How did I do that?

Textile Shed asked me how I dyed that yarn. By the seat of my pants is the short answer!  For a longer answer, read on.

First I washed the yarn – this is natural wool yarn from the giant cone that has been stored for a long time here, and who knows how long at Nancy’s. It has been wound tight for that long as well, so benefits from a gentle wash in cold water with some mild detergent.  I used about three ounces of yarn in each skein.

Nancy yarn cone

Once it was washed and fulled up some, I soaked it in cold water with a generous chug from the vinegar bottle (all measurements will be equally scientific.)

While it was soaking I put about 6-8 cups of water in my dye crock pot (never used for food) and let it heat up.

After about half an hour, I put a couple of chugs of liquid RIT dye in the crock pot.  I did NOT stir much as I wanted some variation in the yarn.  The first one I did was the teal, and I used more dye than I needed, as it turned out.  So the next one, I used less (the aquamarine) and the third, even less ( aquamarine over-dyed with royal blue).

I drained the water from the yarn, but did not worry too much about getting all the vinegar water out, then I put the yarn into the crock pot (not stirring or worrying if colored water was over it all.  I added water if needed, again not stirring, put the lid back and came back in half an hour.  I pulled out the yarn, judged whether or not I liked the color, put it back in.  They take at least an hour, the teal was a bit longer, I think.

Once I liked the color, I put it in the sink to drain and rinsed it with increasing colder water ( to bring the tem of the yarn down gradually) until I was rinsing in very cold water.  I did this until it was running clear, and I put vinegar in the last rinse, just to be safe.  Then I hung the skein to dry.

teal-for-web

When I did the aquamarine, I had a second skein soaked and ready to go in the pt, so it used up the rest of the ye in the water – but when it did, the yarn was paler than I wanted.  so I put a glug of the royal blue in the same water and left the yarn in there fro another half an hour. I can see places where the aquamarine and even natural color show through – so I got the variegated I was looking for, but maybe more blue than I expected.

I still have plenty of the dye left in the bottles, I think I could do each color three or four more times with what I have, so I will do more experimenting with it.  I also have a box of the powdered dye in fuchsia (if you recall what started this whole thing it was trying to dye yarn with beets to get that glorious color, but getting reddish brown.  Which I would have known if I had explored the internet.) Anyway – I have not felt like dealing with mixing that up into a liquid yet. The other colors I bought the liquid dye already prepped. I used teal, aquamarine and royal blue dyes.

I am not a big lover of chemicals, but just could not resist all those glorious colors at the hardware store.  🙂  And it seems to be easy to do.

three-skeins-for-web

Christmas card how-to

This year I made the Christmas card design much more simple than I did last year, and so I got them done in time, and even took photos along the way.
P1080668

This one shows the raw paper materials. Essentially, I took 8.5 by 11 white card stock from Staples, cut it into thirds (8.5 x 3.5), scored it in half for a 4.25 x 3.5 top folded card.

Then, using a dark green cardstock, I cut rectangles that are .25 inches smaller on each side than the finished card – 4 x 3.25.

Back to white cardstock, I cut rectangles smaller still – 3.75 x 3. If you are running short of cardstock, these could be a bit shorter, as you are going to lop off the bottom anyway.
coluzzle

I wanted to cut a curved bottom, so hunted around the craft room for the right tool. I found it in one of my old coluzzle templates. I used one side of the curved vine. This could be cut free hand, or there is probably a die out there that would do it for you. I used this to cut the bottom of all of the white rectangles (3.75 x 3)

Once I had the papers all ready, I used ColorBox evergreen pigment ink to stamp the tree so that it is sitting on the top of the “hill”. I then used embossing powder to emboss the tree. Stamp is soft pine 294c from Stampscapes inc and the embossing powder is Topiary by Personal Stamp Exchange (it’s old, if you can’t find it, mix a dark green with a little gold for the same effect.)
stamped and embossed tree

I mounted the stamped piece on a green rectangle, lining up the top and two sides to show 1/8th inch green border. This will leave a larger green bottom section.

tree and background

Once the card is assembled, it is time to play with glitter. I drew a bead of glue along the join of the stamped piece and the green piece, and put a bit of highlight on the tree, then covered it all with sparkly (is there any other kind?) white glitter. finished card

All that is left to do is put your hallmark on the reverse side and send it off. I like this card because it fits in a standard invitation sized envelope, no special mailing packaging necessary, no extra postage.back side

One recipient told me it is the best card yet. How will I live up to that?

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