Thursday, November 8, 2018

The KnitPicks Big Sale is Here!

The KnitPicks Big Sale is here! (Affiliate Link)  Way back in the day, this was the only real sale that KnitPicks had each year, and fans of the sale would wait and crash the site when it first when live.  (Ooops!) I think that the company has changed strategies a bit over the years, and we see more coupons and discounts throughout the rest of the year.  However, this sale is the BIG ONE, and if you are waiting for the best prices of the year, now is the time to bite.

Full Disclosure - I am a KnitPicks Affiliate and the links in this post are affiliate links.  KnitPicks did not ask me to write this post.  All product selections and opinions are my own.  I purchased all of the yarn I discussed myself.  

There are over 1000 different yarns on sale this week.  I've found discounts up to 60%!  You can sort the sale yarns by fiber type to help focus on the ones you want, or you can browse through the standard yarn categories.

There are NEW YARN LINES, too!  KnitPicks released Stroll Gradient 50 g sets so you can make matching pairs of socks.  There is now a speckled form of Swish Worsted and some new handpainted colors of Stroll Fingering.  I am so excited to see both the gradient Duos and speckles on a worsted weight yarn.  One complaint about stroll gradients in the past is that you would need to purchase 200 g to create matching socks.  KnitPicks really does listen to customer feedback!

Best Bare Yarn Discounts

Earlier this year, KnitPicks released 12 new bare yarn lines.  I purchased and unboxed 8 of these yarns around the launch.  I think that I was able to pick up the remaining 4 today, Aristo, Shimmer Bulky, SuperSilk, and Super Bulky Soft.  I am really excited for my package to come so I can review these.  I left these off my previous order because they are fairly expensive for a single skein due to the luxury fibers.  Now that they are on sale... Yes Please!

The following are my picks for the best KnitPicks bare yarn deals of the Big Sale:

  • Double Stranded Stroll Fingering Sock Blanks - 50% off! At only $10 for these double stranded blanks, they are a steal! 
  • Bare Merino Style DK - 40% off.  This DK weight 100% Merino (non-superwash) isn't a yarn that I've dyed before, but at this price ($4.79/100 g) I'm going to pick some up for my second order.  
  • Bare Super Bulky Soft - 50% off.  This is a Superwash Wool/Alpaca blend that I'm excited to try for the first time. 
  • Bare Capra DK - 50% Off.  This merino/cashmere blend is AMAZING both from a knitting and dyeing perspective.  
  • Bare SuperSilk - 50% off.  This is another yarn I haven't tried (yet) but it is 52/48 Superwash Wool/Mulberry Silk and it looks like it is super shiny and soft.  
  • Bare Shimmer Bulky - 50% off.  I've used Shimmer lace yarn before, but I've never tried a bulky version. I LOVE knitting with the shimmer yarn, it is soft and shiny.  I look forward to receiving this bare yarn (70/30 Baby Alpaca/Mulberry Silk).  The lace version (just called Bare Shimmer) is also 50% off.  
  • Paragon - 50% off.  This is a Merino/Silk/Alpaca blend and it has the most stunning shine and drape.  I've dyed it a couple of times so far and I absolutely love it.  
  • Bare Aristo - 40% off.  This is a Merino/Cashmere/Silk blend lace weight yarn.  The full price ($21.99) is a little high for me to experiment with, but I am happy to test one out at this sale price.  
  • Bare Cotton Boucle - 50% off.  I absolutely love this yarn.  It is a worsted weight 100% cotton yarn and it dyes so beautifully. I don't think the Boucle is too loopy so it shouldn't split badly while knit.  
  • Simply Alpaca - Colors Alaina and Alma.  50% off.  While not technically bare, these yarns are 50% off and are totally overdyeable.  I haven't tried out the Simply Alpaca yet (I'll add these to my next order) but I love the Simply Wool line.  
  • Momo Merino - 60% off.  This is a JUMBO weight knit tube filled with superwash merino roving.  At $12/250 g, if there is any Cream left when I go to place my next order I will pick some up.  
  • Bare Andes del Campo - 50% off.  This is 100% Highland Wool and is a bit more rustic than Wool of the Andes.  The plys are chunkier, but it is still super soft and I'm sure it will overdye nicely.  
  • Bare Chroma Twist Bulky - 50% off. I'm still sad that the chroma twist fingering went goodbye, but this is a great bare yarn deal!  

Many of my other favorite bare yarns are on sale, too.  However these ones have the largest discount. I did leave one 50% off bare yarn off of this list (bare swish fingering) because I am not a huge fan of that yarn.  I love the Swish line in general (DK, Worsted, Bulky) but the fibers in the fingering weight yarn aren't Merino and it isn't quite as soft.  I was so excited for this yarn, and then felt so disappointed once it was in my hands.  I think if my expectations were different, it would still be a lovely yarn.  And at the price, it could be worth getting some more.

Here is a look at my first order.  At least, I think this was my first order.  I forgot to take a screenshot before I checked out!  I do know that I also got a free totebag with the coupon code FREEBE150. I picked the "I'm working on my PhD, Projects Half Done" bag which I've been wanting for a very long time.  I could have picked a free yarn bowl or ball winder since my purchase was over $200 (code FREEBE200), or a project bag (FREEBE100), but I already have a KnitPicks yarn bowl and ball winder!

Another reason why I say that I "think" this is my order is that I'm not 100% sure that everything I purchased is still going to be available when they pack my order.  Sometimes with the KnitPicks big sale, they have some really great deals and multiple people will add the items to their cart at the same time.  Unfortunately this results in someone not getting an item from their order. (Don't worry - you won't get charged for it.) Since the Stroll sock blanks are still listed as in stock, I'm going to cross my fingers that I will get the 20 (yes 20!) that I ordered today.

KnitPicks Daily Deal

In addition to the thousand+ yarns that are already discounted, KnitPicks is going to have a special daily deal.  I have no idea what these will be, but I'm going to keep an eye on them all week and will keep updating this blog post.

  • Thursday 11/8 - $1 KnitPicks Exclusive Patterns
  • Friday 11/9 - No new deal - the next deal will be out Saturday at 5 AM PST.  
  • Saturday 11/10 - 30% off Interchangeable Needle Sets and Crochet Hook Sets!  (The Options Wooden needles are my favorites ever!) 
  • Sunday 11/11 - I noticed they changed "Daily Deal" to "One Day Deals" which makes more sense.  The next deal will come Tuesday at 5 AM PST.
  • Monday 11/12 - Waiting for Tomorrow!
  • Tuesday 11/13 -  DOLLAR DEALS DAY!  There are limited colors at $1, $3, or $5/skein.  There are also books at these prices, too!  There are limits per person, but these will sell out fast so don't miss your chance. 
  • Wednesday 11/14 - The next deal will come Thursday at 5 AM PST.  
  • Thursday 11/15 - Stay Tuned! 

KnitPicks launched 5 new "Special Reserve" yarn lines this morning.  These yarns include some wools, acrylic, and polyester blends.  It is interesting to see some yarn come in 40 g balls (instead of 50 or 100 g), and I will admit I'm a little perplexed as to why KnitPicks developed these yarns.  The colors are lovely, and I think the wool ones look like a lot of fun.  I tend to avoid acrylic and polyester yarns in my knitting personally, but I do know people want to see me dye some more synthetics.  

A KnitPicks Package I plan to unbox tonight on YouTube.  This is not my big sale order, it definitely did not arrive that quickly! 

Phew! That is a lot of a big sale.  I haven't even touched on the KnitPicks Exclusive Tools & Notions sale, the Tools sale, or even the other sales that have been going on all fall (Sock Needles Sale, Sweater Weather Sale.)  I am really excited to see what pops up over the course of the KnitPicks Big Sale.  The Big Sale will technically end on 11/19/18 at 11:59 PM PST.  In past years it has been extended a bit, but we should never count on them doing things exactly the same way.  I expect that there will be a lot of discount codes through the end of the year, but I also plan to make at least one more order during this big sale.

All prices and discounts that I mention are subject to change by KnitPicks.  I am a KnitPicks Affiliate, but I have no inside information about their marketing strategies and I only get information on sales when it becomes available to the public.  All thoughts and opinions are my own, and KnitPicks did not ask me to write this post.  

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Weekly Roundup - Week of the Undyed

Happy (Belated) Halloween!  Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love dressing up and creating different costumes.  This is the 4th year that I've created costumes for my boys, and I think I've been lucky so far that they've picked themes that are fairly easily for a mama to DIY.

This year, Lucky and Rowdy wanted to go as Catboy and Gecko from the series PJ Masks.  I took some solid colored pajamas from Primary and used puffy paint and felt to transform my little preschoolers into nighttime heros.  I hope to do a full post to show step by step how I created these costumes in the future, although last year's Pikachu and Pichu post is still overdue!  Seriously though, getting solid color PJ or sweat suit sets have a world of DIY potential.

Rise of the Undyed (Yarns)

I get a lot of questions on YouTube about ways to strip colors off of dyed yarn, both commercial dyed yarns and hand dyed.  I thought it would be Halloween appropriate to look at two different stain and color removers, Oxyclean and Rit Color Remover.  There are so many undyed puns that you can make, and it made it even more fun to joke around about it with all of you.

Oxyclean is a color safe stain treatment that I swear by.  I've used this to get all kinds of food and environmental stains out of my children's clothing.  I was therefore curious how some wool yarn that had been intentionally dyed with food coloring would hold up next to the oxyclean. I know that I can get popsicle stains (i.e. food coloring stains) out of cotton t-shirts, but how stable is the process of setting with heat and vinegar?  I dyed two skeins of my signature broken Wilton's violet colorway and let one skein soak in oxyclean for three days while the other skein soaked in just plain water.

There untreated skein looked almost untouched with a tiny amount of blue color bleeding. The oxyclean treated yarn had less blue in it, some pink bleeding, but there was still a lot of color left behind.  The fibers felt dry, as though all the oils had been removed (which was likely the case) but the yarn itself didn't feel damaged.  That said, I wouldn't recommend treating hand dyed yarns with oxyclean because it does remove some color.  Please note - oxyclean does NOT recommend using their product on wool.  It is always best to follow manufacturer instructions! 

I wanted to take this study a step further and look at a product that was supposed to strip colors specifically so you could overdye them again.  Rit Color Remover (Affiliate Link) is designed to help remove excess color (stains from color bleeding) or to lighting existing colors so you can then overdye with their Rit brand dyes.

"Rit Color Remover is a non-chlorine, reductive type of bleach that will not damage or deteriorate washable fabrics as chlorine bleach will. It is used primarily to remove or reduce color from fabric prior to dyeing, creating a blank canvas for dyeing to a true color. It works on cotton, linen, silk, wool, ramie, rayon and nylon. It may have a limited effect on polyester, depending upon how it was dyed commercially." - Rit Website

I decided to play with Rit Color Remover on a few different KnitPicks yarns (Affiliate Link) in saturated colors.  I selected a few colors of Wool of the Andes (100% wool), Brava (100% acrylic), Comfy (75% cotton, 25% acrylic), and Might Stitch (80% acrylic, 20% wool.)  I created a vat for color removal and also tried speckling some of the yarn directly with the Rit powder. While dyeing I used gloves, a face mask, and eye googles and used only dedicated dye pots, pans, and utensils.  

This UNDYEING all took place in a livestream, and I have not yet filmed the conclusions.  In my preliminary observation, the Rit Color remover did remove color from all of the fiber types to a varying degree.

The indigo heather, black, and pumpkin WOTA yarns had their saturated colors stripped to medium yellow/green/orange tones.  Unfortunately, this treatment was rough on the yarn and it feels really brittle and has some light felting to it.  I'm not sure if this yarn is knitable, yet, it could be fine when reskeined (although a little rough) but I definitely do NOT recommend using this on wool.

The acrylics (black and eggplant) did have some color removed.  The black yarn bled a LOT while rinsing, and I can see some really deep marine blue speckles on the yarn.  I look forward to looking close at this when it is dry.

The cotton/acyrlic blend held up with the rit dye the best.  After a couple of hours, the black had lightened to a medium grey.  It is possible that it could go lighter with more time and maybe a new packet of the color remover.  Certainly it is overdyeable at this point.

My preliminary conclusions are that while you can strip color from garments and yarn... I don't recommend purchasing fiber specifically to undye.  Even if a black yarn is a good deal, it is better to get a butter yellow, lime green, or even a neon orange to overdye to a darker shade.  I'll film my conclusions for this early next week.


The conclusions for the October dye along will be coming next week, too!  I love seeing all of your dyeing pictures, and am already planning on the November inspiration photo. 

This post contains some affiliate links.  All products were selected by myself and I was not paid to promote any specific brands.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  

Friday, October 26, 2018

Weekly Round Up - Fall is Here!

Brrrrrr.... it is suddenly so chilly outside!  It truly is fall now, and with that comes the need for all kinds of cozy winter accessories.  The ChemKids are in their winter hats, and I'm all snuggled up in my cowl made out of their hand dyed yarn.  (Speaking of this cowl... I really need to finish up a blog post on that one!) 

I had a fun week getting silly.  Whether it was using some Wilton Sparkle Gel or onions to dye yarn, we were creating a lot of great colors.

KnitPicks SALE!

This is not a trick, it is a HUGE treat!  KnitPicks is having a HUGE Sale!   (Affiliate Link)  Get 15% (almost) everything with the code FALL15 through 10/29/18 at 11:59 PM PST.  I have already placed one huge bulk yarn order and plan to place another before the sale ends.  This coupon code STACKS with the bulk bare yarn discount.  Yes please!

Dyepot Weekly

This week in Dyepot Weekly, I dyed some KnitPicks Gloss Roving for the first time.  Gloss is 30% silk, 70% merino and it is SO SOFT.  I wanted to do something similar to the highlighter dyeing project but instead use acid dyes.  This video is a great example of how I adapt my vision as I see how the colors are absorbing to the fiber. 

It has been a long time since I've done a spinning livestream.  I am truly hoping to have some spin and chat sessions in November.  There are some other spinning videos in the pipeline, I just need to get some more editing done.  It is not a bad problem to have too much raw footage around!


I did a second livestream for the October ChemKnits Dye Along.  In the first livestream, I used dots to reflect the fun fall ombre tree that is our inspiration photo for this month.

I will share the November dye along photo around the 15th of the month.  I'll try to do the recap before the next dye along starts.  I'm loving all of your submissions so far!  Keep them coming!  (Share your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #ChemKnitsDyeAlong or reply with a photo comment on the ChemKnits Facebook Post.) 

ChemKnits Chanukah Update!

I am done winding ALL of the miniskeins for the Chanukah Samplers!  The sampler is currently sold out, but I plan to add a few more things to the shop so that more of you can participate PHYSICALLY in this special week of videos.

Next on the list is to finish up editing these videos...  Wish me luck!


I wrote an update on Froggy the fish last night, but after I shared that he gave us a scare.  We couldn't find him ANYWHERE.  We searched for him in the filter, all over the tank, and then we found his little head popping out of the hollow on the jaw of the Triceratops.  Silly Froggy!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Froggy the Fish, Tap Water Quality, and Dyeing Yarn Thoughts

Sometimes you learn things a little too late. For Lucky's birthday we got him a fish, "Froggy."  After being home a few days, Foggy got a little sick and was having trouble swimming.  It turns out that the tap water in my area is high in nitrites, and if you're a fish owner that is BAD for fish.  The pet store was very nice, but said that the swim bladder issues the fish was experiencing could have been underlying before the fish came home with us.

It broke my heart, but the store gave Lucky a choice.  1) we could try to treat Froggy at home (which could be hard because he has other strange symptoms) or 2) we could bring Froggy to the "fish hospital" and bring home Froggy's brother.  Lucas chose option 2.  I know that I'm naive, but I honestly can't tell if they are going to try to treat Froggy or if they are going to help ease his suffering.

Froggy II (aka just Froggy after this blog post) 

Anyway, this makes me really curious about my tap water when it comes to yarn dyeing.  I know that sometimes you get different results as me with a similar set up, and little differences in the water could absolutely affect the final pH and other conditions for dyeing yarn.  Next time we get the water report from the city, I'm going to pay closer attention and maybe then do a bottled water vs tap water video to see if there are any differences.  I'll try to share some of the information with you since I use tap water for my dyeing videos. I've been meaning to do a video on pH and yarn dyeing for a long time anyway, but now I am hoping to take a closer look at it sooner rather than later.  Maybe there will be a difference in results when we compare tap versus bottled water.

Froggy I started showing symptoms within a day of being home.  Froggy II was thriving after multiple days in the tank created with purified water and betta fish conditioner.  His fins are open, he loves to flare at a mirror, and he is frequently swimming and exploring the whole tank.  Froggy II has a lot of personality.  He loves to hang out in the fake leaves, but sometimes wedges himself behind the filter or under the back of the Triceratop's frill.  He knows I am a source of food, and will come out to say hi when I come by the tank.

I have dyed some yarn inspired by Froggy I (stay tuned!), and now I need to think about dyeing some inspired by Froggy II!  I love that his fins are a warm blue with some flashes of red.  He is a Half Moon Double Tail Male and his colors almost feel iridescent.

After this blog posts, all references to Froggy II will just be "Froggy." 

Friday, October 19, 2018

Weekly Roundup - Happy Birthday, Dyepot Weekly!

We did it!  It is official!  I made it to ONE YEAR of Dyepot Weekly!  I've been talking about this birthday for a little while, but yesterday the birthday was finally here.

Sneak Peek! Yes this is more than just a birthday message! 

Looking back over the last 78 episodes of Dyepot Weekly, you can see just how much I've grown as an indie dyer.  I have explored multiple different types of dye and multiple new-to-me techniques.  I hope that through this journey I have inspired you to try playing with color on your own. 

Become a ChemKnits Patron!

The Kickstarter is over, and I don't currently have any plans to do another one in the future.  However, if you're disappointed that you missed out on the Kickstarter and would like to participate in some crowdfunding of Dyepot Weekly videos, check out the ChemKnits Patreon!  Patreon is a platform for fans to subscribe to the content creators that they enjoy.  You sign up for a monthly subscription and get access to some really cool perks.  As rewards, ChemKnits Patrons can select options that include early access to new yarn dyeing videos, behind the scene sneak peeks, Etsy coupons, shout outs in videos, and more.  Patrons, your support makes a huge impact on my ability to produce videos with a wide variety of yarn, dyes, and equipment.  Thank you so much for your support!

Dyepot Weekly Birthday Special Edition

Normally Dyepot Weekly comes out every Tuesday morning, and Friday mornings sometimes have a bonus episode of Dyepot Weekly or some other bonus kind of dyeing video.  DPW's birthday was on a Thursday this year, and I didn't want to shift the schedule around... so I added an EXTRA episode of Dyepot Weekly! 

Technically, I added two extra episodes because I bonus "Leave no Dye Behind" episode came out when this one was done.  I thought it would be fun to bring Dyepot Weekly full circle and do a version of the very first episode.  In DPW #1 I speckled two types of yarn, KnitPicks Stroll Fingering and Wool of the Andes Worsted, with KoolAid powder. (Affiliate Links)  In DPW #78 I decided to use these same yarn bases and this time explore dry Jacquard acid dye powder.  The results are STUNNING, right?

Have you missed an episode of Dyepot Weekly?  Don't worry, there is a whole Dyepot Weekly playlist so you can watch them all!


As part of the Dyepot Weekly birthday celebration, I am launching a #ChemKnitsDyeAlong series!  Each month around the 15th, I'll share an inspiration photo on Instagram and Facebook.  I invite all of you to dye along with me and share how you were inspired by the photo.  You can pick all of the colors in the photo, one small element, or to take the theme of the photo to inspire your palette.  Your inspiration can be as literal or loose as you choose, and I cannot wait to hear about it.

Each month I will dye yarn inspired by the photo myself in a livestream.  In the livestream recap, I will feature some of your dyeing projects! To be featured, share your photo with the #chemknitsdyealong hashtag on instagram or reply to the dye along photo with your pictures on Facebook.  (Please note that the ChemKnits Lab Facebook Group is a closed group, so pictures that you share in there will remain private.  If you would like to be featured, please comment on the public photo.)  

Is there a deadline?  Not really.  I might feature some October dye along photos in the November Livestream recap etc.  I might firm up some of these details as time goes on, but I am very excited to dye along with you.  Therefore, make sure you mention the photo that inspired you! 

For the October #ChemKnitsDyeAlong, I selected a photo of a tree that I took myself.  I love the way that leaves are changing, and this tree had a STUNNING gradient to it.  I dyed my own colorway last night LIVE and I would love to hear what you thought!  

YouTube Went Down

On Tuesday Night, YouTube went down.  This is something that any YouTube fears, but this was especially unfortunate because I was in the middle of a livestream when it happened!  I was dyeing some semi-solid yarn with Dharma Acid dyes to see the relative potency of three different colors. Since the stream was cut off in the middle, I attempted to continue the stream on Facebook.... and the quality was really poor.  That stream is still on the ChemKnits Facebook page.  When the yarn is dry I'll film a recap and chat about it a bit more.

I am very grateful that so many of you held on to see if the stream would start working again.  I also think it was hilarious that the stream kept going even though YouTube wasn't working.  I had to cut 8 min or so of me troubleshooting from the end of the stream!

Chanukah Update

This week, I finished dyeing all of the yarn for the 2018 ChemKnits Chanukah Samplers. (Currently sold out.) I thought it was going to be 9 videos, but there will likely be a couple of extra ones.  I played around a bit before deciding on what I wanted the limited edition ChemKnits Chanukah colorway to look like, and I think that I ended up with something beautiful.  The yarn is all hanging up on my drying rack and I wish I could share some sneak peeks so badly.  However, I am committed to #nospoilers, and I will not share any photos of Chanukah yarn until the the video has been released.

Finishing up the Chanukah dyeing means one important thing.... this means that I'm going to have more spoilers again.  Hooray!  Now I just have to go wind a few hundred miniskeins....

Thank You

Almost 10 years ago, ChemKnits began as a blog.  As my YouTube audience grew, many of you continued to follow me in both places.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for helping form the most amazing community of indie dyers and fiber artists.  I wouldn't be doing this today without all of you.  Thank you, readers! 

Friday, October 12, 2018

Weekly Roundup - Belated Birthdays

Friends, I completely dropped the ball last week.  I was so busy thinking about Lucky's 5th birthday that I didn't create a Weekly Roundup!  I hope that you will forgive this belated roundup.  The birthday theme feels fitting since there are a lot of anniversaries going on.  Next Thursday is Dyepot Weekly's birthday, Lucky filmed a handpainting tutorial with me a year ago this week, and Lucky is 5.  FIVE!  I cannot believe that this little boy has grown up so much.

I quickly whipped together a shirt for Lucky on the morning of his birthday. I think I have a backlog of applique projects and costumes I'd like to share, but that is another story.  I've been hard at work on a super simple DIY Halloween costume for this year, and it goes along with the birthday theme very nicely.


This week, I hit a HUGE milestone on the ChemKnits Tutorials YouTube Channel.  My video "Increasing Knit stitches: M1 (Make One)" hit one million views!  This is an old school ChemKnits video, added to the channel about a year after I started making videos.  I'm so glad that so many people have found this helpful.

I have a LOT more dyeing videos on the channel these days, but some of the knitting tutorials are still my most popular.  Is there anything that you would like to see?  I think my filming set up has improved a LOT over the years.  I cringe a bit when I watch some of these older videos, but I am pleased by how much I've grown.

Dyepot Weekly

I've been on a Wilton's Violet kick recently.  I feel like there are a lot of violet videos coming out back to back, from leave no dye left behind videos, dip dyeing, color layering, and more.  In Dyepot Weekly #75, sponsored by Karen, I took a look at how we can break Wilton's Violet food coloring with what I call the "dry rub" method.  Some members of the ChemKnits Lab refer to this as the "scrub the dishpan method" but I keep coming back to dry rub since I am rubbing dry yarn into dye to randomly spread the colors around.

I looked at the yarn dry rub technique in three different ways:

  1. No vinegar in the dye, dry rub, dip dyeing the yarn into vinegar after
  2. Vinegar in the dye (which had a little surprise to it!), dry rub, then dip dye in to water + vinegar after.
  3. Vinegar in the dye, dry rub, steam setting the color
The results were vastly different, as you can see from the thumbnail.  I did this dyeing project with KnitPicks Bare Stroll Fingering weight yarn (Affiliate Link) which is 75% superwash merino, 25% nylon.  This yarn, and superwash yarn in general, absorbs color SUPER fast, and the red #3 food coloring started to bind to the yarn without any heat or acid around.  This helped give the first yarn the most dramatic color breaking of the three.

I am really excited to try this out with some other colors that we know break.  Or maybe even some colors that don't.  Would we completely erase the dry rub effect or would we get something that was subtle and tonal?

Would you like to sponsor an episode of Dyepot Weekly?  Sponsors get shout outs in the video plus 100 g of yarn that I dyed in the Dyepot Weekly Episode (with an option to upgrade to 200 g.)  You pick the yarn base and some colors to avoid, and I design an experiment with you in mind.  The final colors and technique will be a complete surprise, and it is so much fun.  You can find more details in the ChemKnits Creations Etsy Store.  

When I said that I've been on a violet kick lately... (and really, when am I not on a violet kick?) I dyed some more dip dyed Wilton's Violet for another project.  This one turned out so beautiful that it will be a shame to modify it, but I hope to learn something new.  And isn't this the point of dyeing experiments?  I will test things out and take the risks so then you can decide how you want to dye the yarn yourself. 

Chanukah Update

The 2018 Chanukah Miniskein Sampler Preorders have sold out.  Don't worry, everyone will get a chance to watch the 8 videos and celebrate along with me.  There might be a few extra slots when I start winding the miniskeins.  I also plan to unbox one myself so everyone can see how it turned out.  Would you like me to create other samplers along side special weeks?  What kinds would you like to see?  Let me know in the comments! 

Friday, September 28, 2018

Weekly Roundup - My First Assistant!

This week we welcomed a new member to the ChemKnits family... my very first assistant/employee - an electric motorized skein winder! This device will help me as I deal with fiber prep both before and after dyeing.  In a livestream this week, I tried unraveling a sock blank on my skein winder for the first time and WOW.  This is a process that can take me up to 20 min while I do it by hand, and I think it was all unraveled within a minute or two when I used the machine.  Granted, I usually unravel sock blanks during livestreams, so there is some chatting involved, but I really liked unraveling it on this machine.

I'm still not entirely sure what to name her.  The leading name right now is Trisana, as a reference that goes along with my spinning wheel "Sandry," named after a Tamora Pierce character.  Sandry's magic expresses itself through fiber and weaving, and Tris is a weather mage who makes a lot of cyclones.  I'm still trying it out, but you have all given me some great suggestions on Facebook and Instagram.  I know that preparing skeins from balls of yarn and making miniskeins is going to feel a whole lot faster, almost magical.

My new unnamed friend ready to be put together.

2018 ChemKnits Chanukah Celebration Update

Speaking of mini-skeins, there are still a few slots left for the 2018 ChemKnits Chanukah Miniskein Sampler.  Every night of Chanukah this year, I will release a new dyeing video.  This is 8 nights, 8 mini-skeins, 8 yarn bases, 8 dyeing techniques, and 8 new videos.  I will be closing the full 100 g limited edition sock yarn add-on on Wednesday October 3, so if you want to get the largest sampler don't wait too long!

Dyepot Weekly #73

Black and Grey are really hard to achieve with food coloring.  When I discovered that Americolor has a whole line of grey food coloring ("Nifty Shades of Grey") I wanted to see if could help me create grey tones on yarn.  Unfortunately, the colors are very similar to a broken black, but the final yarn is stunning nevertheless.

I haven't attempted to break Americolor Black food coloring yet, but that is 100% on my list.  These grey tones were fun, but the titanium dioxide was a bit of a pain to rinse out of the yarn.  I think that this is added to add some white tones to icing when it is used in food coloring.

Acid Dyestocks Update

9 months ago, I made some dye stocks with acid dyes for the first time.  This was the only time I've ever gone into the Jacquard acid dye jars.  In all of the videos where I've used commercial acid dyes I have been using these dyestocks.  This week, I decided to film a brief update on how these stocks have been doing.  This is something that I've mentioned in videos from time to time, but I wanted to bring it front and center.

Over time, these 1 L 1% stock solutions have not been terribly consistent.  Some of this has been obvious - sun yellow is my nemesis due to its solubility issues.  Other colors, like the violet, have become much more intense as I've reached the bottom of the jar.  I don't think I've done a good job mixing the stock solutions up each time before using them, so there could be more insoluble particles towards the bottom.  I think that this concentration inconsistency is making it harder for me to get a feel of how much dye to use per skein of yarn.  I plan to start mixing colors fresh to play with so I can hopefully get a better handle on these dyes.

In terms of longevity, all of the stock solutions still work after almost 9 months. I can get the dyebaths to clear, and the colors are vibrant and color fast.  So, while you CAN make stock solutions, I'm not sure it is truly the best option for consistent color saturation unless you were going to use up most of the stock in one day.

You can watch the stock solution update video here.

New KnitPicks Subscription Boxes

KnitPicks listened!  (Disclaimer, I'm not sure that they listened to me in particular, but I think that a lot of the community had similar requests to me in my review of their new subscription boxes.) KnitPicks listened to feedback and has released two new Subscription boxes Crochet Lover and Sock Labs which are both $27.00, which includes shipping within the US.  I'm so thrilled that these are listed at a lower price point and are something that can really appeal to livelong KnitPicks Fans.  The Sock Labs subscription will feature the new hand dyed colorways and some free patterns each month.  KnitPicks, if you want to send me a sample of the Socks Labs box, I'd love to see it!

This post contains affiliate links to Amazon and KnitPicks.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.