I don’t know about where you live but here it’s been freezing! I don’t mind the cold but I need to keep my toes cozy. Here are 6 slipper patterns to keep your feet warm. Continue reading Friday Pattern Finds: Cozy Slipper Patterns
I first published this pattern in 2016. Now it is available as a free pattern here!
After the holidays I like to make sometime to make a few quick projects for myself. Here are 6 patterns I found this week that are just perfect for that! Continue reading Friday Pattern Finds: Quick Projects to Make for Yourself
I first published this pattern in 2016. Now it is available as a free pattern here!
This simple ear flap hat holds a special place in my heart because it was the very first hat I sold back in 2009 when I started my business. Now it is available as a free pattern here!
Hey all! I’ve just returned from the CGOA Chain Link Conference and it occurs to me after being asked about what’s going on with our adoption I haven’t really updated you all very much. To be honest I feel a bit weird bringing it up but everyone says they want to know so here goes…
As we approach three years since we made the decision to try and adopt our Honduran kiddo, we’re finally seeing some progress! Her abandonment case was published in the media recently, and now we’re waiting to be called for the legal assignment by the end of the year – we hope.
The home stretch comes with some serious financing requirements. We always knew that paying for this adoption would be a test of faith. Our government does not make international adoption an affordable process. That’s why I designed a special blanket pattern – the Blanket for mi Nina pattern was made just for our Blanquita!
She has the very blanket from the picture with her in Honduras and all the kids down there recognized it when they saw a photo in my phone while were down there in December. 100 percent of every sale of this pattern goes directly to our adoption fund. In fact, if everyone who follows my Facebook page were to purchase this pattern for themselves, or as a gift, our final adoption financing needs would be met! I know that’s not realistic, but I do hope you’ll love the pattern and help our family with what we think is a great cause! You can purchase the pattern HERE
Of course, any purchase from my shop helps!
Here are some facts about Honduras: It is the second poorest nation in the Western hemisphere after Haiti. It is also one of the most violent countries on Earth. At times, the murder rate in Honduras has exceeded that of Iraq during the height of the ISIS insurgency there. The country is incredibly corrupt and has recently suffered political turmoil as their president was reelected to a second term despite a constitutional limitation of one presidential term in a lifetime. International observers have commented that the election results were highly suspect. More than 70 percent of the population lives in horrible poverty. Diseases like polio are still ravaging the poorest members of Honduran society and the number one cause of death in children in the country is diarrhea – caused by parasites in the water, food, etc. Gangs run the country. Many families are subject to crushing extortion that they must comply with or else they face deadly consequences. There are more than 130,000 “at-risk” or abandoned children in a country of barely 8 million people.
I have to say this community is AMAZING. I have received countless well wishes and prayers. We feel the love and appreciate it very much. Thank you!
Stauffer Shawl Tunisian Crochet Pattern
This shawl is perfect if you’re new to Tunsian crochet and want to try it out!
by Katy Petersen
It’s that time of year again! Time for the 3rd annual KT and the Squid Crochet-a-Long! In 2015 I came up with this idea of a garment Crochet-a-Long. The goal was to guide crocheters or many skill levels through a garment that was not only easy to make but easy to wear. I’m still in shock when I look at how many of you have made these sweaters!
The most amazing part is reading what you’ve you said about the process. Yes, several of you ended up making a garment for the first time but I can’t tell you how many people have told me how much more it’s meant to them. One person in particular let me know how one CAL helped her heal after loosing her mother. It got me thinking about my love for crochet and the amazing healing power it has. A few months ago I asked members of my Facebook group to pick ONE word to describe how they feel when they crochet. Then, I took the words and made this graphic.
This little word cloud makes me so happy and there’s not one word on there that I don’t feel when I crochet. Don’t you agree!? Overall when I crochet I feel love and that brings me to my inspiration for this year’s design. Love. Like in past years I wanted to design something that was simple, easy to make and a great fit. This is all you can see for now but I promise it wont disappoint!
I will tell you it’s a pullover and you’ll LOVE that there is no seaming!!
This year the pattern will be available for purchase only BUT with the pattern you also get a bonus PDF to serve as a step-by-step tutorial as well as access to my exclusive group where I’ll be to help if needed.
You can purchase the pattern HERE and if you buy before the big reveal next week (Aug. 30, 2017) you’ll only pay $1.98. After that the price will go up. NO CODE NEEDED. If you act fast not only will you get the special pricing but you will also get to see the big reveal early in the exclusive group!
This post contains affiliate links.
I’ve always been fascinated with hand dyed yarns. I just love the idea of taking a bare, plain yarn and turning it into a piece of art. I’ve always wanted to try dying my own but thought it was something I’d never get to. Then somehow I stumbled onto some videos by ChemKnits on YouTube (check her out for fun tutorials!) and realized I had everything I needed to give it a go with food coloring. I dyed a few skeins with my kids and then guess what happened? I dyed ALL THE YARN!
First, lets go over some of the basics. Yarn dyeing is pretty simple and once you get the process down the sky’s the limit as far as how many colorways you can create. When you break it down there are 4 things you need to dye yarn: 1. yarn, 2. dye, 3. an acid, and 4. heat.
What kind of yarn you use will depend on you dye (or the other way around) but for these blog posts I’m using acid dyes which will work on wool, silk, nylon and other animal fibers. At first, I suggest digging into your stash to see if you already have something that might work. As long as there is some percentage of wool (or the other fibers I mentioned) it should take on the dye. Keep in mind the lower the percentage the less vibrant the colors will be.
This is Lion Brand Wool Ease which is only 20% wool. The colors are quite muted but still a fun experiment to get your feet wet.
I discovered even nylon takes on dye pretty well. This is Lion Brand Modern Baby which is 50% nylon and 50% acrylic. So no wool what so ever! Pretty cool, huh?
Even if the yarn is already a color you can still give it a go. This is called over dying. The yarn above was a light grey.
Once you’ve tried a few techniques on some yarn you already have you can invest in some bare yarn. I ordered my from Crafty HERE. Knit Picks also sells bare yarn. Basically, any light colored yarn will dye up beautifully.
Like I said, I’m using acid dyes for these posts. Acid dyes include food coloring and Kool Aid (I haven’t tried this one). You can also order dyes made specifically for dyeing wool (“real” acid dye). I got acid dyes from Dharma Trading Co. you can also use Jacquard acid dyes and if you’re concerned about the environment Greener Shades is an excellent option.
I suggest starting with food color. I had a ton in my cupboard from making play dough so that’s what I started with. Kool Aid is a great option too (if you use this you do NOT need an acid). Food dyes are great because they are easy to find and are safe to use with kids. They also can technically be cheaper because you don’t have to invest in all new pots or bowls for dyeing. With food safe dyes you can use what you already have in your kitchen and not worry about contaminating your food.
All of these were done with food color. I know the colors are wash fast but I do worry they will not hold up to light over time.
Once you’ve decided you want to invest some more into dyeing you can order the “real” acid dyes. Keep in mind once you do this whatever you dye in can not be used for food afterwards. All of these were done with acid dyes.
In order for the acid dye to attach to the yarn you will need to choose an acid (hence the name). The best choices are vinegar or citric acid. I tried the vinegar first because it’s what I had but the smell got to me so I switched to citric acid. Both work just fine so it’s up to you. You can find citric acid at your local sore by the canning supplies but I found it more cost effective to order in bulk online. I bought mine HERE.
For my experiments I used the citric acid to first soak the yarn in and in the dye bath (or right in the dye for hand painting). I saw this in a few tutorials and it worked quite well for me. Dharma Trading Co. suggests 1 tablespoon of citric acid or 1/4 cup vinegar per pound of fiber to give you an idea of how much you need. Really, I just guessed!
Heat is then required to set the dye. There are several ways to do this. The most popular ways I’ve seen include the microwave, stove top, oven or crock pot. I used the microwave and the stove top. Which one I preferred depended on the technique I was using. I’m kind of leaning toward the microwave though because I’m cheap and it’s the most cost effective. This is something you’ll have to play with. All dyers have their preference.
I’m pretty sure there is a certain temperature you need to get to but I went with “hot.” Yep, real technical! If the dye wasn’t all exhausted like I wanted I simply warmed it up again. The more skeins I did the better I think I got at this part.
A few tips on heat…Because you are most likely using wool you do need to be mindful of felting even if it says superwash. Trust me it is possible to felt superwash wool! The best thing to do is avoid any quick temperature changes. Never move your yarn from cold water straight into hot or the other way around. You also don’t want it to sit in boiling water for too long. Have patience (this is hard!) and gradually let the yarn warm up and cool down.
In addition to yarn, dye and your acid you will need a few things. Not all are required but a good idea to have handy. A lot of these things I got really cheap. The dollar store and thrift shops were a great place to look. Remember if you are using food dyes you CAN use things for food after but with acid dyes you can NOT.
Gloves (A MUST): Not only do you want to keep your hand clean but you want to keep your yarn clean. Any oils from your hands can change how it takes up the dye. Also if you’re using real acid dye it’s not good for your skin. I prefer the long gloves over the cheap ones that just cover your hands. When you’re sticking your hands in water it’s no fun getting it in the glove!
Stainless steel (or enamel) pots: Pots MUST be either of these! Aluminum will leach chemicals into your yarn and effect the color. You can get away with aluminum if you are just steaming the yarn. Stainless steel can be pricey but want a tip? Thrift shops! I got 3 for less than $7!
Glass Jars: I used these for mixing dye stock. Some dyers prefer not to make stock. I didn’t want to deal with the powders on a regular bases so I chose to make stocks. I’ll explain more about this in my next post.
Measuring spoons: Use these to measure out dyes. Get the smallest ones you can find.
Scale: If you want to be really accurate with measuring out dye a scale is handy. I used mine to make my stocks.
Glass bowls: You can use these in the microwave.
Turkey baster: I used this to measure out dye stock. A large syringe would work well.
Squeeze bottles: I really liked using these to apply dye several ways! You can find them super cheap in the baking section of your local store.
Eye droppers: These worked great for speckles.
Roasting pans (stainless steel): To use in the oven. I don’t have one.
Something to protect your work surface: First, I used garbage bags but later found dog training pads worked better.
Steamer insert for your pot: Another find from my thrift shop!
Zip top bags: This is a great way to get around buying new bowls or pans when you first get acid dyes. You can use them in the microwave.
Shower curtain rings: These work great for hanging the yarn to dry as well as help you pick up the skeins while dyeing without tangling the yarn.
Synthrapol: Like I mentioned any oils will effect how the yarn takes on dye so you will want to wash the yarn before dyeing. This stuff works great!. An alternative would be dish soap.
Wool wash: I like using this during the final wash. You could use dish soap if you wanted.
Wash basin: I use these to soak my yarn in the beginning as well as when I wash the yarn at the end of the process.
Rags or paper towels: You’ll want these handy whenever you dye to get any spills up right away. This is the one thing I tend to forget!
Do you dye yarn? Is there anything you’d like to add that I forgot? Comment below and let me know!