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Monday, April 11

Spiral Sun Yarn Art

The weather has been peculiar lately.  I'm sure you've noticed.  What made for a warm and enjoyable winter however, is making for a miserable cold and snowy spring.  We were granted five inches of snow this weekend.  I don't think it has ever snowed after Easter in my life.

I thought we'd try to encourage the sun to join us by creating something to honor the glow and glimmer we are craving.

6 1/2 yards (235 inches) of Yellow Yarn
6 1/2 yards (235 inches) of Orange Yarn
Assorted Sequins in Warm Tones
Parchment or Wax Paper
Hot Water
Small Bowl
Jelly Roll Pan (or any large tray/plate)
Stones/Magnets/Shotglasses (optional)
Disposable Gloves (optional)
FREE Template

I want to warn you that this project is sticky, requires fine motor skills, and takes about two days to really come together.  If your child has texture issues, try disposable gloves.  There is not much you can do to enhance the dry time on this one, but I offer two  modifications for smaller children and/or those with limited fine motor skills at the bottom of this post.
There is a template for this project.  It is completely FREE.  It is a PDF scan of my hand-drawn pattern.

Begin by understanding that not only are you about to get sticky, but so is your child.  So... hair up, sleeves back, table cleared.  Use disposable gloves if desired.

You will be cutting the Yellow and Orange Yarn into three (3) UNEQUAL segments.  Each color will be cut into a 65" piece and then the remainder cut in half so that you get two final pieces roughly 85" in length.  So, to be clear, measure {65" of Orange, 85" of Orange, 85" of Orange} and {65" of Yellow, 85" of Yellow, 85" of Yellow}.

Lay the Template down on the Jelly Roll Pan and cover with a sheet of Parchment or Wax Paper.  I used some gemstones to weight down the corners of the Parchment so that I could see the pattern a bit better and to stop the paper from sliding around.  You may find that taping the pattern down and then taping the Parchment over top is sturdier.

We will be using a glue slurry in this project.  This is done to prevent the glue from drying too quickly while you work with it.  We will also make it in small batches.  In the Small Bowl, mix a tablespoon of Glue with a teaspoon of Hot Water.  Honestly, I eyeballed this.  What you're going for is a warm, thinned glue slurry.  Place one of the 85" lengths of Yellow Yarn in the bowl and stir it around until the yarn is coated.  There shouldn't be much slurry left.

Pull the yarn out of the bowl.  I ran it over my finger to stop excess droplets, but did not squeeze the yarn.  It should be sloppy and wet.  Begin in the center of the spiral, carefully laying the yarn over the pattern.  Follow it slowly.  The template is made of two spirals.  You are following only one at this point.  There should be an empty template line between the yellow rings you are laying down.  This empty line is where the Orange Yarn will be laid next.  It is almost impossible to see when you start, but it gets easier as the circles get larger.

When finished with the first Yellow 85" length, create another batch of glue slurry.  Stir an 85" length of Orange Yarn into it.  Beginning in the center, follow the second spiral.

Above is a photo of the finished FIRST layer.  Continue on to the RAYS and finish up with a SECOND layer.

Mix a batch of glue slurry and stir in the 65" length of Yellow Yarn.  Pick a small ray and begin on the outer line. As you lay the sticky yarn down, you will trace the OUTSIDE of the short rays and the INSIDE of the large rays, alternating as you lay the yarn down.   As you come back to the spiral, lay the yarn ON the outer ring as shown in the image above.

**Note that the template is not an equal square and so two of the longer rays are cut off.
Eyeball these.  It's art.  A few oddball sun rays just adds to the whole thing.**

Mix a fourth batch of the glue slurry and repeat this process with the 65" length of Orange Yarn.

When finished, I used a cotton swab to paint the "joints" (the places where the rays overlapped the outer ring of the spiral) with extra glue slurry to ensure the connection.


Next, create another batch of glue slurry and dredge the second Yellow 85" length.  You will be laying this length right alongside the first Yellow length.  This sounds tricky, but you'll catch on. Essentially, you are doubling the Yellow string.

Keep the layers side-by-side and flat.  You're not stacking them, you're filling in the blank space.  You want the strings to touch and mingle so that when they dry, they hold each other together.

Repeat this with the second Orange 85" length.

I brushed more slurry over any parts that had dried out.  You really want the thing saturated.  I added random orange and gold sequins to make it shiny and enticing for those warm summer Sun energies.

Place it somewhere warm and dry.  Mine took just over a full 24 hours to dry out and stiffen up.  If any spots come apart, dab with glue and allow to dry again.

After these is fully dried out it should hang well.  These are meant to hang inside as wind and weather will undoubtedly destroy them.

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Young children or those with disabilities may find the fine motor aspect of this craft difficult to master.  In that instance, there are two alternatives to the intricate spiral of this project.  

The first is to weave a sun star instead of a spiral sun.  For this, you will need a square of cardboard and a dozen pushpins.  Lay the Template on the Cardboard and place the Parchment over top.  Secure a Push Pin at the tip of each sun ray.  Dredge the yarn and wind it amongst the Push Pins, criss-crossing through the center of the sun shape.  Use all of the lengths to create a layered orange and yellow sun star.  


The second method is to simply dredge and lay the first 85" length of Orange Yarn in a circle.  Dredge the Yellow Yarn and allow the child to clump and twirl it inside the sun any way they choose.  So long as plenty of it overlaps, it will still work. 

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