Friday, January 19, 2018

Dyeing Yarn with Sprinkles

The whole Dyepot Weekly experience is giving me an opportunity to explore and experiment with less conventional materials for dyeing yarn.  One of my favorite new techniques is dyeing yarn with sprinkles.

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Sprinkles are not a conventional dye source.  They contain sugar and ingredients beyond the food coloring that make them brightly colored.  However, if you've ever eaten Funfetti cake, you know that these sprinkles dissolve to bring you bright pops of color inside the cake, so what would they be able to do with yarn?

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I was really excited to find out.  I presoaked some 100% wool yarn, Wool of the Andes Worsted Bare from KnitPicks (Affiliate Link), with some vinegar and the liberally sprinkled on some nonpareils sprinkles.  I picked the most vibrant colored ones I could fine and crossed my fingers that they would transfer their color to the yarn.  

The experiment was a complete success!  I have now played with this technique a number of times (and I can't wait to show you more about those in future posts) but for now, I hope that you'll enjoy watching the first time I tried dyeing yarn with sprinkles.  

Monday, January 15, 2018

Happy New Year!

We had a blast at Disney World with all of the homemade ears!

Happy New Year, Everyone!  I promise that I will get back to business with new posts as soon as things settle down.  I am nearing the end of fullfilling all of my Kickstarter obligations.  In the meantime, make sure you check out what is going on with the ChemKnits Tutorials YouTube Channel.  I've been releasing multiple new dyeing videos every week! 

I have a back log of posts to write up.  Remember how I was sharing ears for our Disney World trip?  I have so many I haven't even shared with you yet!  Plus there are the Dyepot Weekly episodes, and some new fun hats that I knit for the kids.  I look forward to sharing many of my crafting adventures with you this year. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas! ChemKnits Stocking Knitting Patterns Summary

When I was taking a picture of my hand knit stockings on the fireplace, I realized that I have never made a summary post of the designs I created for my family.

These designs are very special to me.  I created our first stockings after Keith and I got engaged.  My stocking has two sides, my maiden initials (RFR) on one side and my married initials on the other (RFB).  I only ever used my stocking for one Christmas as RFR, but it was nice to have the stocking transition to my new name along with me.  

Coordinating Stocking Patterns:

I will be back with many more posts for the ChemKnits blog in 2018.  I have SO MANY PROJECTS that I still need to write up.  Not to mention all of the awesome Dyepot Weekly videos.  Thank you for all of your support for the last (almost!) 9 years.  I cannot wait to see where the next year will bring us.

Happy New Year, everyone!  I hope everyone has a winter season filled with warmth, light, and lots of squishy yarn.  

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Sov, Sov, Sov!

Happy Chanukah, everyone!

I had a lot of intent to make new Chanukkah outfits for the boys this year, but unfortunately I ran out of time.  I decided (on the morning of the second day of Chanukkah) to draw some cute little dreidle shirts with puffy paint.

I freehanded these shirts.  I'm finding that I'm a lot more confident in my drawing abilities.  To be fair, these had a bunch of straight lines, but I've been doing more details on things lately (We made handprint turkey shirts for Thanksgiving, I should be sharing those soon!) so I thought it was fun to create these.

I have a blended family, so we celebrate both Chanukkah and Christmas in this house.  I was able to find some fun Chrismukkah decorations at the store this year, and it meant a lot to find something that represented my family.  I hope to design some decorations of my own that celebrate our togetherness after New Years that I can hang up next year. 

Happy Holidays!  I hope that you spend the rest of 2017 filled with warmth and light.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Thank You Kickstarter Backers!

We did it!  The Dyepot Weekly Kickstarter Campaign was a smashing success.  Thanks to you the Dyepot Weekly video series has enough funding for at LEAST the first 35 episodes.  I have used the funds raised for new equpitment (including a new dyepot), new dyes (food coloring, natural dyes, Rit liquid dyes, Jacquard acid dyes), and a lot of bare yarn from KnitPicks (Affiliate Link).

I would like to thank all of the Kickstarter backers for supporting my dream.  Not only did you fund the physical materials and supplies for the dyeing videos, but you have motivated me to create videos on a regular schedule.  This support, knowing that so many strangers (who aren't really strangers to me anymore) want me to succeed gives me so much more confidence in my own abilitlies.  I'm not sure where the future will take ChemKnits, but I am excited to find out. I do know that we will be dyeing a lot of beautiful colors together!

Sponsors Level Backers - When I set out to start this Kickstarter, I wasn't sure if anyone would want to back it.  I am so honored that 18 people decided to sponsor individual episodes of Dyepot Weekly.  The sponsored epsiodes just started coming out, and I sure hope that you all enjoy your videos (and your yarn!)
  • Marjorie
  • Elisa
  • Little Bird Stitchery
  • Rachel Wielgopolski
  • Carly Lanners
  • Kelly Kiehnhoff
  • Marek
  • Melanee Mortensen
  • Deborah
  • Diane at Singing Wolf Dyeworks
  • Tanya
  • CLFN
  • Victims for recent earthquakes, hurricanes, and fires
  • Elizabeth Theresa
  • Marilyn New
  • Sarah Birki
  • c4stuido
  • Madeline Turnipseed

Yarn Level Backers - From picking their own to just getting a little taste from a mini-skein, these backers supported my new endever.  I hope that you love your yarn!
  • Laura Mendez
  • Tabitha Carroll
  • Julie E.
  • Naomi
  • Jill Gower
  • Meaghan
  • JayCee
  • Sharon aka Bronx Knitter
  • Khristy Male
  • Jackie Kostick
  • Orla
  • Miranda from Anchored Soul Studio
  • Rosamunda Carter
  • Tracy
  • Keli Hansen - Owner of On a Quest for Fiber
  • Anonymous
  • Christy in AK
  • Jackalgirl
  • Maureen Bramberger
  • Heidi
  • Angela Fry
  • Nancy Brandt
  • Jami Moyer
  • Barbara Wade
  • April Hoy
  • Liz
  • Marci in Indiana
  • Leslie W.
  • ChemChica
  • Eve Underwood
  • Molly
  • Marie Hahn
  • Lindsey M. 
  • Teresa Leonard
  • Erin Hall from I Can Craft That
  • Amanda Cluxton
  • Recycled Rainbow
  • Lisa
  • Sarah Peterson
  • Elspeth Craggs
  • Veronica R. from Maryland
  • Martin Van Horn-Hickerson
  • Ladynthread
  • June from Alton, IL
  • Sarah from Massachusetts
  • Lacey Smith
  • Amanda W.
  • Seneca
  • Barbara Lowell
  • Michelle Stone
  • WB
  • Tanya Seaman
  • Rachel C.
  • @SeekingSunshine_knits (Instagram)
  • KT
  • Sewnut Barb
  • Beth Roberts
  • Shannon
  • Sarah
  • Liz Clothier
  • Steph Karpe
  • Sandy
  • Mary Margaret
  • Alé "Aeyt" Santos
  • Maggie
  • Catherine McClarey
  • Frisky
  • Tiffany G.
  • June Kryk
  • Marilyn Bunzo
  • Jess DuMond
  • Mary Ellen Meggs
  • Roselyne Caron
  • Nomad
Shout Outs - Thank you for believing in this project enough to support it for the digital rewards!
  • Rianne
  • Barbara
  • Phoebe A.
  • Hanna from Virginia
  • Stitchpunk
Thank you, also, to everyone who wished to remain anonymous or who declined a shout out.  Thank you also to those of you who selected the Cheer Squad or no reward, your vote of support means so much to me.  

Here is the official Kickstarter Thank You Video. I decided to add a dyeing project to the background of the shout outs.  In this video, you will watch me space dye 200 g of yarn, 100 g of 100% superwash wool and 100 g of untreated 100% wool with some Easter Egg dye tablets.  I sped up the dye spreading out 587% so you have something to watch while I read out the names. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT! I really hope that I pronounced everyone's name correctly! 

At the publication of this Thank You blog post, 10 Dyepot Weekly episodes have been published.  Is there a dyeing experiment you would love to see?  Let me know in the comments and I can add it to the list!  I look forward to the next year of dyeing adventures.

This post contains some KnitPicks Affiliate Links.  I have been using their yarns for years before becoming an affiliate in October 2017.  

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Beginning of Dyepot Weekly

Thanks to all of your support, the first episode of Dyepot Weekly was released on the day the Kickstarter Campaign ended.  Dyepot Weekly #1 - Dyeing Speckled Yarn with Dry Kool-Aid is a fun project that I had been saving up just for Dyepot Weekly.  I was blown away by all of the support I received to launch this new series of dyeing videos.  We hit our goal within the first 24 hours of the campaign and then ended at over 350%!  On day 2 of the campaign, I started planning and filming the episodes so I could launch the series as soon as possible.

Before I speckled the yarn, I wanted to create an all over base color.  I used some Kool-Aid Bursts squeeze bottles to dye two 100 g skeins of yarn, Bare Stroll Fingering and Bare Wool of the Andes Worsted (KnitPicks Affiliate Links), a pale mint/blue color.  I was surprised that the superwash merino /nylon blend took up the color from the cool beverage almost immediately to create a really cool splotchy color.  I knew as soon as this happened that I needed to design some superwash versus untreated wool dyeing experiments.

I used a tea strainer to speckle the dry Kool-Aid on top of the damp yarns.  I was more heavy handed with the cherry KoolAid on the 100% wool skein, and I feel like I really got my rhythm on the superwash/nylon fingering weight yarn.  The specks on the sock yarn are so tiny, it is incredible!  I have a suspicion that it is the superwash treatment that is allowing the colors to bind to the yarn so quickly, but this is something that I still need to explore further.  

Check out the first episode of Dyepot Weekly to see exactly how I created these stunning yarns!  

Thank you for all of the support you have shown me here on the blog over these years.  I can't believe that I started this site 9 years ago.  I get so much inspiration from all of your comments, questions, and suggestions.  Thank you for fanning the flame of creativity that is inside of me.  I can't wait to see what we create together next! 

Monday, November 13, 2017

The KnitPicks BIG Sale is here!

Are you ready?  I LOVE the biggest KnitPicks Sale of the year!  Thousands of yarns are up to 60% off and they released a few new yarn lines this morning.

Since I'm on the East Coast, I didn't have to wake up super early to check out the sale.  I did, however, start refreshing the KnitPicks website a bit before 9 AM EST.  I placed an order this morning and I'm really happy with what I added into my cart:

I am super excited by the new "Simply Wool" and "Simply Alpaca" lines of yarn.  The natural colors of wool are stunning, and I think that it would be really fun to overdye them.   I ordred a medium gray "Winkle" that I think would be REALLY FUN to overdye. I plan to overdye the WOTA pink roving, too.  KnitPicks also released lace weight Chroma yarn and new colors of Felici Sock Yarn

In addition to the yarns that will be on sale all week, there are going to be limited sales most days (or at least Wednesday and Friday according to the BIG Sale dashboard.)  Today (Monday 11/13), all pattern project kits are 40% off.  In the past I've used discounted kits like this to build up my stash.  I know that it is always useful to have more Wool of the Andes colors around since I use those all the time. 

I have a feeling that I might end up placing a second order sometime this week, especially if some something else goes on sale to tempt me.  I need to sort my stash and see what things I need to add to my personal collection.  What do you think I should buy?  I am tempted by a knitting unicorn pin and some of the tote bags.  I wonder what the special deals will be on Wednesday... 

Disclaimer:  I am a KnitPicks Affiliate and all of the links in this post are affiliate links.  I have been knitting with KnitPicks yarns for YEARS before becoming an affiliate and absolutely love their yarns.  Feel free to ask me about my favorites!