Friday, August 31, 2018

Weekly Roundup - Stripes and Repeating Colorways

Self striping yarn is a lot of fun, but it isn't something that I have a lot of experience dyeing.  Some of my favorite dip dyed skeins do create repeating colorways that can almost look like microstripes or spirals depending on how they pool, but this isn't the same as a true self striping yarn which would allow you to get multiple rounds in one color on socks or mittens. 

In Dyepot Weekly #68, I used two balls of yarn to create a crochet chain of crochet chains.  I divided my 100 g skein bare KnitPicks Wool of the Andes worsted weight yarn (Affiliate link) in two 50 balls of yarn and then crocheted two strands with a K hook into a long chain.  I wound this chain into a center pull ball, and used both ends of the ball with a size N hook (9.0 mm) to create a much thicker crochet chain of crochet chains.

In the video, I decided to fold the chain up and paint it so we could get a self striping pattern.  All of the stripes won't be perfectly even, but the two 50 g skeins are perfectly matched to be used together or separately.  

I just love how the yarn looks on the niddy noddy! 

In Dyepot Weekly #58, I did a similar technique to make my crochet chains, but I started with fingering weight yarn and some thicker hooks. First, I separated 100 g of KnitPicks bare stroll fingering weight yarn (Affiliate Link) into two 50 g balls.  I used the size N (9.0 mm) hook to make a super loose chain of the fingering weight yarn.  My chains got looser and looser as I went on, almost like I was n-plying vs crocheting.  Just like in the previous one, I used a larger hook (jumbo in this case) to crochet the two ends of this crochet chain together.  

Finally, I took the two ends of this chain and held them together to create one LARGE crochet chain.  This time I used my hands instead of a hook, just like if I were to crochet some roving.  This gave us a piece of yarn that we could dye to get some kind of repeating pattern. 

I decided to dip this braid into some Wilton's Violet food coloring to see how the colors might break.  The result is a speckled gradient that goes from purple to a pale blue.  Since the yarn was folded over on itself multiple times, this is a bit of a repeating gradient.  

I was a bit disappointed that the breaking wasn't as extreme as we see sometimes, but I think that I forgot that we had a LOT less surface area here, so the reds were able to bind to more of the yarn.  Nevertheless, the final result is STUNNING and I think that I would try it again sometime. 

I plan to do some more traditional self striping techniques in the future, but I thought it would be fun to try out another type of blank.  The benefit of these crochet chains is that anyone can create one pretty easily.  You can get a self striping pattern easier with a long and skinny chain than you could with a wider blank.  There is a lot of manual work involved, but I prepped all of this yarn in an evening while watching some TV.  

I look forward to playing with some more traditional self striping techniques, including multiple miniskeins and some VERY long skeins of yarn. I haven't started prepping for these videos yet, but they are certainly high up on my list!  

Thursday, August 30, 2018

ChemKnits Creations Labor Day Sale!

It's the ChemKnits Creations Labor Day Sale starts today! Get 10% off all ready to ship skeins of yarn. There are over 100 skeins of yarn included in the sale that were dyed in past or upcoming ChemKnits Tutorials dyeing videos.  Most of my colorways are one of a kind, so if there is one that you love don't miss your chance to bring it home. 

Some exclusions apply: The sale does not apply to Dyepot Weekly Sponsorship, dyed to order skeins, or the 2018 Chanukah Miniskein Sampler preorder. The sale cannot be applied to shipping fees or past purchases. The Labor Day Sale discount cannot be combined with other promotions. Sale ends 9/3/18 at 11:59 PM EST. No coupon code is necessary, sale prices are marked.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Weekly Roundup - Indigo Week!

It is Indigo Week on the ChemKnits Tutorials YouTube channel!  Stony Creek Colors sent me some of their American grown, plant extracted indigo so I could start my first vat.  This project was full of up and downs, but I am so happy that I was able to publish SIX fun videos with my indigo journey this week on the ChemKnits Tutorials YouTube channel. 

It is Indigo Week on the #ChemKnitsTutorials YouTube channel! The first three videos of my adventures feature my failed attempts to set up an iron vat, and then how I successfully reisolated the indigo to set up a hydrosulfite vat. Thank you so much @stonycreekcolors, for your beautiful plant derived Indigo and for helping me troubleshoot my way to a working vat. πŸ’™πŸŒΏ If you want to follow the whole journey, check out the indigo week playlist, or you can start with Dyepot Weekly #66 to watch me make my first successful indigo dyed yarn. . . . . #indigovat #naturaldyeing #dyepotweekly #stonycreekcolors #indigo #dyeingchemistry #dyewool #dyecotton #indiedyer #fiberartist #summercrafts #outside #indiedyersofinstagram #dyestagram #playwithcolor #dyeallthethings #yarn #yarnlover #yarnie #trysomethingnew
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A few weeks ago, I talked about my first indigo vat fail in the weekly roundup. I was so excited to try this out, but unfortunately my first attempt to set up the iron vat just did not work.  The indigo didn't reduce and I was unable to dye fiber.    Stony Creek worked with me that week to come up with a plan to convert my failed iron vat into a successful hydrosulfite vat.  I am so happy that I decided to stick with the project and get something that worked! 

As I was preparing for my first indigo vat, Stony Creek Colors was working on developing their own 5 gallon kit to sell through their website.  They recommend Graham Keegan's protocols, which unfortunately did not work for me.  They, too, ran into issues with Graham's protocol. Graham has been selling an indigo kit (using Stony Creek Colors' Indigo - which is why they directed me to those instructions) for a while.

Stony Creek Colors now has their own protocols for a few different types of indigo vats.  They have their own iron vat protocol (this one works!) and a hydrosulfite vat protocol which is very similar to the one that I used successfully.  You can even buy a kit so you can get everything you need to start dyeing with their plant derived indigo yourself. 

I greatly appreciate Stony Creek Colors working with me while I was troubleshooting this vat. Without their help, I would have thrown this away and given up.  Instead, I was able to isolate the indigo and convert my iron vat to a hydro vat where I successfully dyed yarn with indigo.  HORRAY!

It is so fun to see the range of blues that can be created with this technique!  I plan to re-start my vat again so I can try a few other yarn dyeing techniques and also play around with dyeing some fabric.  What would you dye with indigo?  

Sometimes things don't work as expected.  Watch as I attempt (and fail) to create my first ever indigo vat.  This video is edited as I proceeded.  You will see my hope, doubt, and disappointment.  Thank you so much, Stony Creek Colors, for not only sending me the indigo, but also working with me all afternoon when the first protocol I followed didn't work for me.  You helped me reach a strategy to resurrect this vat (switching from an iron vat to a hydro vat) so I could successfully use the indigo to dye yarn.

You can watch my whole indigo vat journey in the indigo week playlist here:

KnitCrate Flash Sale!

KnitCrate flash sale is still going on!  If you sign up for the August 2018 KnitCrate Membership Subscription you will get a BONUS free crate for just the cost of shipping charges.  This is two crates for $29.99!  When you got to the website, wait for the pop up and click the "Get My Free Crate" button.  (Note, the free crate will vary based on availability, but you will see a preview of the free crate in the popup.)  

Disclaimer: I am a KnitCrate Affiliate and they send me the KnitCrate Membership and the Sock Crate every month so I can share them with all of you.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Weekly Roundup - More Mommy and Me Yarn Dyeing

This week started with a fun Mommy and Me dyeing adventure.  Except this time we expanded beyond just Mommy and Lucky.  Lucky's friend, O, and his mom joined us to dye some cotton yarn with Tulip One Step Tie Dye.  I really love the cotton boucle from KnitPicks (affiliate link), and I know that the kids had a blast.

I covered my kitchen table with an Ikea shower curtain to protect it.  The presoaked cotton yarn was laid on top of plastic wrap so it would be easier to wrap up the yarn after the kids were done painting.

Lucky wore gloves while dyeing for the first time.  The purple nitrite gloves were comically large on the kids, but we were able to get their fingers in the correct position.  

The kids picked Orange, Fuschia, Red, and Teal.  I love the way these brights play off of each other.  You can find all four of these colors in the Tulip One Step Tie Dye "Luau" Kit (affiliate link).  I mixed the dye in the bottles that came with the kit, and then we poured some of the colors into plastic cups so they would have limited access to liquid at any given time. Any spills were easily caught by the yarn.  The boys used foam brushes to dab the dye onto the yarn in the patterns they wanted. 

When the boys were done painting their yarn, we wrapped it up in plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for a few days.  The yarn is still drying or else I'd share a finished picture of Lucky's yarn now.

As I was writing this Weekly Roundup, a photo popped up in my Facebook Memories from the first dye-a-long that I hosted.  I was pregnant with Lucky at the time, and it is fun to think that we've come full circle.

There was so much dye left over, that I ended up filming TWO "leftover dye" livestreams.  I should have a recap video up on the YouTube channel later this weekend to summarize all of the beautiful yarns that came from these four colors.

Overdyeing Roving

In Dyepot Weekly #64, I decided to overdye some pink WOTA roving from KnitPicks.  (Affiliate Link)  Some of the pink heathering shows through in the final yarn, and I am absolutely in love with how it turned out.  I decided to overdye it with blues, purples, and greens because I didn't want to play it completely safe.  The lime green color could have turned into an ugly brown, but I wanted to show that even with overdyeing you don't need to stick with complementary colors.  

Sun Dyeing

The summer has been H-O-T hot.  It is so hot that I don't really want to sit outside in the shade while the kids do water play too often.  I did decide, however, to take advantage of some of this heat and to try doing some sun dyeing outside.  

I did film a video of this project, and you can expect to see all of the details on the ChemKnits Tutorials YouTube channel sometime in September. This sneak peek was so poplar that I wanted to show everyone what the finished yarn looked like:

ChemKnits Chanukah 2018

Preorders for the ChemKnits Chanukah Miniskine Sampler are still open!  I'm not sure when I'll shut down preorders, but you really don't want to miss your chance to grab one.  I started dyeing the videos for this special week and they are AWESOME.  I will close the presale for the limited edition 100 g skein of sock yarn before I close pre-orders for the miniskein set.  So if you want a full skein wrapped up in your box don't wait too long!  

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Weekly Roundup - Red Cabbage, Dylon, and More

When I am filming new dyeing videos, I separate them into numbered Dyepot Weekly (DPW) episodes and "bonus" episodes.  Bonus videos frequently involve leftover dye or a repeated technique.  Sometimes they're not numbered because I want to fit them into the same week, or that's the easiest way for me to get the video out quickly.

This week I released MULTIPLE new yarn dyeing videos.  Dyepot PS #4 became public, and I shared multiple Dylon dyeing videos in addition to Dyepot Weekly #63.

In Dyepot Weekly #63 I took a look at the Dylon Hand Dyes for handpainting.  I dissolved two different colors into warm tap water and then used sponge brushes to paint the dye onto 4 different types of KnitPicks yarn.  (Affiliate Link)  I used Shine Sport (a cotton/modal blend), Wool of the Andes Worsted (100% wool), Cotlin (cotton/linen blend), and Simply Cotton (100% cotton).  This dyeing method used no vinegar and no heat.  After applying the dye you only need to wait an hour for some super vibrant colors.  I love the subtle differences between these yarns!  

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Dyeing with Red Cabbage

I love playing with natural colors that can be extracted from foods and other plants.  I decided to play with red cabbage using NO mordants at first because I wanted to see if we could get any colors to bind to the fibers without adding some metals to our process.  This kept the whole process food safe and I was able to play with it inside in my kitchen.

Red cabbage is a super fun dye to play with.  The color you extract is pH sensative, so you can shift the hue by adding acid (like vinegar) or base (like baking soda).  I was able to get three distinct hues on wool yarns!

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Unfortunately, the colors were no where near as vibrant as they were in the pots.  I think that with mordants we could intensify the shades.  Unfortunately, Red cabbage is a "fugative dye" so it will fade with time unlike some other natural colors.  Nevertheless, I think it is super fun to play with and would be FANTASTIC as some home kitchen science to play with kids.  I know that my kids will enjoy testing what things in our kitchen will shift the red cabbage color. 

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KnitCrate Flash Sale!

KnitCrate is having a flash sale on the KnitCrate Membership Subscription!  If you sign up for the August 2018 crate now you can get a July 2018 crate for just the shipping cost.  This is two crates for $29.99!  When you got to the website, wait for the pop up and click the "Get My Free Crate" button.  

Disclaimer: I am a KnitCrate Affiliate and they send me the KnitCrate Membership and the Sock Crate every month so I can share them with all of you.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Weekly Roundup - Vacation Hashtags

Last week I had a very productive dyeing week... which means that this week needed to focus on some more editing.  I did get some dyeing done, I worked on Dyepot PS #5 and a new sponsored video.  I think the yarns are really awesome, but I don't want to give you any spoilers!

Doing some dyeing projects breaks up the sedentary nature of some planned editing days... but unfortunately it also means that I get a lot less editing done.  I have big plans for this weekend (see below) but I have a feeling that I might still try to get SOME editing done.  The editing itself isn't the long part, it takes hours for my computer to export the files so I can upload them to YouTube.  I try to edit 2-3 videos at a time so I can export multiple at once, but it still can be a pretty slow process.

It can be hard to separate work from play when my "work" has been born out of my favorite activities.  What would you do if you had a weekend all to yourself?

Dyepot Weekly

Sometimes I try a technique on a whim only to discover that it is completely awesome and a new favorite. I love my "Dry Rub" technique of rubbing dry yarn into spilled dye.  In Dyepot Weekly #61, I took the original technique (first tried with leftover Tulip Tie Dye) and added a steaming step to it.  Steaming the tie dyed yarn in a dye safe pot means that the whole dyeing and washing process can be done in a few hours versus a few days.

One of these skeins is still available in the ChemKnits Creations Etsy store! 


Last weekend Lucky, my 4 year old, and I had a "Fantabulous" weekend together.  It was a staycation/exploration/Mommy and Me weekend.  We did all kinds of things together, but one of the items high on Lucky's list was for us to dye yarn together.

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I cannot WAIT to edit this video together.  I filled some squirt guns with water and then added about 6 drops of liquid food coloring to each one.  Lucky picked out the colors, and I think they went together really well!  Lucky is a NATURAL YouTuber, I wish you could hear him vamp for the camera when he thinks it is still rolling.  "So.. you have to check out the more videos.  You can find them on YouTube!" Lucky also now thinks that "action" means that filming ends for some reason.

Anyway, we had a BLAST dyeing yarn together, even if we also ended up with brightly colored hands, feet, and knees.  In a couple of weeks we're going to have one of his friends over to dye some cotton yarn, but I have a feeling we might stick with foam brushes for that one.  Two preschoolers with dye filled squirt guns seems like a baaaad idea!

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ChemKnits Patreon Update

This week, I did some minor changes to the ChemKnits Patreon campaign.  (Patreon is a platform where fans can support content creators on a monthly basis.  As a thank you, Patrons get some fun perks.) 

I tweeked some of the information on the page itself, but the biggest change is that the ChemKnits Patreon is now on a "charge upfront" system.  Starting yesterday, Patreon will charge your credit card the the day you join, and the on the 1st of every month after that.  Some of the perks will be immediately available to you, while some others (shout outs and exclusive coupons to the ChemKnitsCreations Etsy Store) you will start receiving the following month.  Since this means that new Patrons will have two payments before they start getting the monthly coupons, I decided to increase the discount that I am offering to Alpaca ($10/month) and Silk ($25/month) Patrons.  Starting this month, eligible Alpaca Patrons will get a 15% off coupon and Silk Patrons will get a 25% off coupon every month!  Learn more about these changes and feel free to reach out with any questions.  


It just happens that my personal staycation is taking place one week after Lucky and I had our mommy-son weekend together.  I am excited to pick up a project that I started on my craftcation 2017 and see if I can finish up this quilt top.  I hope to come to you next week glowing over my relaxing weekend of sewing, knitting... and sleeping!