Tuesday, January 15, 2019

January #ChemKnitsDyeAlong!

Photo Credit rawpixel on Unsplash
Friends, it is so cold outside right now.  I found myself scrolling through more wintery photos as I was trying to narrow down the choices for the Dye Along, and I found myself wanting to play with yellow.  I want to sit on the beach, think of fresh tart beverages and warm my bones in the sunshine.  (I am REALLY cold right now as I'm writing this!)  I have no idea what made this one lemon pink, but I want to try to make a summery, happy yarn in bright yellow with pops of pink or other neon colors. 

Join me on Thursday 1/18/19 at 8:00 PM EST to watch me dye some yarn inspired by this photo! If you can't join me live, you can always watch the replay later.

These dye alongs are so much fun. I love interacting with all of you while I'm dyeing yarn and challenging myself to pinpoint my inspiration.  However, I think the best part is seeing what all of you create from this photo inspiration.  You can be as literal with your inspiration as you want.  You can be inspired by the colors, shapes, objects.  You can dye yarn, knit with colorwork, dye fabric, or even blend your own fiber.

Let me know how your project was inspired by this photo with the hashtag #ChemKnitsDyeAlong on Instagram or by posting on the inspiration photo thread on the ChemKnits Facebook Page.  I will pick some of the submissions to feature in my livestream recap at the beginning of February.  Make sure you let me know how you were inspired by this photo.  I love hearing how you decided to create your yarn. 

Want to see what was created in December's #ChemKnitsDyeAlong?  The recap is now up on the ChemKnits Tutorials YouTube Channel! (And if you love the yarn, you can find all of it in the ChemKnits Creations Etsy store!) 

Friday, January 11, 2019

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, ChemKnits Family!

I have a lot of goals for 2019, and one of them is to get back in the swing with posting more.  I have so many projects queued up to write about, I just need to schedule some time to sit down and write.  I also have many plans for fun new videos, so make sure to stay tuned!

I started off the year with a lot of spinning. I also need to cast on some simple projects that I can knit or crochet while editing videos. Sometimes I avoid editing because I cannot easily multitask, so creating something so I can feel doubly productive would be beneficial. 

This week has been ultra busy already - I've started the filming of 6 new videos!  I cannot wait for you to all see what is in store for 2019. 

Friday, December 28, 2018

10 Years of ChemKnits

10 years ago today, I went on a New Years trip to my friends' cabin in New Hampshire.  We were young and loved to pack this house full of friends to have a fun and low key celebration of the new year.  I decided to stay at the house while everyone else went skiing, and I created ChemKnits.

There are honestly a lot of details that are hard to remember.  I have only gone skiing a few times in my life, so I don't remember if I went one day and was tired, or if I just decided to sit this one out.  What I remember the most is researching ear flap hat knitting patterns.  I was not yet aware of Raverly of Pinterest, so I was googling, checking links, and making a list in word to keep track of the various patterns I found.  I found myself wishing that someone had already made such a list, and decided that I should share it with the world.  ChemKnits was born. 

The search for earflap hat knitting patterns was not my first post - I wanted to work on it a bit more, but it was through this post that a lot of people found me. While I was writing for myself, other people started finding me and through your interest I kept sharing what I was working on. 

10 years.  Through this blog, I challenged myself as a knitter and a fiber artist.  I tackled cables and colorwork, designed my first pattern, designed more patterns, learned to crochet, tried dyeing yarn, and learned to spin. I started ChemKnits to learn about myself and to keep track of my own progress - this has been my lab notebook.

It is amazing that a journey can both be so personal but also so public at the same time.  Through my posts and videos, I have grown, but you have also been able to watch me grow.  When I say that we are learning together, I truly mean that, and I love this community that we have created in our corner of the Internet. 

The internet has changed, and I do not post here nearly as frequently as I did in the past.  ChemKnits has evolved, but it is still such a big piece of my soul.  It is hard to say where ChemKnits stops and Rebecca begins, because ChemKnits was born out of my passions. Maybe I need to change my video introduction... I'm not "Rebecca from ChemKnits," I AM ChemKnits.  I hope that I can look back at ChemKnits after another 10 years and feel like I've continued to challenge myself and grow as a fiber artist. 

Thank you for reading.  Thank you for watching.  Thank you for being on this journey with me. 

Thursday, December 13, 2018

2018 Chanukah Special

Chanukah might be over for the year, but we don't really have to stop celebrating!  At the end of the summer, I decided that I wanted to create a special series for Chanukah.  I thought it would be fun to film 8 new dyeing videos with 8 dyeing techniques on 8 different yarn bases.  I would wind up the yarn in to miniskeins to create some samplers to share.

I underestimated a few aspects of this journey.  I thought it would be a lot of work, which it was, and that it was a lot of fun, which it also was.  I don't think I could have anticipated the positive response we got from all of you!  The holiday was truly filled with joy, laughter, and light, with the whole extended ChemKnits family (yes that includes you!)  

I did not expect it to be so hard to avoid sharing spoilers.  When I try something that works great, or I have a cool in progress shot, I love to share those on Instagram or Facebook. I didn't want to give away ANY hints from this series. I wanted everyone who purchased a sampler to be surprised and excited to open up their gift each night.  I have started sharing some of these in progress photos now, and I am so excited that you can finally see them! 

The ChemKnits 2018 Chanukah Sampler is different from a lot of indie dyer samplers/advent calendars for a few reasons.  A big one is that this set contained a mixture of different yarn bases.  I chose 8 different luxury yarns from KnitPicks:  Paragon, Imagination, Gloss, Andean Treasure, Galileo, Capra, Bare Hare, and Alux.  I wanted to send samples of different dyeing techniques and fiber types so you could swatch them and see how they might knit up differently.  

Each miniskein was wrapped in tissue paper inside a snowflake organza bag.  I used some cardboard labels with dreidel stickers to designate the nights.  On the back of each number label there is the fiber content and care instructions for the yarn.  Surprisingly, none of the yarns in this sampler were superwash.  Well, except for the bonus c

Since it might be hard (but not impossible) to make a complete project from the sampler, I wanted to give people an option to include a full 100 g skein of sock yarn. I picked KnitPicks Felici.  The yarn is similar to the stroll that I use all the time, but the spin is a little tighter and the Merino is softer. 

It took me a few tries to get this "Melted Wax" colorway right.  I attempted to make a speckled version that resulted in the birth of the Evil Faerie yarn.  In my second speckled attempt, I created something closer to the vision in my head, but ultimately I loved the way the primary colors mixed together when I dyed a twisted hank of yarn three different times. 

When I sat down to write this post, I mentioned that there were a few things I didn't expect to come out of this series.  After all, I've done other special weeks in the past. (Sock Blank Special, Cellulose Week, Indigo Week.)  I underestimated the positive challenge this would be to me as an indie dyer and an artist.  I wanted to make sure I created distinct colorways, but many of these yarn bases I had never dyed before, so I didn't always know if things would come out as I imagined in my head.  

Another added bonus - I had to reskein all of the yarn to create the samplers.  This means that we got to see where reskeining made a difference in how yarn looked when compared to the "as dyed" skein of yarn.  

It was an absolute pleasure to plan this series, and I am already starting to think about next years!  

If you missed an episode, don't worry!  There is a full recap of the whole week, but you can also find all of the videos in the following playlist: 

Happy Chanukah, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year, everyone!  Which yarn is your favorite?  Do you think I should do this again next year? 

This post contains some KnitPicks affiliate links.  I purchased all of the yarn and materials for this sampler myself.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  

Friday, December 7, 2018

A New ChemKnits Logo and Some New Merch!

I am so pleased to finally share the new ChemKnits Creations logo with all of you!  I wanted to create something that combined Chem-and-Knits but also represented the direction that I've taken with the YouTube channel.  This ball of yarn is sitting in a two neck round bottom flask, a common piece of lab equipment, to represent both the science side and the dyeing experiments that we all love.

This logo was designed by Taryn Johnson is a brilliant graphic designer and artist.  I have been a fan of Taryn's artwork for a long time, so when I reached out to her this fall with my vision I was thrilled that she was able to work with me on this logo.  You should absolute check out her other work!

What was the first thing I did with my logo?  I ran to a few different print-on-demand sites to play around with it on different products.  I wanted to test the scale and quality before offering some merchandise to all of you.  I am so pleased to finally offer some official ChemKnits Merchandise! Right now there are a few mug options (including a jumbo 20 oz mug and a color changing mug that was requested by viewers) plus the ChemKnits "Dyeary" Notebook. 

Stay tuned, because some more merchandise is coming soon! 

To be perfectly honest, I haven't decided how to integrate this logo here into the Blog yet... I still like my hand knit logo a bit. The blog that started everything off, and is about to turn 10 years old in just a few weeks.  I have some plans (plans is a strong word, ideas is likely better) for a new website to center and ground all of the directions that ChemKnits is going... but this blog will never be going anywhere.  The look might change, but ChemKnits.com will always be the blog that started it all.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Mystery Surprise Color Combinations! TODAY 9:30 AM EST

Fate has given us some of our very favorite broken food coloring colorways.  Why would I want to up the ante and get a kit that had 50 different food coloring colors to choose from?  The chalkboard is back, and I'm going to let the dice decide some fun yarn colors! 

I recently purchased the AmeriColor Nifty Fifty Kit which has 50 of their gel food coloring colors in it.  I promptly mixed all 50 colors together to create in a video some really pretty pink-green yarn colorways.  (Unfortunately, after filming the video I realized that they also have a Heavenly Seventy Kit... whoops!) 

This "fresh box of crayons" is calling my name. Join me today at 9:30 AM EST as I pull out my dice to mix some randomly selected colors together.  What kinds of colorways will we create on yarn? There are still a couple of preorder slots left, so you can pick the yarn base that I dye if you hurry.  Once the livestream begins, any remaining slots will default to "Surprise Sock." 

I hope you can join me in the livestream!  

This post contains affiliate links, but the post and these videos are not sponsored.  I selected the products and all thoughts and opinions are my own.  

Friday, November 23, 2018

Black Friday is here! ChemKnits Creations, KnitPicks, Paradise Fibers, and more!

Hello, friends!  It is time for a fiber filled Black Friday and Small Business Saturday!  There are some great discounts going around, and I'm going to share some of my favorites.

In addition to my own store, the following are fiber and crafting companies that I am proud to work with.  All of the links in this post are affiliate links, but I chose which companies to include in this post. 

ChemKnits Creations Etsy Store

I am pleased to announce my first ever Black Friday Sale in the ChemKnits Creations Etsy Store! Through Monday, save 30% off on over 50 skeins of hand dyed yarn featured in my YouTube videos. (See the "on Sale" category in the shop.)

"Mystery Surprise Yarn" is back with a Cyber Weekend Twist.  While supplies last, you can add a second mystery surprise skein of hand dyed yarn for $5 or $10!  With a full retail value of $48 - $58, you can get some MASSIVE savings on these mystery yarns.


KnitPicks is bringing back our favorite Black Friday coupon! (Affiliate link) 20% off sitewide with the code CYBER18.  This sale ends on Monday 11/26 (likely at 11:59 PM PST) so don't miss your chance to stock up on your favorites.  I like to use this coupon on bulk 20 packs.  With the 15% off bulk savings stacked with the 20% off coupon, that is a savings of 32%!

Lowest prices on the best yarn - guaranteed at knitpicks.com 

Paradise Fibers

Paradise Fibers is having a HUGE fiber sale for Black Friday! Save up to 60% off! There is free shipping over orders of $99+.  Wheels and Looms are 5% off (some brands are excluded), up to 40% off yarn, fiber, needles, and hooks.  Select items are 60% off! 


KnitCrate has decided to delay their Black Friday sale this year.  Stay tuned for great deals later on tihs month.
"First of all, thank you for your continued patience this month. We know it has not been easy, and we apologize. Because of this delay, we have decided to postpone our Black Friday and Double Down sales until next week. This will allow for more of you to receive your crates this month and not miss out on buying more of the skeins during the sale.  We will keep tabs on when most kits have arrived to a majority of our community and will post the sale then. "
You can always save 20% off your first month's subscription of KnitCrate with the code ChemKnits20, but I take the above message to mean that something big is coming soon!


Discounted Bluprint monthly and annual plans are now available!  For a limited time, the monthly subscription is $7.99 (discounted from $14.99) and the annual subscription is $80 (discounted from $120.)  See the website for full details and other savings when you signup for bluprint.  These savings include 50% off supplies, free shipping at craftsy.com for one year, and more. Sale ends 11/26/18 at 11:59 PM MST.

Bluprint Black Friday Deals - Best Membership Prices of 2018! Valid 11/21-11/26/18 at myBluprint.com

Disclaimer - all of the companies that I linked to can change their sales at any times.  I am an affiliate marketer with KnitPicks, Paradise Fibers, KnitCrate, and BluPrint.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  These companies did not ask me to write this post, I just wanted to share all of these good deals with you.