Saturday, January 22, 2011

It May Be Freezing Outside...But It's Kool Inside

The original plans for today were some of the usual.  Chores, art class for the girls, groceries, I said, the usual.  I even thought I would spend some time outside playing with my camera and getting some shots around our property.  However, with temperatures hovering somewhere in the 28 below range it didn't take long for those plans to change.  Children who have been sniffling and coughing lately were relieved of chore duty and art class was not attended. 

Today is one of those days that is so cold you can actually see the air.  Honestly, there is almost a faint fog hanging in the air.  So cold that even the critters are giving looks this morning that screamed "SHUT THE DOOR" when we walked into the barn and rabbit hutch.  So Andy and I finished chores, came in to warm up and agreed that it would definitely be an "indoor activity only" day.

We are a family that loves history, old family tales and all things antique.  Andy long ago told me the story of how his Grandpa made his own meat pies and sold them to take care of his family.  Recently, we found out that his Grandpa started making these pies in his tiny local grocery store and how he had people lined up waiting for his pies.  Unfortunately, like so many family tales of the past, the famous family recipe was never written down.  So after talking with his aunt and borrowing some of his Grandpa's original mini pie pans from his dad, Andy got to work today trying to duplicate the secret family recipe.

Trust me, this first attempt tastes every bit as good as it looks.  So with my tummy full, I turned my attention back to my fabulous stock of fleece.  This fall I found myself constantly noticing all the beautiful autumn colours and thinking how I would love to try my hand at dying some of the fleece that our boys gave us.  Then, just when these thoughts were being replaced with thoughts of what cozy things I could make from all the fleece I have been friend, and fellow alpaca owner, who lives in Kentucky posted pictures of her first attempt at dying fleece with Kool Aid.  I found myself feeling inspired....and at the grocery store stocking up on Kool Aid.  Today seemed like the perfect day to hang out in the kitchen over a simmering pot of Kool Aid and try my hand.

We are very fortunate to have our Windsor.  As self-proclaimed "King" of JADA Farms, Windsor has supplied us with the most wonderful fleece.  His fleece is so luxurious, that I found myself feeling almost guilty.  What if I messed this up?  So for my first attempt I used only a small amount of the yarn I had recently spun.

After a bit of indecision, Sydney and I finally chose cherry Kool Aid.  I was still feeling a bit unsure due to the fact that Windsor is not a white alpaca, he in fact has beautiful light fawn fleece.  We diluted the Kool Aid into the pot of water as per Kaylen's link and in went my yarn.

I don't think I have ever followed instructions so closely.

This final rinse was the worse part.  What if the water wasn't the right temperature?  What if I ended up with a felted mess?  But after all was said and done, what was once my king's natural light fawn fleece had been transformed.

Who knew this...

Could be turned into this!
 Now that it has started to dry, I have a beautiful faded pinky coral colour yarn and I can't wait to make some more.   Hmmmm maybe some purple?  Thank you Kaylen for this link and all the other wonderful information and photos on your blog.  Click here to see Kaylen's wonderful creations.

As for those plans to get some shots with my camera....well I did get manage to get one or two from the warmth of our little farmhouse.

Well I guess the icicles are loving these temperatures!


  1. What a wondeful post! Love your meat pie story and all the wonderful family tidbits. Your yarn looks so YUMMY! :D Now I have to go try again myself. Thanks for including me.

  2. No problem, my pleasure. It was so fun dying the fleece...and a little hard on the nerves too. LOL
    Can't wait to try some other colours....hmmm maybe some tropical punch next

  3. That meat pie looks like fantastic winter comfort food! Your first dyeing attempt turned out beautifully, congrats!

  4. Thanks Lindy...I think I should have used more Koolaid. Not to worry though, I have another spindle full of my boy's fleece ready for another attempt.