Friday, October 11, 2013

Messing around with some yarn

My Husband's Aunt was shopping at an Estate Sale when she spotted a large box of vintage wool.  She bought it for me which is so kind and sweet of her.  In it contained enough yarn to knit multiple fact I've already knit two and haven't even put a dent in it.  I thought I'd experiment with dyeing some of the wool with some food coloring since I didn't want six of the same color sweaters.  I have no experience in this and sort of just jumped right in.  I watched one 7 minute video on youtube which was helpful.  Here are a few shots of what I did and how the wool color turned out.  I only did a little bit to try on a hat or mittens, but I think it turned out great!

This is the before shot...I used Wilton Icing paste in the brown color.  I previously soaked my wool in a vinegar bath for about an hour and squeezed out as much water as I could.  I set it aside and then I added the dye to a pot of vinegar water.  I didn't measure, but if I had to guess I probably used 4 cups of water and 2-3 tablespoons of vinegar.  I then put the wool into the pot and turned the heat to simmer.  I let it sit in the warm bath until the water was clear.  This took about an hour.  I slowly pulled it out so I didn't burn myself or agitate the wool and really didn't like to color.  It was still pink just a bit darker, like a dusty rose shade.  So I pulled out more of my food colors.

Here's the wool in the brown Wilton bath.

These are the additional colors I used.  After pulling the wool out and setting it aside I added about 12 drops of blue and about 4 of yellow.  I swirled it to mix and returned the wool to the pot.  It remained on simmer for about another hour until the water was clear(ish).  I gently pulled it out and rinsed it in cool water.

And here is my new dyed wool.  I put a piece of the 'before' color on it as a comparison.  It is a brownish rust color...very earthy.  It was super easy and fun to over-dye wool so I'll probably do it again.  It was just time consuming.

and a what I knit

Friday, October 4, 2013

the makings of some 'Winter Salve'

I've been making salve for personal use for a while now.  I don't ever plan to sell it...I adore it to much to ever give up an ounce.  I'm planning a new batch and thought I'd share.  This will be perfect in the Winter for dry, stressed and irritated skin.

Here is what I put in....the dried 'stuff' is from my garden (except for the Eucalyptus, which comes from my parent's)  + Comfrey Root and Slippery Elm from Mountain Rose herbs.

I don't usually measure anything...I can't really be that scientific with my salve, but I simply added (eyeballed) equal amounts of Lemon Balm, Eucalyptus, Chamomile, Calendula, Comfrey Root and Slippery Elm (both from Mountain Rose herbs) + previously infused Rosemary infused Olive oil.

Here it is before adding the oil

and with the Olive Oil

I'll let it sit on the counter for weeks, strain and add some melted beeswax  + some ground Nettle Powder and some Essential Oils (probably Lavender & Tea Tree) to finish off the salve.  Put into sterile jars and enjoy all winter long!  I can't wait....