Monday, April 23, 2018

Now on Etsy! The ChemKnits Creations Shop is now open!

I am excited to announce the launch of my Etsy Store, ChemKnits Creations!  The shop has over 100 skeins of hand dyed yarn that have been featured in past, and upcoming, ChemKnits Tutorials yarn dyeing videos.  

Since the Dyepot Weekly Kickstarter last fall, I have created over a hundred new dyeing videos.  This means that I have created hundreds of skeins of hand dyed yarn.  Even after fullfilling all of my Kickstarter rewards, I was left with a large volume of yarn.  

Almost all of the yarn in the ChemKnits Creations Etsy store was dyed in 2018.  There are a few skeins that are older, but it is amazing to see what I have created in just the last few months.  I want to destash these yarns to help make room for more hand dyed yarns and so I can buy more materials for dyeing videos.  

Some of the yarns listed in the ChemKnits Creations Shop.
In my dyeing videos, I create many different unique yarns on in a variety of fiber types.  This diversity is reflected in the ChemKnits Creations shop.  There are a lot of worsted weight 100% wool and Superwash Merino Nylon blend sock yarn, but there are also silk blends, acrylic blends, and more.  Did you love a yarn from the sock blank special?  Multiple matched 50 g pairs are in the shop!  

Many of you have been asking me if I sell the yarns that I dye, and I am so happy to finally be able to answer, "YES!" I know that I dye more yarn than I could ever knit with, so I am so happy to be able to share the fiber love.  

Check out the ChemKnits Creations Etsy Store today!  

Friday, April 13, 2018

10 Reasons Why I Love KnitCrate

KnitCrate is a company that provides fun surprise packages through their yarns subscription services.  These crates feature hand dyed yarns (from both in house dyers and independent dyers) and patterns from independent designers.  I was delighted when they reached out to me this February and offered to send me a few months of their KnitCrate Membership subscription so I could test it out. 

Last week, I received my third KnitCrate package. The more I learned about KnitCrate in these last few months, the happier I was to be working with them.  Today I want to share with you 10 reasons why I love KnitCrate. 

April 2018 KnitCrate Membership Package.  Yarn: DK Weight 100% Superwash Merino Wool

1. Monthly Surprise Yarn

Each month when that bright turquoise package lands on my doorstep, I don't know what type of yarn I am going to get.  The yarn weights, colors, and fiber content are a surprise every month!  (Unless you are using one of their sock yarn clubs where you will get a different kind of sock yarn every month.)  One of the best parts of their flagship kit, KnitCrate Membership Subscription, is that even if you see spoilers, there are 3-4 different colorways each month.  Therefore, you might know something about the type of yarn you will receive, but the color in your package will always be a surprise.

My 3 Months of KnitCrate Exclusive Yarns

2.  Free Shipping, Even International!  

The price of all KnitCrate subscriptions include shipping costs.  International members might need to pay import duty and taxes to their home country, but they won't pay KnitCrate any extra for shipping for any of the different crates. 

3. KnitCrates are Economical

KnitCrate subscriptions start at just $19.95 for the Sock Crate Membership.  The KnitCrate Membership Subscription that I've been unboxing is only $24.99 and includes two 100 g skeins of hand dyed yarn, free shipping, 1 crochet pattern, 1 knitting pattern, and exclusive discounts in the KnitCrate Member Central shop and at some KnitCrate partners. 

February 2018 KnitCrate Membership.  Yarn: Worsted Weight 40% Merino Wool, 30% Silk, 30% Alpaca

To put this in perspective, if you love the yarn from a kit and want to buy some more, you can get some more skeins at a discount (up to 25% off in the Member Central.)  Yarns featured in the February and March 2018 KnitCrate Membership kits are $18/skein for members, but $24/skein for people who don't have a subscription.  (You can see the discount when you log into your account.) If you factor in the cost of two $24 skeins of yarn, $5 shipping, and $5/pattern, you get to a value of $63 for the KnitCrate membership kit. 

Members also earn KnitCrate Stash Points every month which you can save up for coupons off your next month's crate or for coupons to use in the Member Central. 

4. Enough Yarn to Make a Project

There's nothing worse than buying some cool yarn and then realizing once you are home that you do not have enough to complete a project.  Each KnitCrate membership kit comes with two patterns, 1 knitting and 1 crochet, and you have enough yarn to make either of the patterns.

5. Bringing Me Outside My Color Comfort Zone

When I pick my own yarns, I tend to choose purples, blues, and greens.  KnitCrate helps me come out of my comfort zone by sending me a surprise color each month.  Sometimes they send me the one I might have picked, otherwise it is something new, that brings me out of my color comfort zone. 

6. Pattern Download, No Extra Paper

I love that the KnitCrates come with links so you can download the knitting and crochet projects either to your computer or directly into your Ravelry library.  I find the patterns to be an excellent suggestion of what to make with the yarn, but sometimes the patterns inspire me to use the yarn for something already in my queue.  Since I don't have to worry about keeping track of paper patterns, I can save them in my library to use when I'm ready. 

The pattern download link is located on the back of the kit theme.  When you type that link into your computer, it is only a couple clicks of a button to add them to your library.

The Designs from 3 months of my KnitCrate Membership.  The postcard has the crochet pattern on one side and the knitting pattern on the other.  

7. KnitCrate Supports Independent Designers 

KnitCrate has multiple different programs for working with independent designers (see the link to Designer Programs at the top of their website.)  For patterns featured in the monthly creates, designers can pick between a flat fee or royalty program. 

For the designer, being featured in a KnitCrate means that you will get more people checking you out on Ravelry.  Each of the KnitCrates includes coupon codes for the designers' Ravelry shops, which provides incentive for people to check out their other patterns.  If I try someone's design and love it, I am much more likely to buy another pattern from them versus try someone new. 

8. KnitCrate Supports Independent Dyers

KnitCrate has two subscriptions that feature Independent Dyers, Artisan Crate and Sock Artisan Crate.  I haven't tried any of these kits, but I love the idea of a surprise yarn package that features a different Indie Dyer every month. 

KnitCrate offers yarn support for dyers FREE OF CHARGE and pays for shipping both ways.  Dyers are paid a flat rate for the yarns to cover their time, dyes, and other materials. I assume that the info card in each package contains information about the dyer's shop so you can learn more about who dyed the yarn.  (And there are likely discounts to the shop as well.)  

There is also a great potential for cross promotions, KnitCrate promotes the dyer, and the dyer promotes KnitCrate.  I know that the first thing I would do upon getting a surprise indie dyed skein of yarn is to look up the dyer's shop to see what other types of yarn they offer.  I really like that KnitCrate makes it so easy for all consumers to see the programs for Indie Dyers and Designers, it makes me really respect the company.  You can learn more about the Indie Dyer Programs by following a link on the top of KnitCrate's website.

9. Brightly Colored Packaging 

When the teal mailer shows up on my doorstep, I know that it is going to be full of beautiful yarn.  It brings me joy straight from the beginning!

March 2018 KnitCrate Membership.  Yarn: Fingering weight 70% Superwash Merino, 20% Nylon, 10% Stellina

10. Bare Yarns 

I mentioned above that KnitCrate offers yarn support to their indie dyers, but they also let everyone in the community to buy their bare yarns.  DyerSupplier by KnitCrate is an ethically sourced line of undyed yarns at wholesale prices.  The prices are very reasonable and most of the yarns come in 10 packs.  Singles skeins are available for select yarn lines so you can try the yarn out before committing to buying multiple. 

My First 3 Months of KnitCrate!  

Thank you, KnitCrate, for letting me try out your subscription service!  I am so happy to share this with everyone. Do you want to give KnitCrate a try?  Use the code ChemKnits20 at checkout for 20% off your first month! 

Disclaimer: KnitCrate sends me the monthly KnitCrates for free and I am part of their ambassador program.  All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

That's a Wrap, but Only for the Kickstarter

Today, Episode 35 of Dyepot Weekly came out!  Where has time gone?  How has it been over 6 months since the launch of this video series?  With the release of Dyepot Weekly #35, I have officially completed my Kickstarter Campaign.  I initially hoped to fund the first 25 episodes of Dyepot Weekly but everyone's support helped SMASH all of the stretch goals I could come up with.

Dyepot Weekly #35 was super special for me, because I took a trip back through memory lane to look back at the first ever colorway I handpainted with KoolAid and food coloring.  It was fitting to close off this Kickstarter by taking a look back and replicating one of my first ever yarns.  Because I always do everything with a twist, I dyed both the Lion Brand Wool Ease yarn I used in the past and KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Worsted weight yarn to show how these two different fibers take up color. (Affiliate Links)

If you've missed some episodes of Dyepot Weekly along the way, don't worry!  I have a playlist on the ChemKnits Tutorials YouTube channel so you can catch up on the whole series:

Don't worry, Dyepot Weekly isn't over.  I just about to schedule episodes #42 and #43 and I'm in various stages of filming through #50!

What's Next for ChemKnits?

Many of you have asked me if I would do another Kickstarter campaign.  The honest answer is maybe.  I think that it could be fun to participate in a Make 100 campaign, or to do another campaign if I needed the capital to launch a special series.  However, I do not have plans to do another Kickstarter at this time.  There are, however, other ways that you can support ChemKnits. 

One way you can support me right now is through Patreon.  To become a ChemKnits Patron, you subscribe to a reward tier and contribute to ChemKnits on a monthly basis.  As a Patron, you have access to some fantastic perks that can include early access to new dyeing videos, behind the scenes sneak peeks, advance notice of yarn destash sales and more.  I think my favorite part is the monthly Patron only poll where they provide input into the next early access video.

Another way you can support ChemKnits is by interacting with my videos and other content.  Subscribe to the ChemKnits Tutorials YouTube channel, share videos via social media, like videos, comment on videos.  All of this helps more people discover my content which in turn gives me the resources to create more videos. 

Speaking of destash sales... one is coming.  I am currently at the beginning stages of opening up an Etsy shop!  My stash of hand dyed yarn is rather large, and I need to make some more space in my closet so I can create more yarn dyeing videos. 

What else is next?  I have a whole backlog of crafting projects that I want to write up here.  The only real thing that is holding me back is the need to edit some of the pictures first, and then I can start sharing more of my fun crafting adventures.

Thank you for being a part of this journey.  I look forward to many more years of creative adventures with you. 

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Results from the Sock Blank Special 2!

The finished yarns dyed in the Sock Blank Special 2 #ChemKnitsDyeAlong Livestreams. 

What a fantastic adventure!  Earlier this year, I scheduled a week of sock blank dyeing videos to explore many different techniques for applying dye to these pre-knit, and crochet, pieces of fabric.  During the Sock Blank Special 2 weeks, I released 10 different dyeing videos: 5 edited prefilmed videos and 5 dyeing livestreams.  What I didn't expect was that the SBS2 week would continue over another week with multiple unraveling livestreams so you could see what these yarns looked like with the blanks unraveled.

Phew!  I dyed 21 blanks during the livestreams.  That is a LOT of yarn, and a lot of videos.  I have a playlist that organizes all of the SBS2 videos in roughly chronological order.  This is a little confusing because there were some sneak peek episodes where I unraveled blanks for the edited videos.  I placed these unraveling videos after the relevant edited video in the playlist.  (The livestream unravelings are all at the end.)  I always like to film a recap video after a livestream so you can see the finished dry yarn and hear some concluding thoughts, and there is a recap for each of the livestreams.  For this special week, I also felt the need to film an overall summary so you could see not only the dried blanks but the finished unraveled yarns.  Therefore, I made a summary slideshow so you could see pictures of the dyeing, finished dry blank, and unraveled yarn.  The yarns are arranged according to the livestream where they were dyed, so this should help you find the specific replay in case you want to learn more about the technique.

Want to learn more about all of these yarns?  Check out the Sock Blank Special 2 #ChemKnitsDyeAlong Playlist or watch below.  (I know that there is a LOT of footage to go through.  Some of my followers say that they watch livestream replays on 2x speed to get to the action parts of the dyeing.)

Thank you, everyone, who joined me in this journey.  So many of you joined in on the fun and dyed your own homemade sock blanks.  Thank you for sharing your pictures in the Facebook group for ChemKnits fans, ChemKnits Lab.  I still have a few homemade sock blanks left in my stash, not to mention at least 10 stroll sock blanks from KnitPicks. (Affiliate Link)  

If you want to support ChemKnits on a more personal level and contribute to fun dyeing specials like the Sock Blank Special 2, check out the ChemKnits Patreon.  Patrons can receive exclusive behind the scenes sneak peek videos, early access to new dyeing videos, coupons, and more.  

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

ChemKnits is now on Patreon!

I have some exciting news!  ChemKnits is now on Patreon!  

What does this mean?  Patreon is website that allows people to support their favorite artists and creators.  This is a way for you to pay creators on a monthly basis to help support the content that you love.  It is like an optional subscription service.  

I have created some exciting perks for ChemKnits Patrons.  These can include:
  • Early Access to new dyeing videos.  I will share these videos in the monthly Patreon newsletter.  These videos will eventually be available to the public on the ChemKnits Tutorials YouTube channel.  
  • Exclusive Behind the Scenes Sneak Peeks - Want to watch as I film a scene for a new dyeing video?  Patrons can choose rewards that give them access to fun and interactive sneak peeks.  
  • Shout Outs in the Early Access video
  • Exclusive coupons to my (coming soon) Etsy store
  • Advance notice of when hand dyed destash sales will start so you can get a head start to check out the pretty colors.  

What does the Patreon mean for the ChemKnits Tutorials YouTube Channel?  Are you still going to make new videos?  

I will 100% keep making new videos for the ChemKnits Tutorials YouTube channel.  The purpose of the Patreon is to help fund the yarn, dye, and equipment so I can continue to make fun dyeing videos that everyone can enjoy.  The main difference is that you might hear me mention the Patreon from time to time in my videos.  The public content will not decrease at all, if anything I will be adding more fun videos to the channel.   

If I can't become a Patron, how can I support you? 

Subscribe to the ChemKnits Tutorials YouTube Channel (which is free!), watch videos, and give a thumbs up to the ones you enjoy.  Engaging with my videos is the best way that you can support me!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Almost Time for the #ChemKnitsDyeAlong

It is almost time for the Sock Blank Special Dye Along to begin!  I am so pumped to kick off the #ChemKnitsDyeAlong next Sunday night at 7:15 PM EST.  Each day we will have at least one new knit (or crochet) blank dyeing episode PLUS a dyeing livestream.  This weekend, I'll update the Sock Blank Special 2 Schedule with links for the specific livestreams.  If you can't make a stream, don't worry, the replay will be available as soon as YouTube can process it. 

Do you want to learn more about the Sock Blank Special 2 week?  In the following video, I chatted about different types of blanks that I have created for the dye along and what kind of techniques we'll try out over the next week. 

How you can participate?  Over the last few weeks, many of you have been collection your own sock blanks to dye along with me.  These blanks are a combination of homemade blanks, commercial double stranded sock blanks (KnitPicks Affiliate Link), and reclaimed sweaters to dye and unravel.  Share you pictures on social media with the hashtag #ChemKnitsDyeAlong and feel free to tag me as needed.  You can also join the ChemKnits Lab Facebook Group, a group for ChemKnits Fans where labmates are already sharing their own sock blank dyeing projects.  

I am so excited to see what kinds of yarn we all create.  Now I have to be off to make some more of my own sock blanks so I can dye a big variety in the dye along.  

Are you new to dyeing yarn?  Learn more about sock blanks and the tools you need to dye them.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Unboxing My First KnitCrate! (Feb 2018 KnitCrate Membership)

Today I opened up my very first KnitCrate!  I was so excited when they reached out to me to see if I would like to test their KnitCrate Membership Subscription.  Of course my answer was, "YES!"  My first package was the February 2018 KnitCrate Membership Crate:

February 2018 KnitCrate
KnitCrate Membership February 2018

What was inside my delightful teal bubble mailer?  The KnitCrate Membership subscription includes 1 knitting and 1 crochet pattern every month and enough yarn to complete one of the designs.  First I pulled out two skeins of Knitologie Glowing Worsted Yarn in the color Mist.  Mist is a really deep and saturated blue/green.  The yarn looks like it has been kettle dyed and has very subtle variations in the depth of color.  Semi-solids like this are one of my absolute favorites to knit with because it gives the finished project so much dimension. The yarn is a 40% Merino Wool / 30% Silk / 30% Alpaca which is not only incredibly warm and soft, but also had a wonderful sheen that almost makes the yarn look iridescent. 

This month, I got two cowl patterns which were shared on two sides of a postcard in my package.  Vincent W. Green designed the crochet pattern "Mariana Trench Scarf" and the knit "Raindrop Cowl" was designed by Noelle Davis.  Both of these patterns say they require 300 yards of yarn, and I have 298 yards total between the two skeins.  I hope that I'm not going to play yarn chicken when I make my cowl!  However, since these patterns were designed with this yarn in mind I am sure that I would have no trouble completing the project.

I really like that the KnitCrate includes a link to download the designs instead of paper copies.  I was able to easily add these patterns to my Ravelry library so they can be searched and downloaded at a future date as needed.  (If you don't have a Ravelry account you can download the patterns directly to your computer.)  The theme of this package is "Petrichor", and I got an explanation of the rainfall and shimmering puddles that inspired the colorway and patterns on a postcard.  This postcard also contains coupon codes for the pattern designers' Ravelry shops, email addresses for pattern support, and the value of each of the included items in the kit (Yarn, Patterns, and Shipping.)

All February KnitCrate Membership packages will have codes for the same knitting and crochet patterns plus 2 skeins of Knitologie Glowing Worsted Weight Yarn.  The colors of yarn will be a surprise.  In addition to Mist, you could receive either of the colors Rain Drops or Verdant.  The total retail value of this kit is $63 (2 x $24 skeins + 2 x $5 patterns + $5 shipping). During my livestream, we discovered that you can buy skeins of yarn found in the kits at full price, but you had better jump fast at the beginning of the month because most of the Feb exclusive yarns are sold out as of 2/21.

Are you interested in trying out a KnitCrate Subscription, too?  Use the coupon code ChemKnits20 to receive 20% off your first order!  (Thank you, KnitCrate!) To hear more of my thoughts as I opened up my KnitCrate, watch the livestream replay below.  (My 4 yo interrupted the livestream from his rest a couple of times. I have edited out the long pauses but left the rest of the interruptions in their unedited form for the true ChemKnits livestream experience.) 

I am so excited to see what shows up in my March package. Which subscription looks the most interesting to you? The Sock Crate is currently sold out, but I think that the Artisan Crate, which features a different indie dyer each month, looks AWESOME. 

KnitCrate sent me the package for free and I am enrolled in the KnitCrate Affiliate Program.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.