Showing posts with label yarn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label yarn. Show all posts

Knitting for Dogs--Picture Book Review & Knitting for Kids Round-Up


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

As the days have truly grown colder here, winter has set in. It is a time to get cozy and of course that makes me think of knitting. Today I am going to share with you a fun new picture book about knitting as well as a round-up of knitting for kids ideas. The book is Knitting for Dogs by Laurel Molk. It is recommended for ages 4 to 8.

Macrame Made Easy Review


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Sorry it has been so long since my last post! I have been getting ready for the start of school. I will be officially working full time starting Monday! Hazel and I headed to school to set up my classroom and I have had other responsibilities to get ready for the year plus things going on at home. Hazel has switched around her rooms and is redecorating to more of a teen vibe. I have been trying to organize the house. Next I will need to find a housecleaner to come since I won't have time to do it. Enough of my quick update on my life. Today I am going to share with you a fun macrame book. It is Macrame Made Easy: Stylish Patterns and Projects for Beginners by Harumi Kageyama. 

Adorable Pom Pom Animals -- a Crafty Weekends Review & Link Party

Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing sent me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Can you believe today is the last day of March? That means it is the last day of National Craft Month. In honor of the month, I wanted to share with you a fun book by Kazuko Ito. It is Adorable Pom Pom Animals: Dogs, Cats, and Other Wooly Friends

Kids' Craft Books -- a Crafty Weekends Review and Link Party

Disclosure: Leisure Arts sent me a copy of this book in return for an honest review. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. The links are affiliate links where I will receive a small percentage of any purchases made through them at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Crafty Moms Share!

Most schools are out for the summer now around here (or will be this week). I know people will be looking for things to do with kids especially on those rainy days. Today I am going to share two craft books for kids. Our first book is by one of my favorite bloggers: Rachel Nipper over at I Heart Crafty Things. The book is After-School Kids' Crafts

A Look At Mexican Art -- Hispanic Heritage Month

This year for our Hispanic Heritage Month post I thought we would share a bit about artwork from Mexico. Mexico is the country of the month for Global Learning for Kids, so we have been looking at it quite a bit this month. More posts to follow on it. In previous years we have looked at Frida Kahlo, papel picado Jose Guadalupe Posada and Juan Quezada. We found even more books at the library about Frida Kahlo.

Finger Knitting Fun and Pom Pom Kits -- Product Reviews

Disclosure: I was sent these books to review free of charge from Quarto Books USA. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

What can you do with a ball of yarn? Lots of things, but here are some fun crafts that you do not need much more than a ball of yarn to make. Both of these crafts were handwork Hazel would have done if she remained in the Waldorf school, but since she is no longer attending there, I got to do them with her. The handwork was one of the things I loved about the Waldorf school. Hazel and I started with two Pompom kits. The first is Make Pompom Animals.
The kit comes with a book, six balls of yarn, two pompom makers in different sizes and some googly eyes and paper clips. I started by making a blue bird similar to the one on the cover.

Natural Dyeing Part 3

Ok, this is really from my second day of experimenting with dyes and techniques, but it is the third post since I already posted Day 1 and Day 3. On this day we did some experimenting. I tried to make the process easier and a bit more kid friendly. I made a crucial mistake though. I did not pre-soak in the mordant. My colors washed away much more and are not as deep as they could be.
Celery Leaves
We started with Hazel chopping some celery leaves. We were hoping to get some green yarn. Unfortunately, it did not seem to work for us. I don't know if the pre-soak would have affected it or not. Half way through the day I added baby spinach with more vinegar and water, but it still didn't do anything. I actually re-dyed this yarn on Day 3. My new method is to put the chopped vegetable, fruit, flower in the jar with the mordant and then add boiling water. This way I did not have to use the stove (I have an electric tea kettle) and Hazel could help more.
Purple Cabbage

The next experiment was really neat. I had read on Poppytalk (which I found through Pineterest) that using vinegar or salt with red cabbage gave different colors. (She does a neat table runner with natural dyed fabrics--I definitely want to try this at some point!) I wanted to try this. This is actually why I didn't pre-soak. I wasn't sure what to do with the salt at the time. Now I have found recipes on how to do it (on Pioneer Thinking). And the neat thing is I was telling a family I tutor for about the experiment and the student I work with said, "Oh, I know why. We just learned this in chemistry class." She was so excited to see a real life application of it. It has to do with the pH of red cabbage. For more information to use as a lesson or possible understand yourself check out this explanation on (plus it is really a neat science experiment there).
Purple Cabbage 1) Salt Mordant 2) Vinegar Mordant
 Look at the different colors you can get with purple cabbage!! I was so amazed. (It might be worth it to try making the green with the ammonia as the mordant. I just don't know if it will work on wool.)
1) Purple Cabbage with Vinegar, 2) Purple Cabbage with Salt, 3) Celery Leaves/Spinach
Since I did not pre-soak with a mordant, I rinsed with a mordant or should I say post-soaked in a mordant. I do not recommend doing it this way. It is definitely worth taking the 20 minutes to pre-soak. Please learn from my mistake!!
Same order as picture above with original colored skein on top.
As you can see the celery leaves and spinach did not change the color for us. Oh, well. Day 3, I had more success with this skein. Hazel had asked to dye some blue, so I'm glad the purple cabbage and salt worked. Next time I will definitely pre-soak though!! My hopes is for a rainbow sweater for Hazel from all this great yarn! When we went back to Drumlin Farm this week I bought two more skeins. I may retry the red cabbage with pre-soaking and I may buy a good natural green dye since none of my experiments worked.

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Multicultural Monday: Natural Dyeing Part 2


Well, I have to admit, I was thinking about making Multicultural Monday a monthly thing. I feel like I have lots to share and never have the time to share it all, but then while doing research for my natural dyes, I found a great activity to share with you that tied right into my natural dyeing. (If you missed day one of my natural dyeing experiment, check it out here. Post 3 or day 2 is here.)

Besides of course the history you can share from China, Native Americans, Egyptian, as well as Europeans and the Colonists of America, I found this great short lesson/experiment on Teacher Vision. It has a nice introduction about how the Native Americans did natural dyeing. Then it has a short activity dyeing fabrics in plastic bags using carrots, beets and red cabbage. They have the student rinse and then use detergents to see which stays in the longest. You could also change it to different mordants (ie. white distilled vinegar, salt, alum). Some mordants will change the colors as well.

To make it even more educational, you can use this lesson from Teacher Vision titled Native Americans Contribution to American Culture. (Wow, some interesting things to think about there.) Also Folk Tales of Northeast Native Americans also from Teacher Vision. Here is a link to Teacher Vision's Native American lessons. (Can you tell I love learning about Native American cultures?)
1) Blackberries, 2) Sunflower Seeds/Blackberries/Beets, 3) Beets

Anyway, back to my craft. This is actually day 3 of my natural dyeing experiments. I wanted to share this one with you since it uses the carrots and beets from the activity mentioned above. To learn about my experience with red cabbage, you will have to wait until later in the week!

I did a lot of experimenting today with dyes and methods. I tried orange marigold flowers (from Hazel's fairy garden), sunflower petals and sunflower seeds, carrots, blackberries, and beets. Beets definitely were the most successful. Half way through the day I decided the sunflower seeds had not done anything, so I threw the yarn in with the blackberry mixture. At the end, the blackberries hadn't had enough time to do much to this yarn so I threw it into the beet dye and took it out maybe 10-15 minutes later. It came out a pale pink (see picture above--middle skein). The sunflower petals did not seem to be doing much either, so I added more and tried putting them in the food processor. At the end I threw them in with the marigold petals since it was a bit darker.  Oh, and our day started with breaking one of our big jars when we poured the beet dye in off the stove. Red dye all over my kitchen. Not fun!

I also experimented with method the past two days. Instead of always cooking the dye, I tried putting the fruit/vegetable or flower in with the mordant and then added boiling water. I did this to make it more kid friendly. Hazel just had to stay away when I added the boiling water. Today I did try to cook the beets, but as I explained I broke the glass so I went with the boiling water method.
1) Carrots, 2) Marigold, 3) Sunflower Petals/Marigolds
In this picture you can see the piece of original color so you can see all of them have a slight new shade. I think if I was to do this again I would let them sit over night in these dyes.

I will post Day 2 on Friday!! My mother has agreed to knit Hazel a striped sweater with all my home-dyed yarn!! She will actually finish the sweater unlike me!!

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Dyeing Wool Yarn with Vegetables, Fruits, & Flowers Part 1

While at Drumlin Farm I saw that they were selling yarn made from their sheep's wool. This year I saw an unbleached off-white natural (white sheep) color as well as the greyish color I bought last year (a combination of the black and white sheep wool). My first thought was that would be fun for experiments with natural dyes. I bought four skeins. Then the next week I bought three more after I did some research on dyeing wool yarn and talked to the handworks teacher at Hazel's Waldorf School. She suggested doing sun dyeing with Hazel and using onion skins. So I goggled sun dyeing and found a great blog post on Natural Suburbia. However they used food coloring instead of vegetables, so I kept looking some more. Pioneer Thinking offers some great resources including a list of what to use for each color. Lion's Brand has a neat article comparing colors that you get using a few natural dyes on wool yarn versus cotton yarn. (It got me thinking about what cotton yarn I have that I could use for a different experiment.) I also read several indepth articles on how to make natural dyes. I pinned all of these on my Children Crafts & Activities Board.

So Hazel and I went to the grocery store for dye ingredients. Ok, we went to the grocery store several times for dye ingredients. Mostly because I kept forgetting things or getting the wrong thing and some stores carried items and some did not. I also found some great large jars at The Christmas Tree Shop. I bought three of them so I have been working three at a time. On our first day, we used yellow onion skins, red onion skin and concentrated grape juice. Having read so many instructions, I soaked my yarn in water with a cup of white distilled vinegar for probably about 40 minutes while I made the dyes. I took each of my onion skins and put them in a pan with water (3 parts) and vinegar (1 part). I boiled the mixture and then let it simmer for a bit. Then I poured each one into a jar and put a skein of yarn in each one. For the grape juice concentrate, I put it in a jar with a cup of vinegar and three cups of water and then added yarn. Then we put the jars in the sun for the day.
I think Hazel was excited to do this since she actually was willing to pose in a picture with the jars.
For our second trip to the grocery store we bought more red onion. The skin from one onion was not enough to really do much. Then we went to another grocery store for beets and frozen blueberries (only because I kept forgetting them). We added more onion skins with more water and vinegar to the red onion mixture. The yellow onion skin did not seem to be doing too much to the yarn, so we gave up on it and added blueberries with water and vinegar to that mixture.
The order pictured here from left to right, red onion skins, blueberries, grape juice. We let them sit in the sun for a good part of the day. The grape juice however seemed done so I rinsed it until the water ran clear (I used the hose). Then hung it to dry. Later in the day we rinsed the other two and hung them to dry as well.
The order above is blueberry, red onion skin and grape juice. The grape juice is my favorite color thus far. To see exactly how they compare to where we started.
The blueberry and grape are to the left and then the red onion skin is slightly darker than the original skein.

To add more educational side to this activity you could discuss the history of natural dyeing. Wikipedia provides a nice history on natural dyes. It is interesting to do something that has been done for 5000 years!! Dorthea Calverley also has a nice history more having to do with pioneers of the US. I will be sharing two more days of dyeing (at least) including some more educational ideas.

To see the other days check out Day 2 and Day 3.

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Welcoming Fall Free Printables!

I have been working on some autumn decorations and of course with fall comes Halloween. Hazel and I made some frames and I printed some autumn quotes to put in them. We will mail them to our family (my family lives in three states and the closest to us is 2 hours away). I taped the sayings in so they can easily be replaced with a picture if the person we give it to would like.
Supplies for one frame
I found these wooden frames on clearance at Michaels for 49 cents! I had some "silk" leaves and we just modpodged them on to it. Hazel found this very easy to do.

For some of the others we painted them (Hazel loves painting) in fall colors. I only gave her yellow, orange, red and brown paints. Then we stuck fall stickers on them. We had some with sayings and some foam ones. We tried a few without paint, but the painted ones came out much better.

The final frame we did was a larger one which was $1 at Michaels. I had bought this before I found the ones on Clearance. We modpodged tissue paper squares on to it then after it dries put on a sealing coat of ModPodge. After it dried we added some stickers.
Supplies for tissue paper frame
Finished tissue paper frame
Painted with stickers
Leaf frame with yarn apple in front
Yarn pumpkin
As you can see I also have made some yarn apples and pumpkins from Make and Takes blog. And I made some banners. I made a Happy Autumn one with witch hats on the back. (I'm hoping to share these with you once I figure out how to post a pdf file here.) If you do make this, remember to do the back in reverse. I made this mistake late last night and had to fix it this morning.
Trick or Treat Witch Hats
Trick or Treat Ghost Banner
Finally I did a trick-or-treat ghost banner like paper dolls we use to cut out. Again, once I figure out the pdf files on here, I will provide you with the banners and the autumn phrases.

So begins my fall decorating. Enjoy your weekend!!
I think I figured it out. Let me know if this works or doesn't!
Autumn Phrases  Welcome Autumn Banner
Witch Hat Banner  Ghost Banner