How I did a Pink Alpaca Reroot on a Blythe

shown in pictures:):) But, I started with the raw hair, washed and dyed it, and…

Getting the alpaca on the needle

 

getting started:

inside view

 

outside view

 

continueing on

 

on the inside

 

getting hairy
front side of done-lace to hide flanges

 

Done-back side

 

With the red light on

Have fun! I did!

Strawberry Preserves and Homemade Berry Syrup

Warning: This recipe is definitely NOT for people who can’t have sugar!!!

What do you do when you find a bargain on strawberries at the grocer. These were of the ‘eat now’ variety and I paid about $1 for 2lbs. Knowing how my family loves strawberries,  I bought six lbs. Two for the family to ‘eat now’ and four to put up. This recipe requires no added pectin and will work with other berries, too.

Yummy!

First you take the stems off the top and wash them. And then place them in a cookpot with just enough water to cover your berries.

Next you cook them on a simmering boil until they are soft. Then, you squish them. I use a potato masher.

You can, at this point, strain off the pulp, if you want to have a jelly. But, I like chunks of strawberry in mine. So, measure off the liquid/solids in your pot. You need to know how much you have, so you know how much sugar to add. Now, and here is the part that always makes me cringe. To make a jelly or preserve, you need to add nearly the same amount of sugar as you have berries and juice or it will not set (become firm when cooled). I had 8 cups(I put in 6 cups). Let’s not talk about it anymore. Shall we…..

Next you bring it back up to that low boil and stir for…oh, the next hour and a half or so(can’t let it stick to the bottom of the pot). Until it is looking very glossy and getting thick.

I’m not canning this, so I won’t go into that now. But, the water bath method works well with berry preserves and syrup both. If I had more strawberries, I would have. But, since I am just going to set it in the refrigerator, time to pour off and let set.

Enjoy!

To use these preserves as syrup, you can cut the sugar down by half and cooked into it just thickens. Serve warm on pancakes, crepes or waffles…delicious!!

Dyeing with Pecan Hulls

I thought that it would be fun to follow through on an experiment that some of my online friends were discussing and trying and give it a go myself. I have dyed many times, as so many of you have, with different natural elements and plants. They, however, were discussing nuts. Walnuts in particular, but here, I have pecans.

Raw Pecans
Raw Pecans

 

The Harvest
The Harvest

Pecan hulls to be exact. And, we tried eating the nuts. They were not ripe and we were all very sorry, as they tasted absolutely horrid. So, without any further ado, here is how it is done:

Materials Used:

Stringssupplies

Pecan Hulls(will stain fingers and nails), Cast Iron Pot, Cream of Tartar (optional), fiber(mohair in this case), something to pour the dye into (I used a mason jar), colander, hand knit pot holders, wooden spoon and a bowl.

Step 1:

Making the Dye
Making the Dye

Put hulls without the nuts in the pot and bring to a boil. Simmer 1-2 hours. Stir with wooden spoon as needed. 

Step 2:

Strain the hulls
Strain the hulls

Strain the hulls using a colander and bowl. Pour dye into jar to cool. It will keep for quite a while in the refrigerator, if you are not dyeing right away. (Please, use the pot holders!) The key to keeping your fiber from felting is not to shock it with extreme temperature changes, so you want you dye and fiber the same temperature during dyeing.

Dye Achieved!
Dye Achieved!

Step 3:

Stringscooking in dye

Wet your fiber and wring them out and put them in your pot with the dye (make sure they start off at approx the same temp or you could end up with felt). Mash your fibers into the mix until they are completely covered. Then heat them all up to a simmer. Simmer for, at least, 20 minutes. Take a lock out to cool and then rinse it to ‘test’ the color. The longer that it is in the darker it will get until it reaches its saturation point.

Step 4(optional, but I prefer):

Overnight Soak
Overnight Soak

Step 5:

Strain. Let dry.

Enjoy!!!

Started off White and now Golden Pecan
Started off White and now Golden Pecan