June 2013

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Dye seems to be a theme lately. The kids have wanted to do some tie dye and being the end of the year I thought we’d do tie dyed teacher gifts. I picked out some more “grown-up” colors and a new technique I’ve been wanting to try. Arashi Shibori is a traditional Japanese form of tie dye which results in beautiful diagonal streaks of color that are at once graphic and organic. Per usual I am taking a little inspiration and a lot of liberty mixed with make-do tools. I’d say it was a worthwhile attempt and one that I’ll repeat.

arashi shibori on rayon fabric with fiber reactive dyes

I didn’t find what I wanted at the fabric store so I ended up with some lightweight rayon/spandex knit. I cut it into 12″ wide strips that I sewed into long loops in the manner of a current fashion trend—the infinity scarf—which can be worn long and loose or twisted into a cowl. The blue/green one on the right was my first attempt and shows its faults laid out flat but looks okay when worn. The kids picked out the colors on the other two for their teachers. Despite my novice attempts I think the finished products turned out quite nicely.

arashi shibori dyed infinity scarf cowl tie dye blue green

I read a lot about arashi shibori before attempting this project and was most inspired and blown away by the beautiful work and words of Shibori Girl.

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I actually wrote this months ago but didn’t have a picture to go with it. Now I can tell you it’s been tested multiple times.


On the way to making chili I accidentally decided to make Sloppy Joes instead. I can’t remember how that happened. But the result was quite good and added an ingredient probably not usually found in Sloppy Joes—beans. Remember I was making chili. But my kids don’t eat red beans. Only black. Because one of their friends eats black beans, so they will eat the black beans, but only in certain dishes. Do they really taste that different? I guess so since I didn’t care for black bean chili. So I decided to purée the beans.

1.5 pound lean ground beef
1/2 can of pinto beans, puréed
1/2 large white onion, chopped fine
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp molasses
ground black pepper to taste

Sauté onions and garlic in a skillet over medium heat in butter or olive oil. Add ground beef, cooking until browned; drain. Stir in the ketchup, beans and molasses; mix thoroughly. Reduce heat, and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve on hamburger buns. Makes about 8 sandwiches.

My theory is that the beans help hold the mixture together. And about the molasses—the recipe I found online called for brown sugar, which I did not have. Since I knew that the flavor of brown sugar comes from molasses, I decided to just use that instead. It tasted fine and has the added benefit of a bit of calcium and iron. And if you use blackstrap molasses, there are even more vitamins and minerals.


sloppy joe

I’ve written up a knitting pattern for a newborn baby hat. It’s a simple top-down beanie knit from about 100 yards or meters of fingering weight. I’ve done the increases in such a way that there is very little counting or marker placement which makes it easy to memorize and fast to knit, good qualities for gift knitting! You can download the pattern here or on Ravelry. I’d be happy to hear from you if you knit it! I handpainted the wool for the sample myself with acid dyes.

Countless – newborn baby hat knitting pattern

hand dyed hand knit baby hat countless knitting pattern

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