Saturday, August 25, 2018

The Winona Knitters Make More Sweaters and Hats for Syrian Refugees

From Margaret in Minnesota: Collected all our sweaters and hats this afternoon. Must be about 40 sweaters and even more hats. Lots of smiles. The tags read “Given with love and care for you and your family” in English and Arabic. 

Cheers, Margaret 


The Winona Knitters are sort of our sister knitting group in Minnesota, and where Margaret knits when she isn't out here with us. These baby garments are headed to the Salaam Cultural Museum in Seattle, which ships a couple of huge containers a year to a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan. 

Our Syrian Baby Sweaters Are on the Way

I borrowed this photo from the Friends of SCM Facebook page. ~CZ

Kathy D. wanted us all to know: Delivered sweaters to [the Salaam Cultural Museum in] Seattle today. If any knitters are interested, they can follow the organization's deliveries [on their Facebook pages]. 

Here are the links to the organization:

Website for donations to the Museum:

Facebook page for Salaam Cultural Museum:

Facebook page for Friends of Salaam Cultural Museum Helping Syrian Refugees:

Cindy's Latest Projects

Cindy has been making these children's outfits for the Gospel Rescue Mission. 

Friday, August 10, 2018

Clair's Hens Send Greetings to the Group

These are some of the hens who provide eggs to knitters and family.

It's not easy growing feathers after a molt!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Clair Tries Overdyeing Wool Yarn With Food Coloring

There is a wonderful article called Turquoise Dreams about this dye technique. It can be found on the blog called Maiya Knits, Mayhem Ensues. Please read it for complete instructions, measurements, and timing. I'll just give you the highlights of my own experience here. 

Even though it was a pretty hot August day in my kitchen, I enjoyed this first experience of dyeing with food coloring. One advantage of using food grade coloring instead of acid dyes, or even natural dyes requiring chemical mordants, is that regular kitchen tools can be used. When I used acid dyes long ago they had to be used with bowls, pots, and utensils kept separate from our regular cooking utensils. 

After reading Maiya's blog, I couldn't wait for my order of white yarn to arrive, so I used a skein of light yellow fingering weight yarn from my stash. The color was Semolina.

Note: Food coloring will dye only natural fibers.

 Following Maiya's directions, I wound the yarn into 5 interconnected smaller skeins.

The skeins were first soaked in plain warm water to relax the fibers. This photo makes the yellow color look funny, but it's still the same as in the first photos above.

The dyeing process involves a crock pot and a dye solution made from McCormick's Food Coloring in blue and green, with some white vinegar added. 

Four of the skeins go into the pot, and the fifth skein is quickly dipped in and immediately removed. After 10 minutes the second skein is removed, the dye is replenished; and this continues with different timings until the last skein is finally removed. 

The drained and cooled skeins are gently washed, rinsed, and hung to dry. You can see from the photo below that I tied the skeins too tightly in several places, which gave an unintentional tie-dye effect. Lesson learned!

I wish that I had managed to get a greater color difference in the top three skeins, but I had used up all of my tiny bottle of blue food coloring. I hope the color change shows better when the yarn is knitted up.

When I wound the skeins into cakes, I started with a bit of the original Semolina color. I would have liked all the yarn in one cake but it got too big for the ball winder. You might be able to tell from the photo that the outside of the right cake is just a little lighter than the inside of the left cake, so the yarn would be used from the middle of each cake, starting with the lighter one, to make the color gradation go from light to dark.

Next time, I'm going to try some more overdyeing, only this time with Kool-Aid! I'll report back.

News from Margaret

From Margaret: 

Catherine Watson [is] coming here next week, from Minneapolis, for my book club which is reading Home on the Road.  So we'll have fun asking her questions like how did you do all of that?

Knitting wise, our group of 8 will put their works together on August 16 in order to send them off to Seattle.  I phoned the Cultural Center the other day and had a delightful conversation with a woman who just loves seeing all the bright sweaters that are sent from around the country.  Since she stressed colorful, I picked up yarns for my next sweater.  Here's a pic..from ribbing to body to yellow sleeves.  To whatever is left over for stripes at the bottom edge.  In any case, it will keep me awake!

Take care, Clair.  Say hello to everyone.  We think of you often down there, and try to send cooling thoughts.
Cheers, Margaret

Tucson Jean's Prairie Girl Rag Doll

As Jean L. said: I am really pleased with the way she turned out. It was a stretch to make! "

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Val's Latest Blankets

Val performs miracles made from bags of donated yarn like this one: