Sunday, August 26, 2012

Experiments with dye

 I finished the background on the rug. Now only the trees to go. I have some greens, and dyed a couple more. But, they weren't in the same dye family, so I decided to marry the wools together.

I put them all in the same pot and simmered. I'll now be able to use them together. Don't know if I'll like all of the wools, but I'll see how it looks as I'm hooking.

 This past week I've been experimenting with more dye. I tried a lighter value of the pumpkin color. I let this one simmer longer before adding the vinegar. It came out a lot less mottled.

 I did the same value of the gold, but added the vinegar when most of the dye had been absorbed. The result is a lot less mottling.

 I tried it with the green, too. The first time I added the vinegar a lot sooner. The top has a lot of spots of blue, yellow, and green. The bottom strip is a lighter value, but vinegar added after most of the dye has been absorbed.

I also did another experiment with no dye. I thought the gold was too bright, and the purple too bold. So, since they are opposites on the color wheel, I put them in the pot to simmer for a while. The gold was toned down, but has a slight purple cast to it. The purple took the yellow, and canceled it, leaving a grey. This new purple strip now looks so vintage and worn! It would be nice for an aged flower in a rug.

I started school this past Wednesday. A few long days for kindergartners to sit, and be in school all day. This week will be a full week, instead of just 3 days. We'll see who is more tired, them or me! High school doesn't start until tomorrow. But, the first football game was Friday. I'll have to keep post season open, in case the band is still needed for half time. Wonder if we can make it to the state championships this year?

I'm off to hook some trees. Have a great week!

~*~ Laura ~*~

Saturday, August 18, 2012

In the dye pots

 I finally got out the dyes and started playing around yesterday and today. I started out dyeing in a stainless steel pot, but with dyeing little pieces, it seemed like a waste. So, today I opted to try out dyeing in a jar. I'm keeping notes of things that I've done, and a small sample of the wool.

 Here's a few samples that I did. I did 2 values of a green, a salt box red, a sunflower yellow, and what was suppose to be soldier blue. It came out purple. Deep purple. Now to figure out why. The formula has the exact ratios of each color as a purple in the book, just the blue uses less of the dye. Did I goof and measure incorrectly when I created the liquid dye? Might be interesting to try again. I'm also playing around with when to add the vinegar. I've read all different theories. So, the next batch, I'm going to add the vinegar much later in the process, just to see if it has less mottling in the wool.

Last night we saw 3 hot air balloons going over our subdivision. This one was really low!

I managed to get 2 of them in the this photo. Guess it's our version of the Chicago Air and Water Show here in the far NW burbs.

I better run and check the pumpkin color that I'm currently dyeing. That last bit of yellow dye is taking forever to be absorbed.

~*~ Laura ~*~

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Got a bit further, but am too tired to do any more today.

Andrew had his Eagle Scout project today. He chose to replace 3 fishing benches and level the land at a county conservation area. This is what it looked like before. At least the old benches were already removed.

Had to square up the area and lay down some webbing. Dig post holes for the benches. Install the benches. Get LOTS of wheelbarrows full of gravel/dirt to fill in the webbing.

This is the new bench in area #1.

 Area #2.

And area #3. There wasn't enough gravel to fill it in, so Andrew will have to go back when they deliver more to that area.

I got a photo of my crew (plus one extra). We did have more help during the day, but for some reason, they were in a hurry to get home! Maybe there were as tired as we were.

I'm off to get dinner. Subway leftovers from lunch. I think that will be lunch for tomorrow, too!

~*~ Laura ~*~

Friday, August 10, 2012

Dye set

I'm so excited! I found this dye set on Etsy and had to have it. I think this is enough to get me started. I got a dye book with recipes with Cushings and Pro Chem dyes, a spoon, and a bunch of Pro Chem dyes. Yes, it's used, but it will allow me to get a feel of dying without spending a fortune. Now to decide on what to dye. I still need some extra greens for the trees.  I also need some background wool for the snowman face rug I started and didn't finish. Now to get out my wool stash and see what I can create!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012



Even more progress! Guess I've spent quite a few hours watching the Olympics and hooking this week. The background is really coming along nicely.  The rug is getting heavier, bulkier as I'm turning it on my frame.

This weekend is Andrew's Eagle Scout project. He's restoring a fishing area at a local conservation district. Replacing 3 fishing benches. He got the lumber today. At least the weather is suppose to be nice on Saturday  - only 78 degrees. I get the job of providing lunch to the volunteers. I'm thinking sub sandwiches, chips, drinks, etc. Now to see if any places give discounts for Eagle projects.

School starts for me in only 2 more weeks. While I like the structure of having to be somewhere, I'm not quite ready to go back. I've been job hunting for full time employment this summer, but no offers (yet). I've read the average time of job hunting is 9 months, so I'll just keep searching.   :)

~*~ Laura ~*~

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Break Time

 I've outlined the trees, so that I can work more on the background. I'm not sure I like a few of the wool colors in the center of the trees, but that can easily be changed. I just wanted to get the shape of the trees.

I've spent a lot of time cleaning out this week. I've managed to clean out my youngest's room. Not an easy job! He even helped by sorting his junk drawers. I tackled the closet with all the clothes. I then started on my closet. I now have 10 garbage bags ready for donation pick up tomorrow.

After all that fun (NOT), I decided we needed a break. So, we drove to Kenosh, WI for a few hours of exploring.

 Our first stop was the Jelly Belly factory. We went on a tour, which stops in the store. All the flavors you can imagine - yum!

 We went to the Dinosaur Discovery Museum. It's a small one room museum, but it has lots of dinos in it.

 We went to another couple small museums, and walked along the lakefront of Lake Michigan.

It's nothing like the big museums of Chicago, but since the museums were free, it was worth a day to explore.

~*~ Laura ~*~