mine), you can use diaper pins, or if the fabric is compatible, a Snappi.

Some extra hints: Sewing two different types of fabric together is not as easy as sewing two of the same together. Two layers of flannel will fly under the needle, but a layer of flannel and a layer of a knit (like cotton knit, bamboo velour etc.) has to be sewed a little more slowly. If you try to shove it through quickly, you will get puckers like this:

If you do get some of these. Just take a seam ripper and undo enough stitches to release the pucker and just resew that area. It should do fine.

Also, if you are sewing a stretchy and non-stretchy fabric together, you may get a little puffiness on the stretch side. A little bit is okay, but a lot means that your stretchy fabric was cut too large and that fabric will roll to the other sides on the edges. It will still be completely functional, just not as pretty as you may want it.

Lastly, do not sew this pattern with two layers of stretchy fabric. The diaper needs stabilization in order to fit properly. So if you use a t-shirt, a cotton knit, bamboo velour, or cotton velour, make the other layer a good flannel or bamboo fleece maybe.

Oh, and a note about fabrics. You really can use just about any soft absorbant fabric for these diapers. That being said, the thickness of your fabric will also determine the absorbancy of your diapers. I noticed a big difference in the flannel I purchased at the fabric store an the diaper flannel I purchased on-line. The diaper flannel is nearly twice as thick and fluffy on both sides. This is nice because no matter which way you cut you other piece, the diaper flannel piece will match. For example, sometimes I will cut my daytime diapers (which only have one wing) with the wing on the left or the right. If the other fabric you are using has a right and wrong side, you have to make sure that you cut that fabric in the right direction (which I have failed to do many a time). With the diaper flannel this is not an issue. Diaper flannel can be purchase for $5.50/yd, and store flannel ranges greatly in price depending on the sales. I saw some flannel at Wal-mart today for $3.50/yd.

For further notes on sewing these:
http://clothdiaperclub.blogspot.com/2012/04/further-notes-on-sewing-up-daddy-flats.html

Okay, as much as I do love the Daddy Flat pattern, I also love to help mamas. If you are strapped for cash and like the idea of these easy sew diapers, there is a similar pattern that can be found for free on the internet. All you have to have is a computer and a printer. This pattern is called Quick Snap Flat Wrap. Oh, Bummer! The link to that pattern is no longer good. I have the pattern printed out, but cannot find it on my computer anywhere. Well, I will be on a quest to relocate it. Just another hazard of freebies on the net! The link below is a photo tutorial of the QSFW pattern, but not much good without the pattern.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27311110@N07/3218977488/

(3/24) I told you I would keep hunting. The QSFW may be a gone forever, but I found another one: The Not So Flat Wrap. This pattern is free, and there is also alink for a photo tutorial. I may even try this one out--because I am a diaper pattern junkie! This one is a little bit of a different concept, but still easy to sew. The directions are for using a serger, but it can be made with a regular machine. If you want to try this pattern out with a regular machine but aren't sure where to start, just LMK and I can give you some hints for getting started!

http://hyenacart.com/stores/LittleCometTails/index.php?c=0&p=67412


Yay! I found the Quick Snap Flat Wrap today (3/25)-- Here is the shorter wing version:
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_9g1nyIxc8hZDk1Y2M4MjYtOWM4Yy00NGYxLThlZGYtNzEwOWQyNmJhOGI5/edit?pli=1

Regular Version here:
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_9g1nyIxc8hZjNiY2E4NTctOTIzNC00ODgzLWE2MTEtZjUyOTY2MjQ1OWZk/edit

And here is a blog posting where I found the links as well as some tips on sewing them. I would try them without any elastic first.

http://mamakatdiapers.blogspot.com/2011/08/qsfw-regular-short-wing-versions-size.html

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cloth Hankies for My Boys

As I am sitting here getting ready to post this, I have the privilege of looking out my back window and seeing what appears to be several cardinals darting in and out of the still-blooming Camellias at the back of the property. Strangely, they are all the duller colored females, but still pretty to watch...

Spent petal carpets.
On the same day I bought fabric for my little one's baptism outfit, Joann's had their flannel prints on sale for $2/yard. Of course I couldn't pass this up, whether I needed flannel or not! While I was in that aisle, I noticed that the licensed character prints were 40% off. Though not as a good a deal, I had been wanting to get some fabric to make hankies for my boys.

While we don't usually succumb to the colds and flus of the masses, we deal with our fair share of allergies. As I was just mentioning about the Camellias, our house is surrounded by lovely blooming things year round all of which deposit layer upon layer of yellow pollen on our car, our house, our driveway, our patio furniture, it's everywhere! So just when we want to open the windows and run the attic fan, we are inundated with irritants. All I really have to do to have a sneezing fit is to sweep the nooks and crannies of our wood floor. So, hankies are handy.

My teenager enjoys drawing, and he loves classic Disney artwork. So when I saw the Mickey fabric I knew I had a print for him. And middle son was really easy too. Next to Legos, Star Wars is his very favorite thing. And the fact that this fabric was Star Wars with Camo colors, even better! I bought this cream colored flannel thinking to layer it with the prints, but decided not to.

My original idea was to sew two layers together on my serger (like I would with cloth wipes), but I really hate changing out the threads on my serger and it currently has pink and red on the spools which I will need to complete another project.

 I don't know what I was thinking in terms of size when I bought the flannel, but my shrimpy prewashed and shrunken half-yard wasn't much to work with. I measured the various hankies I had lying around the house and discovered that there seems to be no standard handkerchief size. I have hankies measuring 7", 10", 16", and a Kleenex measures 8".


For my teenager I decided on 3 12" square hankies with a pressed and top-stitched hem. First I eyeballed a quarter inch hem around the edge and pressed, steaming my fingers a few times as I went. Then I folded it over one more time and pressed. I then opened up the corners and cut off a little triangle to reduce bulk, and gave the corners another quick press. The last thing was just to top-stitch around the whole edge.


Three Nice Handkerchiefs!


I decided to make smaller, thicker ones for my middle son to be able to fold and tuck into his jeans pockets. I cut his squares 8x8 and got ten pieces. I used my cutting mat and rotary cutter for this, which I find so indispensable I hardly move it from my workspace. Then I laid two of those right sides together and sewed a quarter-inch seam around the perimeter leaving a small hole for turning right side out. I clipped the corners off to reduce bulk and turned them right side out. The first one I gave a little press and top-stitched all the way around, making sure to close up the hole I left for turning. The second one I just finger pressed and top-stitched. Either way works, but if you already have the iron hot, it only takes a second to give each hankie a little steam. The finished handkerchiefs came out slightly smaller than a Kleenex.

So what's the big deal about a couple of squares of fabric?

EXACTLY! It's not a big deal to sew up a few squares of fabric. Aside from being Eco-friendly, they save you on your paper products bill during cold and flu season. It's something that can be personalized to each member of the family. No more icky used tissues lying about with someone screaming, "Gross! Who left this here?" And another thing, cloth hankies do not leave gross bits of Kleenex stuck to faces after repeated use! Now when I have to blow my nose in public I don't wonder if I have white bits stuck to my nose.

I think all of these are GREAT reasons to make your own cloth hankies. And if you don't know how to sew, send a little love to someone you know can sew and pay them to make you up a few.

Want Free Wool?

I am currently the committee leader for my Etsy Cloth Diaper Team's promotions and giveaways. This month the team is giving away a great prize package of 5 Wool Covers! Check it out here!

http://etsyclothdiapers.blogspot.com/2012/03/march-team-promotional-giveaway-prize.html

Also, learn more about the different kinds of wool covers here:

http://etsyclothdiapers.blogspot.com/2012/03/many-faces-of-wool-diaper-covers.html

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Baptism Outfit

This past week we had our little one baptized, finally. In our denomination most people baptize their babies as infants, but circumstances being...this was our first opportunity, at almost age two! It's so funny, Daddy has been teaching him over and over to say "one" when asked how old he is, and now he will have learn that he is "two." Anyway...

I knew that our rough and tumble little guy would look ridiculous in a froofy white gown and bonnet, but I wanted something special and a little unique. There is always another pattern out there that I am wanting to try. I am terrible at drafting my own patterns and I'm a bit of a pattern junkie! I was dying to try Made-by-Rae's Charlie Tunic. I could really picture it as a little baptism outfit paired with Rae's BBBPs.

I decided I wanted linen. I made the trip over to Joann's and was astonished at the price per yard for 100% linen. I decided on two shades of a cotton linen blend. After getting the fabric home I was a little disappointed in my choice for the pants because it was quite thin, which would make it very airy and comfy, but also not as durable for a toddler. I went ahead with my plan because I didn't want to waste the money spent on fabric and it was only a few days away.

Since I'd made the pants before, they sewed up quickly and without any issues. I double stitched the crotch seam hoping this would prevent any tearing as a result of the fabric being so thin.

The tunic began to go together quickly, but then I got held up at the yoke part. I had to rip out and resew several areas of this part, but it was the first time I'd tried it. All in all, the tunic was not difficult to assemble, just a little tedious. If you enjoy sewing for the sake of sewing, then you might find this very enjoyable. I enjoy sewing for the sake of the finished product and grow very impatient with the detail. That being said, it is all the little details that really make something special.

The tutorial is very nicely done, and I was happy with the completed tunic. I should have measured his arms more accurately and I would have shortened the sleeves, or maybe sized down one.

I thought he was absolutely adorable in it. MS commented that he looked like a little Bishop. I kept telling him that if he saw a picture of a Bishop he would not think this. Someone else said Arabian Prince, another said Medieval. I just thought he was precious!



This was his first time wearing sandals since he was a little baby and he didn't know how to walk!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The LEGO Minifigure Display Case

If you have a child that loves Legos like mine does, you already know what I mean when I describe the Lego invasion that is currently occurring in our house. It's more like a hostile takeover, really. I keep designating places for Legos: large underbed boxes, stacking drawers, divided storage boxes, bookshelves...

It doesn't matter how many places I designate, those Legos will have their way with my house! I can almost guarantee that I could find Legos in every single room of the house--okay, maybe not my bathroom. Anyway, still on my quest to contain the invaders (and they've had 13 years to build up their armies), I thought it would be a fun project with MS to build a hanging display shelf for his favorite minifigures. I know you can buy these, but they are not cheap, and they only hold a few minifigures. You see, one of MS's favorite activities is creating interesting minifigures and showing off rare ones. As a result, he can never bear to put them away and they litter every surface of his room. It just looks like so much clutter! Where was he when I taught the place for everything and everything in its place class?

So last week when I was buying lumber for my yarn swift project, we decided to pick up some bits of lumber for a minifigure shelf. We really didn't have a design per se, but I kind of knew what I wanted to do. We ended up buying 4 pieces of 1/4" 2x3's. We got them home, and using a minifigure as a measuring guide, we came up with a plan and began cutting our wood.

Initially I thought that we would be able to nail pieces together, but the wood was entirely too thin. I had some Gorilla wood glue, so that was our next effort. We had two side pieces both marked with where the shelves should go. It would have been nice to have something that bonded instantly because holding a little 1/4" thick piece of wood  completely straight, waiting for it to dry, is no fun--not to mention I was doing all the shelves at once. When we felt those were fairly secure, we went about gluing the other side piece on. Somehow all the shelves were not exactly the same size (could it be the haphazard way I go about doing everything?). NO amount of pushing on the side piece would get the board to make contact on every shelf. Fortunately we had a bit of wood left over. MS had decided we would create a roof of sorts on the top with those pieces, but instead they went to bracing the back. Now we were in business.

Finally we were at the part MS was interested in, the spray painting. He had picked out a can of Lego red and was just itching to paint! We laid out a big piece of cardboard on the lawn and away he went. We tried to teach him about distance, even spraying motion, thin and repeated layers. After a lot of exasperation on my part that for some reason he couldn't perfect a spray painting technique that he had never attempted before, it seemed finished. We left it on the patio table to dry. 30 minutes later I looked outside to see the rain coming down. We ran out and picked up the wet, sticky, red shelf and hoped for the best. The next day it was dry, but very rough feeling. Hmmm, in our impatience to finish our project it never occurred to us to do a little sanding. I decided to lightly sand the little shelf and let him have at it with the spray can again. Much better.

The last part of my plan was to glue two rows of 1by's (Lego speak) to each shelf so that the men could be staggered from front to back. I did this step with tacky glue. After getting a sore back from digging through the giant boxes of Legos for the pieces we wanted, we had a pile to work with. I know, the Lego purists would gasp-- gluing down your Legos! If the men are not secure on the shelves, this whole exercise was pointless. Anyway...

Despite imperfect wood cutting, a little Gorilla Glue and some red paint yielded us pretty much exactly what I had envisioned. A small, lightweight shelf that would hold a lot of minifigures (close to 30). I wanted it lightweight so that we could use those Velcro wall mounts instead of hammering into these plaster walls. We still have to get the wall mounts, so for now the shelf is another Lego thing cluttering up a surface in MS's room!

I just did a disgusted walk through of the house and realized that Legos aren't the only thing taking over. In nearly every room I found a ball or hank of yarn or a knitting project lying about!

Friday, March 16, 2012

I Built My Own Yarn Swift!

A few days ago I saw a tutorial on FB on how to make your own diaper sprayer for rinsing cloth diapers. While I was excited about this project, I remembered another DIY project I had been wanting to do. This DIY yarn swift tutorial has been bookmarked on my computer for months, but I kept putting it off. For one thing, in the house we are in right now, there is no workshop and all of our tools are stored in a small, spidery storage closet that is not pleasant for me to access. I had actually found a swift on Etsy that is nearly the same price as what I paid for materials (before shipping). My father-in-law had almost convinced me to just fork over the $30 for the premade one, but I guess I was feeling like a challenge.

I had priced materials at two hardware stores and found that Lowe's had the best prices for what I needed. Yesterday I went with list in hand to buy my bits of lumber and hardware. While there, we also picked up some wood to build my middle son a Lego Minifigure display shelf (more on that one another time).

These pieces of wood are actually for MS's project.
As soon as we got home, and got little one down for naptime, MS (as my middle son will be known) helped me overcome the spiderwebs and haul out the portable work table. We dug through the tool boxes and found the few things I needed as well as my handy dandy Black and Decker cordless drill with jigsaw, circular saw, sander and router attachments. It might have been the best Christmas present I ever got! Yes I said I, and I did ask for it. I've had it for years, and despite being dropped and some of the attachments being a little warped from being dropped, it's the best little tool a gal could have.


At any rate, I didn't have a hand saw to notch out the cross bars, so I figured out how to do it with my circular saw. I was pretty proud of myself and the nice tight fit I got, until I tried to even things up to perfection and nearly ruined it. The result was that instead of having a portable swift that comes apart, my crossbars are shimmied and glued together. I will remember this boo-boo before making one for my mom. I could have just bought 2 new pieces of wood and started again, but the notching out part was the most time consuming of the entire project.

I had quite a few 3/8" holes to drill out and a very dull drill bit. Instead of waiting and getting a new bit, I tried to make the best of it and almost ruined the arms with off-center dowel holes. They are a little wronky, but not unusable. The hubs came home, saw my dilemma, went out and bought a whole new set of drill bits--drilled through that poplar like butter!

Finally I am ready to assemble it. Low and behold, I have brought home the wrong size dowel for my pegs, AND the hex screw is the wrong type. This is the only thing I found vague about this tutorial. In the list of materials, it tells the size of hex screw, but not that it should be threaded all the way down. I don't know what those are called, and my hardware store didn't have any. Today I went back to the hardware store for a new dowel and hex screw.  Because they didn't have the screw I needed, I substituted a screw with no ends and added a stopper bolt (?). I was totally winging it because I don't know the real uses for any of this hardware!

video

Does it work? It does! Was it worth it to make my own? Well, what makes it worth it? Saving money? The experience? The gratification of completing a project? For me, today, it was worth it. The cost for the actual wood and hardware was just a smidge under $15--not bad. I also had to purchase a woodfile/chisel (which was a fun little tool) which ran me $8, and today I picked up more sandpaper for $5.

Just something funny my son did!

Now I just need a ball winder to really get the benefit of my yarn swift. No, I will not be engineering a ball-winder, and yes I have seen the DIY ones on You-Tube. For now I will continue to use a wooden spoon as a nostepinne, and my swift is far better than the back of a chair!

I should mention that I made version 1 from the tutorial. Also, I could not find 6' long 1x1's anywhere, but was able to use two 3' 1x1's. Also, I used an oak dowel for my yarn pegs because it was much less flexible than the others available, which I assume were pine.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

This week...

We've had family in town, basketball tournaments to prepare for, extra archery tournament practices, stomach bugs, and a meeting with the session of our church in order to join, BUT I am still managing to fit in some sewing and knitting.

I'm working on sewing my little one a baptism outfit using Made.by.Rae's Big Butt Baby Pants and Charlie Tunic patterns. I'm not sure how I'm going to like it yet. I'm making it in brown and cream linen cotton blends. I'm not in sewing mode, so I have to drag myself to the table occasionally-- it has to be done this Sunday!

I have the pants mostly done, even further than this photo shows.

I have just finished up this soaker in some spring colored wool I dyed myself. The colors are really more of what my mom likes to knit in (I'm more of a Plain Jane), but I read somewhere that you really have to knit with the wool you've dyed to love it. I don't know if I love it anymore now than I did when it was twisted into a pretty hank because I loved it pretty well then! At any rate, I like how this soaker came out, and I just have a drawstring to complete.

I'm still working on this pinafore pattern. I had to put that one on hold while a dyed a trim color to match. It will have wait a little longer yet because I have another custom sock monkey in the works!

Isn't it interesting how the patterns in the wool work out? For the bottom half I got the exact same pattern of red orange blotches even with alternating skeins every inch or so. Then for the second half I got the same sort of column of red orange with alternating skeins. I can see how alternating the skeins did not change the pattern because I laid these skeins side by side and dyed them exactly the same. Does this mean I needn't bother alternating skeins if dyed this way? I can also see why the pattern changed--because the orange red bits were not evenly spaced or the same width in the sections I dyed. I'm learning! I don't know if this will change the way I dye yarn or not. I read a very scientific tutorial on calculating for creating a self-striping yarn. While it might be interesting to know the exact (or close to exact) effect you will get from your dyed yarn, I almost think it is more fun to be surprised. If you have already calculated where and how far apart each color will be, you've taken the fun out of being poised over your yarn with a paintbrush waiting for the creative juices to guide you!

I've enjoyed dyeing my own yarn so much that I have scheduled a class to teach home school girls and moms how to dye their own wool. I had enough interested that I will have to schedule a second! What a fabulous crafty project for young girls who enjoy knitting. Their finished project will truly be one-of-a-kind!

Friday, March 9, 2012

On My Needles...Finally!

Well, I'm having a stab at this pinafore pattern. I am decidedly not fond of flat knitting. I have been knitting everything in round for so long now that all those long rows of purling have become onerous to me! I will soldier on for another 5 or 6 inches until I get to a part that is something other than just knitting. I watched an hour and a half of BBC's Sherlock Holmes and only progressed by a few inches. Sadly, we have watched all the available episodes or I would try to get another few inches done--oh wait, nap time will be over soon, so that wouldn't happen anyway!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Not What I Expected

I have been waiting to try this pinafore knitting pattern until I had dyed the perfect yarn. I didn't even know what colors I wanted. I kept searching Etsy and Hyena Cart for hand-dyed yarns to use as inspiration, but so far hadn't found anything. Then, yesterday I saw a little cotton shirt that had such a great mix of colors I knew I had my inspiration! I quickly wrote down the colors and couldn't wait to get a chance to make some magic. Well, I had a few free hours after dinner last night and it looked like a chemist's shop in my kitchen. I mixed and poured and had about 20 jars of not-quite-right colors (and I was only trying for 3 main colors). I knew I didn't have what I wanted, but the yarn was prepped and I had all those jars of colors... The result:

I think it looks Tye-dyed. My husband said it looked Aztec or Native American (minus the aqua, which he didn't think looked right, and which is my favorite part). My 12-y-o said it looked like a tropical bird of some kind. I think he meant a macaw, but he said something else funny that I can't remember now. My 16-y-o came in this afternoon and said how pretty it was. I liked his comment the best. My toddler had no comment, but he did learn to say "yarn" very early on. He says it more like "yon". I wonder why this word was learned before so many others. Could it have been the repeated, "don't touch that, that's mama's yarn," which I always say in the sweetest of voices? At any rate, this yarn which was designated for dyeing for this particular project is now dyed and will be used as designated. I only hope the intended recipient likes bright colors!



Monday, March 5, 2012

Revisiting Experimental Yarn

One of my first yarn dyeing projects was to try overdyeing some plain baby blue wool I had found in a half-off bin. It was perfectly good to use as was, but I was thinking it would be nice to give it a little boyish oomph! The problem was, in Kool-aid colors, all I had boy-wise was red. Well, every kindergartner knows that red and blue make...purple. Not a very boyish color. So my color choice was poor and my execution was lazy. What I ended up with was a slightly more interesting, but maybe not better looking yarn than what I first had. I had already wound it into balls to hopefully knit into something, someday. Yesterday I decided to undo those balls, wind them back into skeins, and put them back into the yarn-to-be-dyed pile! Today I hope to try redying these skeins into something I actually want to knit with, but my toddler is making very unhappy noises over the monitor, so there may be no yarn dyeing today...

Okay, little one is happily ensconced in a cozy spot with his new favorite movie, Toy Story (so long, Curious George). I am handpainting this one remaining skein of blue with three greens and a blue. To do this I am using Sunshine Yellow, Amazon Green, a combo of those two, and Coral Reef Aqua. Here is a test bit of yarn I did.

For the other funky purple and blue skeins I will overdye half in a full strength Amethyst dye bath and the other half in partial strength Amethyst and see what I get...Well, I let the first half stew too long and used up most of the dye bath, so I poured in a little more Amethyst for the rest of the skein, twice, and still wasn't happy. So I'm winging it some more. Why not add some Ruby Red to the dyebath? Now I think this is really lovely!

My handpainted yarn is steaming away and in a few minutes I will see if it is lovely too...In the meantime I will remember that I still have a family to feed (Do we really need to eat? There are these perfectly good, if not a little stale, animal crackers spilling out of the bag onto the counter. They have managed to satisfy my hunger pangs.) and prepare dinner. What are you having? Anything good? I am uninspired with my meal plan menu these days. By the way, my dyeing book, Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece (which is a great one), says never to cook and dye at the same time. I concur with this because not only is there not enough room in my kitchen to dye and cook, but you really don't want the purple Kool-aid looking dye stock to end up in a sippy cup! So as soon as my steaming pot is finished, then I will begin boiling pasta water and buttering garlic bread.

I have just finished putting my leftover dye stocks high in a cabinet where little ones can't get to it, and bigger ones can't accidentally knock them over looking for something. Currently, my jars are covered with plastic wrap and rubber bands. I had no lack of glass jars in the recycling bin, but hardly any lids. They will sit there, tempting me to another experiment in dyeing. While there is yarn in this house that lacks color...oh it's so much fun!

I have pulled my painted yarn out of the steamer--oh disappointments, the aqua color has not set! I'm not sure what to do. I have sprinkled some vinegar over the yarn and now I am steaming it for a while longer. Maybe the blue needed more acid to stick? I could probably look it up and find out...nah.

 After more steaming, the aqua is still not fully absorbed, but my fingers are a lovely shade of blue green. My last ditch effort and making this color stay is to toss it into a pot of water with a little citric acid.

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

 Do you hear the music?

Here it is. I like it, and dinner is well under way--with veggies too. Yay, Mom!

Don't forget to do something creative today, even if it's macaroni art with your preschooler! That counts too.