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!