Thursday, December 10, 2020

2020 ChemKnits Chanukah Special!

Happy Chanukah, everyone! Chanukah begins at sundown tonight, and at 8:30 PM we will kick off the 2020 ChemKnits Chanukah Special!  Every night of Chanukah I will release a new yarn dyeing video at 8:30 PM EST on the ChemKnits Tutorials YouTube Channel.  These will be scheduled as premieres on YouTube, which means that I will be in the LIVE chat room to react, answer questions, and hang out with all of you as we celebrate with some laughter and warmth.  

All of the videos can be found in the following playlist as they are released:

After the live premiere, each video will be available as a standard YouTube video so don't worry if you can't join the premiere.  I have so much fun hanging out in the chat room with all of you and cannot wait for you to see the colors I created!  

The 2020 Chanukah Special will be 11 nights long - 8 nights of Chanukah + 2 bonus full skein dyeing videos + 1 vlog on developing the videos and the Chanukah Samplers.  A lot of the techniques I did this year have inspired a lot of other videos that are coming up, so make sure you're subscribed on YouTube!

The videos vary in length, so for planning purposes, here is what you can expect (all times are approximate):
  • Night 1 (12/10) - 36 minutes
  • Night 2 (12/11) - 45 minutes
  • Night 3 (12/12) - 40 minutes
  • Night 4 (12/13) - 35 minutes
  • Night 5 (12/14) - 40 minutes
  • Night 6 (12/15) - 46 minutes
  • Night 7 (12/16) - 1 hour 2 minutes
  • Night 8 (12/17) - 35 minutes
  • Bonus 1 (12/18) - TBD
  • Bonus 2 (12/19) - TBD
  • Vlog (12/20) - TBD 

To avoid spoilers, I will be scheduling the premieres with generic titles and thumbnails, like the one below.  If you would like to avoid further spoilers, don't look in the video description!  I will adjust the title after the premiere each night and schedule the next night's video.  


I wish you a Chanukah filled with warmth, light, and laughter!  

Thursday, November 5, 2020

2020 KnitPicks Big Sale - Predictions and Tracking the Deals!

The KnitPicks Big Sale starts November 9, 2020 at 6 AM PST! All November I will be updating this post to keep track of the awesome KnitPicks deals and discounts they offer, including my picks for the best discounts on bare yarn.  I am a KnitPicks affiliate marketer, so the links in this post are affiliate links and I do earn commissions on sales made through my links.  

I don't know what deals and specials are coming this year... but take a look at the 2019 KnitPicks Big Sale and 2018 KnitPicks Big Sale to see what deals they have offered in the past.  I predict that in addition to hundred of skeins up to 60% off for the Big Sale, we will see some "freebie" deals (eg. free item with $65 purchase), some limited edition yarn bases, and $1 patterns.  In the past few years, KnitPicks has released a new special daily deal every couple of days in addition to some specials that take place for the duration of the sale. 

Deal of the Day? 

In 2018 and 2019, KnitPicks offered special deals every couple of days.  I will update this post every morning with any new information so we can see what to expect.  The Big Sale starts at 6 AM PST on Monday 11/9/2020, but I'm not sure yet what time any daily deals will go live.  They went live at 9 AM EST in 2018 and 8 AM EST in 2019, but I expect that we will learn more on Monday morning.  I'm not sure what time each daily deal will go live, but from the graphic below we know when to expect them.   UPDATE: Deal of the Days go live at 8 AM EST! 

  • 11/9/2020 - Launch of the KnitPicks Big Sale!  Hundreds of skeins are up to 60% off.  Sale ends on 11/24/2020.  
  • 11/10/2020 - $1 KnitPicks Patterns.  The Deal of the Day launched at 8 AM EST (5 AM PST).  My shopping strategy with digital deals is to place the rest of my cart in my wishlist and then checkout with the patterns I want, and then get my cart ready for the next day.  
  • 11/12/2020 - Save 20% off Yarn Value Packs with the coupon code "BIGVALUE" - this daily deal is the same on both KnitPicks and WeCrochet.  Unfortunately as of 8 AM this deal did not work on the bulk bare yarn 20 packs, but there are some bare yarn value packs (best of bare lace, best of bare sock etc) that were marked down and stack with the coupon, so I picked up some of those.  Don't forget you can only use one coupon code per purchase! 
  • 11/17/2020 -  $1/$3/$5 dollar deals!  These look to be the same on both KnitPicks and WeCrochet form a quick look.  There are also $5 books on both websites.  
  • 11/19/2020 - 30% off all knitting needles.  NOTE: crochet hooks are not on sale through KntiPicks - but they are 30% off at WeCrochet today! WeCrochet also has a few other freebies so it could be worth checking out the sister sale.
  • 11/24/2020 - 40% off ball winders and swifts.  This is the last day of the big sale, unless KnitPicks decides to extend it.  I predict that it might be a free shipping bonus, maybe a lower minimum. 


We Crochet - other deals?!?

KnitPicks has another company, "We Crochet" that has mostly the same products, but there are actually other promotions for the big sale at WeCrochet!  There are a lot of similarities, but each site has some different "freebie" deals and you can get a lot of the same yarn discounts on each site.  (For example, WeCrochet has a granny square enamel pin that KnitPicks doesn't have!) 

  • 11/10/2020 - Free print magazine with $50+ purchase
  • 11/12/2020 - Save 20% off Yarn Value Packs with the coupon code "BIGVALUE" - this daily deal is the same on both KnitPicks and WeCrochet.
  • 11/17/2020 - $1/$3/$5 dollar deals!  These look to be the same on both KnitPicks and WeCrochet form a quick look.  There are also $5 books on both websites.  
  • 11/19/2020 - 30% off Exclusive Crochet Hooks 
  • 11/24/2020 - 40% off ball winders and swifts.
From what I've found, most offerings on KnitPicks can be found on WeCrochet, but there might be some differences.  WeCrochet is more crochet focused.  I also found out that WeCrochet carries Lion Brand yarn!  I had no idea. 

What deals do I wait for?

For bare yarn that I buy in bulk, I will jump on discounts that are 40-60% off individual skeins.  Skeins that are 20-30% off I will purchase if I only want a couple. (Here is the math: 20% off a 15% discounted bulk pack gives you a 32% discount on the yarn.) Typically KnitPicks has huge site wide coupons on Black Friday and Cyber Monday (In 2018 this was 20% off sitewide but in 2019 this was 25% off!) so I will wait for this for bulk bare yarn purchases since the coupons stack with the discounted bulk purchase. 

I LOVE some freebie deals (free enamel pin with $50+ purchase, for example.)  There is often a limit on how many times you can use these coupons, but I have been known to place multiple orders during the Big Sale week.

$1/$3/$5 yarn deals and Limited edition ("Special Reserve") yarns are always a lot of fun.  Sometimes these sell out during the big sale, other times they are around for a few years. (Full Circle roving, how I miss you!) For the huge discounted skeins, these can go FAST - within an hour sometimes! 

Many years ago, KnitPicks offered some "oops" colorways and samples and this was SUPER fun.  I would LOVE to see this again.  

Remember: Individual skein discounts don't stack with bulk bare yarn!

You can get bulk bare yarn discounts at KnitPicks any time of year, saving 15% off packs of 20 skeins.  This bulk discount does NOT stack with individual marked down skeins.  For example, if Wool of the Andes Worsted is 40% off, you should purchase 20 individual skeins instead of the bulk pack because there you will only see 15% off.   It is ALWAYS worth double checking before you make your purchase! 

There is a chance that KnitPicks will give deeper discounts for bulk bare yarn, but otherwise I tend to wait for a site wide coupon that historically comes around Black Friday and Cyber Monday.    (Again, I have no inside information, these are just predictions based on patterns from previous years.) Site wide coupon codes do stack with the bulk bare yarn discount, so if you have a coupon code, check to see which gives you the better discount.  


The Biggest Discounts on Bare Yarn in 2020

  • Bare Biggo, Bare Chroma worsted, and Bare Curio are 25% off
  • Bare Chroma Twist Bulky is 40% off
  • Bare Chroma fingering is 50% off
KnitPicks has a dedicated BARE YARN tab on the sale page!  Many of the bare yarn is 10-15% off, which is great if you want to try individual skeins.  However, if you buy in bulk you may want to hold out for a site wide coupon.  For the steepest discounts, look for pastel skeins or the few I mentioned above.  

What is in my cart? 

The most exciting moment of the big sale for me is the release of FIVE NEW LIMITED EDITION BARE YARN bases!!  All o these bases are 15% off and the prices I'm listing below reflect the sale price.  
  • Limited Edition Bare Merino & Mohair - Worsted Weight 80% Merion / 20% SuperKid Mohair.  $12.74 / 100 g.  
  • Limited Edition Bare Andean Highland Wool - Super Bulky 100% Andean Highland Wool.  $7.64/100 g
  • Limited Edition Bare Baby Alpaca - DK Weight 100% Baby Alpaca.  $11.04 / 100 g.  
  • Limited Edition Bare Merino Fingering Weight 80% Merino Wool / 20% Nylon, $9.34/ 100 g.  
  • Limited Edition Bare Organic Merino 100% Fingering weight.  Organic Merino Single Ply.  $10.19 / 100 g

I do not know what to think of these new bases and how they different from existing ones like Andean Treasure or Preciosa... but I'm excited for them to arrive! 

 


I used the code "PIN2020" to get a free enamel pin with my $50+ purchase.  There are some other freebies that include Zipper Pouch, Calendar, and Stitch Marker tin.  These all have different coupon codes that are limited to one per order, but I'm not sure if you can use another code on a second order. I placed this order around 9:05 on Monday 11/9, so we'll see how long it takes to arrive.  I will do a live unboxing as soon as it is here.  


I am a KnitPicks Affiliate which means that I earn commission for sales made through my links.  I made all of the recommendations and product selections on my own and purchased them myself.  I have no inside information on the KnitPicks sale and my predictions are based on knowledge of previous years.  

Friday, August 28, 2020

Dive into Dyeing with ChemKnits & KnitCrate! (NEW Learn to Dye Subscription Course!)

I am thrilled to share that I teamed up with KnitCrate & Dyer Supplier to create 15 videos for their new learn to dye course: Dive into Dyeing! Last summer, I filmed 15 videos to accompany this three month subscription to help you get started on your yarn dyeing journey.  

I am an affiliate marketer with KnitCrate and Dyer Supplier which means I earn commissions on sales made through my links.  All of the links and coupon codes to both companies in this blog post are affiliate links/codes.


Dive into Dyeing is a 3-month subscription kit designed to introduce you to hand dyeing yarn with acid dyes and highlights 3 techniques (semi-solid, variegated, and speckles).  Each month you will receive 200 g of bare yarn, 3 - 1/2 oz jars of Jacquard acid dyes, gloves, a booklet with step by step instructions, and some other extras that will be helpful in your dyeing journey.  I filmed 15 videos to accompany this subscription to help you get set up with tools & equipment, safety tips, and then how to begin your yarn dyeing journey.  


What is included in the Dive into Dyeing Subscription?

Each month's Dive into Dyeing box will include 2 - 100 g skeins of yarn, 3 - 1/2 ounce jars of Jacquard acid dyes, 2 gloves, 2 zip ties, a booklet with step-by-step instructions, and some extras.  The step by step instructions are fantastic - KnitCrate pulled images from the videos I created and included color coded explanations of formulas so you can keep track of your dyeing recipes.  

What are the extras?  Box 1 will include citric acid, Box 2 will include some squeeze bottles and wooden stirrers, and Box 3 will also include some stirrers.  


What else do I need to start dyeing yarn? What is not included in the Dive into Dyeing Subscription? 

The Dive into Dyeing subscription does NOT include Respirator masks / Dust masks, Safety glasses, pots/pans/steamers, measuring spoons, digital scales.  

Personal safety is really important.  I recommend that you get a N95 or respirator mask with P100 filters for when you are dealing with dry dye powder.  I also wear protective safety goggles and gloves.  

Make sure that all of the tools and equipment you plan to use for yarn dyeing are dedicated for dye and won't be used for the preparation of food.  Here are some of my favorite dedicate dye tools for dyeing yarn. 


How much is the Dive into Dyeing Subscription? 

Dive into Dyeing is $39.99/month which includes the cost of shipping.  New KnitCrate customers can save 20% off the first month with the coupon code "chemknits20"


Can I cancel after the first month? 

Yes.  I believe that if you sign up again a few months later the system should know you have already received lesson 1 and start you back up with lesson 2.  Please reach out to KnitCrate directly to confirm.  


What is covered in the videos?

  • Dyeing Tools and Equipment
  • Safety tips for dyeing yarn at home
  • How to make acid dye stock solutions
  • Level 1 (goes with the Month 1 box) - How to dye Semi-solid yarn
  • Level 2 (goes with the Month 2 box) - How to dye variegated yarn on the countertop
  • Level 3 (goes with the Month 3 box) - How to dye speckled yarn low immersion 
There are also some bonus videos that will demonstrate some other fun ways you can combine color and yarn:
  • Dyeing a yarn cake for a fun gradient
  • Dyeing a 2-color gradient with connected miniskeins
  • Dyeing self striping yarn
  • Dyeing variegated and speckled yarn low immersion
  • Dyeing "watercolor" yarn
  • Solar dyeing yarn in mason jars
  • Ice dyeing yarn
Finally, there are two videos that feature food coloring.  Food coloring works very similar to acid dyes so a lot of the above videos will also work with food coloring.  
  • Dyeing yarn with KoolAid in the microwave
  • Dyeing yarn with KoolAid in a crock pot

Want to watch the videos to see if yarn dyeing is for you?  You can!  The videos I created for KnitCrate are available to the public for free.  I created a Dive into Dyeing playlist that I will share on my channel or you can watch all 15 videos below: 




Are the included gloves laytex-free? 

Yes!  The gloves are vinyl laytex-free and powder-free.  

Can we watch you unbox the Dive into Dyeing Subscription? 

Yes!  I will unbox the first level on Friday 8/28 at 1 PM EST on the ChemKnits Tutorials YouTube Channel.  You can watch the replay below: 



I am an affiliate marketer with KnitCrate and Dyer Supplier which means I earn commission on purchases made after clicking on my affiliate links.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Respirator Masks for Dyeing Yarn

When you are dyeing yarn with commercial dyes, it is important to consider safety and personal protective equipment.  You should always dye in dedicated pots and equipment that isn't used for the preparation of food.  When dealing with dry dye powder, you need a particle mask or respirator to make sure you don't inhale any dye particles. 



When I dye with acid dyes, I wear a deluxe rubber respirator. This is a "Moldex 8000 Series Assembled Respirator" that uses replaceable NIOSH P100 Particulate Filters.  I don't use any vapor cartridges for my dyeing practices, but check the listing for more details about when those would be necessary. I purchased this respirator from Dharma Trading Company, the same website where I source most of my dyes.  Unfortunately, due to the pandemic these respirators have been sold out for months, and as of early August 2020 there hasn't been a restock date given.  


Rubber Respirator Masks Recommended by Indie Dyers
I crowd sourced recommendations for masks and respirators from other indie dyer business owners.  Please note that I haven't tried these brands or ordered from some of these websites unless noted below.  Multiple dyers recommend the website Grainger for ordering respirator masks.  They have a lot of half mask respirator and filter options that are currently available.  Some of these recommended models may be available on other websites, too.  

  • 3M 7500 series respirator - Note that this listing does NOT include the filters.  See below. (Here is another link directly to the 3M website but I don't think you can order from them directly: 3M 7500 series respirators
    • P100 filters for the 3M respirators. There are disk filters (that look like pink disks) and combination cartidges (these look more like a box with a cap). I believe that either of these will work with the 3M 7500 and 6000 series half mask respirators.  
  • 3M 6000 half mask respirators - Some of the options through Grainger include the P100 filters and others you purchase the filters separately.  Please read the listings thoroughly! The 3M filter options listed below should work with this mask.  
    • P100 filters for the 3M respirators. There are disk filters (that look like pink disks) and combination cartidges (these look more like a box with a cap). I believe that either of these will work with the 3M 7500 and 6000 series half mask respirators.  
  • Honewell North 770 Series Half Mask Respirator - Please note with your selection as some of these come with the respirator cartridge included and others you need to purchase the cartridge separately. I would select one with a P100 filter option.  
  • Prochem is selling single NIOSH certified N95 masks. As of 8/7/2020 they are only selling masks to existing customers.  From their website: "We have limited supplies and need to supply to our existing customers that need these on a regular basis to conduct their businesses. The manufacturers have increased pricing and we have a limited supply of masks available. We will keep you updated as information is made available to us. Thank you for your understanding!"

Recommended Options that were out of stock at the time I wrote this post: 



More Useful Mask Information

When should you wear your mask? Whenever you are dealing with dry powder. I wear my respirator mask whenever I am working with dry dye powder and some other powdered chemicals.  I wear it when I am speckling, preparing stock solutions, and other similar techniques.  Once dyes are dissolved in liquid, I take off my mask.  Many dyers prefer to work from stock solutions because then you can limit the amount of time that you are in contact with the dry powder.  

Make sure that you're working in a well ventilated area away from children and pets.  

Make sure your mask fits properly! When you are wearing a properly fitting mask all of the air you breathe will go through the filters.  If air goes in and out around the edges of the mask then it does not fit correctly.  Please refer to the manufacturer instructions on proper fit for your mask.  

What other safety equipment do I need?
You should wear safety glasses/goggles and wear gloves when dealing with powders.  I personally prefer to wear nitrile gloves over latex because these were my favorite gloves from when I worked in a lab.  

What is the difference between N100 and P100 filters?  These are both good for protecting the wearer from small particles.  The "N" means that these are not resistant to oil.  The "P" respirators are oil proof.  Source

How do I know if I have a real N95 or P100 mask?  Due to the global pandemic, some companies are marketing items as N95 masks that aren't actually NIOSH approved. Please read the following article from the CDC on Counterfeit Respirators / Misrepresentation of NIOSH-Approval. Try to make your purchases from a trusted vendor.  

Can I wear a homemade cloth mask/bandanna for dyeing yarn?  No.  Cloth masks won't filter out the tiny dye particles.  

What should I use if I cannot get a N95/P100 mask or respirator?  If you cannot locate a proper dust mask to wear while using dye powder, I recommend sticking with food coloring (or other dyes that are already available in liquid form like Rit Liquid dyes) until you can acquire proper safety equipment.  I know that these masks are harder to find right now due to the pandemic but you shouldn't compromise your safety.  It is possible to create stunning colors on yarn with food coloring!  


Have Fun Dyeing Yarn!

Want some fun tutorials on how to dye yarn?  Check out the ChemKnits Tutorials YouTube Channel!  I love to dye with a variety of dye types and techniques to apply color to yarn.  You will find a combination of techniques using food safe dyes and commercial dyes.  

----------------

This post is meant as a resource and personal recommendation for respirator masks. I am an indie dyer not professionally trained on these masks. You should make your final decision for all safety and PPE based up information available on the dye manufacturer websites.  

I am located in the United States of America so these recommendations are based on regulations here.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

2020 Summer Mini Skein Mini Series

The 2020 Summer Mini Skein Mini Series is here!  Each night this week at 8:30 PM EST the newest video will premiere on the ChemKnits Tutorials YouTube Channel.  I will be in the LIVE chat a ~15 minutes before the premiers start to react, chat, and answer questions.  I hope to see you there! 

You can find all 5 videos in the following playlist:


Just like 2019, this collection of bonus videos will feature dyeing 20 g mini skeins.  All of the yarn is 75% Superwash Merino/25% Nylon and in 2020 all of the videos will feature a type of food coloring.  COVID-19 has forced me to shift some of my filming plans, but I am so excited that I was able to produce a fun and informative series.  Enjoy!