Weekend yarn dyeing

Our 11-year old granddaughter stayed with us over the weekend.  We went to Blackwater Falls near Davis, West Virginia, and walked to the falls.  It was a crisp, sunny day.  A bit chilly for our picnic but by sitting in the sun we managed to stay comfortable.

After we got home, Jayne and I dyed some Knit Picks Stroll fingering-weight yarn using Easter egg dye and some food coloring.  We soaked the yarn in water with three tablespoons of white vinegar before we left in the morning so it would be ready for us when we came home.

She decided on teal, purple and pink dyes alternating the colors all the way around the oval of yarn.  I bought some 20ml syringes to apply the dye.  They worked much better than the cheap squeeze bottles I used before.  The syringes did not leak or drip.

Once all the dye was on the yarn, we wrapped it in plastic wrap and placed the bundle in a glass dish.  Then we microwaved it for two minutes, let it cool anywhere from 5-15 minutes, and repeated that process for a total of four times to heat set the dye. (I was so involved that I forgot to take more pictures.  Oops!)

When the yarn was cool, she rinsed it thoroughly in warm to cool water with a little bit of clear soap.  The yarn absorbed most of the dye and she only had a small amount of purple dye wash out.  By Sunday morning the yarn was ready to wind into a ball.

I’ve already started knitting a pair of Helen Stewart’s Dorsal Fin socks (her choice) for her with the yarn she dyed.Patti

Something to do

A long, long, long time ago Mr. Aitch had gifted me an origami kit as I was obsessed with this cool art form using a sheet of paper.  This kit included a great booklet that showed the basics of paper folding.  The last project in the booklet was the flapping bird. This is different than the famous crane.  The crane is a stationary object and the flapping bird can move.  I still have the original kit but loaned the booklet to a friend…and never got it back.

Last October I taught one of the twins how to make an origami flapping bird as she had learned how to make some shapes. We made several birds and she got quite good at it.  So I emailed her yesterday with a suggestion of something to do every day during this unusual period in our lives.Email to granddaughter

This is the flapping bird.

You can see that by holding it at the base of the neck and pulling on the tail…

…the wings move.origami, flapping bird

Here is a short video of the flapping bird in action.

There are several videos and written instructions on the interwebs that you can find but I made my own instructions based on how I learned how to make it.  If you are interested, click here.  Warning, you will need some basic knowledge of origami folds that I do not provide.

I’m bored

With many schools closed for a few weeks, children will get bored.  I know my grandchildren will be home for an unexpected vacation from schoolwork though some will have access to remote teaching, online classes or whatever the counties/school districts are calling it.  Not all children can think of something constructive to do with their newfound “free time.”

I’ve come up with some ideas for my grands when the “I’m bored” statements happen to escape their mouths.  None of these suggestions include looking at a screen and most of them can be done alone.

This list includes:

1. Paint nails or do nail art on your toes.  Acrylic paint will work for nail art as long as a clear coat of polish covers it.
2. Clean the top of your dresser.
3. Clean under your bed.
4. Make a bracelet.
5. Make your bed.
6. Write a note to someone you haven’t seen for a while.  Friends, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents.
7. Make a card…birthday, holiday, get well, thinking of you.
8. Practice a new language such as sign language or Spanish.
9. Walk 1,000 steps.
10. Do 30 jumping jacks.
11. Do 30 sit-ups.
12. Write in a dedicated notebook or journal about gratitude.
13. Relax with a cup of tea or hot chocolate.
14. Paint or draw a self-portrait.
15. Color a picture.
16. Write a book report about the last book you read.
17. Ride your bike/scooter.
18. Draw on the driveway with chalk.  Ask Mom or Dad first.
19. Pull weeds from a flower bed or garden plot.
20. Play hopscotch.
21. Jump rope 100 jumps.
22. Make a paper chain to count the days till an upcoming event: party, birthday, special trip, last day of school, vacation.
23. Clean your bathtub or bathroom sink area.
24. Learn how to sew a zipper pouch.
25. Knit a scarf, hat, mitts.
26. Work on a jigsaw puzzle.
27. Play a board game.
28. Build a Lego house or castle.
29. Learn a new origami figure or teach someone how to make one.
30. Measure something: the back porch, your bedroom, or any room or furniture in your house.

I’m sure you can think of other activities as well.  Do you have a game plan for “I’m bored?”

What I’ve been doing

I finally finished the quilt for my Colorado grandson!  Happy Dance!!!

I love it, I Love It, I LOVE IT!

Once the top was pieced together, I added two borders to make it bigger to fit a twin-sized bed.  The finished size is 72 X 94.  I think I may have made it too large but, well, it should still work.

This is before the outside border was quilted.  I just ran a line of stitching next to the white border and again next to where the binding would be sewn.  I hope that area won’t shift without much quilting to hold it together.

The front.  Shout out to Mr. Aitch for standing on a stool and holding it up for the picture.  It was raining and the front porch was the only option.

The bottom right corner has a surprise for our grandson – his name (machine embroidered).

The back.

The bottom right corner has the dedication: To Lennon with love from Nona 2020 PJH.

And another surprise on the blue stripe running down the back – his initials.

Here is the quilt on a queen-sized bed. It’s plenty long enough! You can see the variations in the blues and greens better in this photo.