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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

playsilks for baby

So. In keeping with the "I AM going to make a cake for this baby" theme, I also was determined that I would dye her her very own set of playsilks. Move or no move. And yes, we were in the middle of moving.

I ordered the silks from this company, I got the hand bound ones, 30 x 30 8mm size. Perfect size and texture for all kinds of play. And they are like $4. I got three. (As well as big ones for the kids to use for a play stand, which we still have not yet dyed...)

I have to say. I freaked myself out about it a little too much because they were super duper easy to dye. The kids and I did it one night after she was in bed, in about 15 minutes. Why did I pay $15 a piece for these for the other kids??

So. Here is what I did. (oops. No pictures of the dyeing was late...I was tired...children were involved...and hot vinegar...etc etc etc)

First of all, I totally just used regular old food dye. I followed the color drop recommendations on the packaging for a soft blue, soft green, and pink.

Put necessary drops in the hot water. Add a glug of vinegar. Stir. Place a silk in the pot. Stir. Let it bubble for a good 15 minutes. You can tell when the color has absorbed when the water is clear and the silk is dyed. (How is that for logic, ha!) Obviously, if you want it lighter pull it out earlier. I then carried the hot silks down to the washer, threw them in with no soap just a tad of vinegar and set it on handwash cyle. Then I let them drip dry over night. So easy!

Then I thought. Huh. That was easy enough. Her birthday is still a day away. And I am tired of unpacking boxes. LETS CRAFT SOME MORE. I had seen these nifty little felted wool balls that were hollow with a small slit where you can stuff in a silk. I thought. Yes. Baby likes balls. And she likes putting things in and out of other things. I can do this.

So I took a few crumpled tinfoil balls, felted some wool around them (I happened to have pre-dyed wool rovings lying around that more or less matched the silks we had just dyed). FOr some reason the washing machine trick to make wool balls wasnt working so I poured warm water on them and used soap and just hand felted them. It worked perfectly and was a great thing to be able to do outside while the kids played (I am always searching for things to keep my hands busy while monitoring baby outside time...I hate sitting there thinking about all the work that awaits inside, you know?)

They turned out...okay. The silks didnt entirely stuff in but they make these great toss balls, shooting stars, whatever, that the big kids love to play with (and throw at each other). If you are going to try this make your tinfoil balls bigger than mine (the size of a golf ball would be good, then wrap your wool around that).


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