Monday, August 29, 2011

Wool Dying

One of the highlights of playgroup this winter was dying wool. We had been telling a story based on "Pelles New Suit" by Elsa Beskow, and dyed wool just as the little boy did in the story.

First take some white wool and wrap some lengths of it around the back of a chair. Tie it in a figure of 8 (this stops it tangling). I made each length around 20g.

Soak the wool overnight in a mix of vinegar and water (approx 1/2 cup vinegar to 2L water). Drain but do not rinse.

Then mix 10-12 drops of food colouring into 1/3 cup of water.
(apologies for the upside down photo - one of the joys of technology not doing as you want it to!)

Let the children spoon the dye all over the wool until it is covered. Blend colours on the wool to create secondary colours (remember too much will create murky browns, but this is all part of the experience sometimes).

When the wool has plenty of colour all over it, cover it with a plastic bag and smoosh it around. This works the colours into the wool and all the spots you might have missed.

The colours were all so beautiful
(and again another example of technology doing its own thing - or maybe its just me!)

Finally steam the wool over a pot of almost boiling water for around 15 minutes, then rinse in lukewarm water. Hang it to dry then roll into balls.

The colours did fade a little bit but are still lovely.

And what a sense of satisfaction to take those lovely coloured balls of wool and make something beautiful from them!

(This idea came from Living Crafts magazine Fall 2009)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Winter Solstice Celebration

Well, I know its a little late (ok a lot late), but as they say better late than never....

In the weeks leading up to our Winter Celebration we told the most beautiful story of "The Seed Babies Light" (see the winter issue of Star Weavings).
We made our own window stars to bring the light into our lives.
And the children eagerly helped gather wood and kindling in anticipation of our solstice bonfire.
On the morning the children rolled their own beeswax candles and cored their own apple to hold their candle in. (some apples didn't make it very far - they just looked too delicious!)

As our name was sang, we lit our candles from the light at the centre of our spiral walk.
The children used their candles from the spiral walk to light our bonfire, then added some special items which they had each brought along.
Then some seasonal winter songs around the bonfire.
Before finally tucking into some hearty warming winter food!
Casseroles, soups, rice, quinoa, crusty bread, and of course some yummy pumpkin scones.
What a nourishing and heartwarming morning.