Saturday, September 15, 2018

Weekly Roundup - Back to School

The beginning of September always feels hectic.  The end of summer, the beginning of the school year, holidays, and all kinds of lists. SO MANY LISTS!  But with all of these lists, there is a lot of fun on the way.

Paradise Fibers curated a fantastic Back to School kit in their September 2018 Fiber of the Month Club Box (Backpack!)  This month's kit included a dyeing tutorial... dyeing Cheviot Roving or Yarn with HIGHLIGHTERS!  If you sign up for the Fiber of the Month Club today, your first box will be October's Box, but you can still get in on the fun.  All you need are some Sharpie Highlighters, rubbing alcohol, vinegar, roving, and some dye safe containers!  (You can find the Cheviot Roving I used in my livestream on Paradise Fibers' website.) I'm planning on talking all about this in more detail in next week's Weekly Round up since I'm still waiting for all of the fiber to dry.  However, I really feel like we started off the new school year on a high note.  Thank you, Paradise Fibers, for sending me your kits to unbox!

Speaking of Back to School... how adorable were the ChemKids on their first day this year?
My boys had a great start to the school year.  This isn't that strange, they were at camp over the summer months, but as a parent the school year is a little easier to prepare for.  No more swim bags, multiple changes of clothes, and towels to hang up at the end of the day.

A post shared by ChemKnits (@chemknits) on

This summer, I had a super productive filming schedule.  So productive that I started working on multiple "special" weeks of videos. (Cellulose Week*, Indigo Week, 2018 ChemKnits Chanukah Special) I've got a huge editing queue to get through, but it also means that I'm pretty up to date when it comes to the new videos that are about to come out.  I've been waiting for this week's Dyepot Weekly to come out for a long time.  I think I shared the sneak peek back in July!

*There wasn't a specific Cellulose Week Playlist, but I used this as an opportunity to update my "How to Dye Cotton Yarns" Playlist.

This week, I released Dyepot Weekly #71 - Winding a Super Wide Skein to Create a Hand Dyed Yarn Gradient with Acid Dyes.  I wound a super wide 2 - ft skein, and then tied it up so that it would be arranged in a super wide gradient. (See the thumbnail below.)  I thought it would be fun to dip dye this yarn to get a gradient.  I did not expect to get some of the resist from the ties, so the final gradient had some stunning reverse speckles on it.

Ultimately, this technique takes a similar amount of time to prep as winding a blank on a hand crank knitting machine.  However, you don't need any special equipment to do this.  I used a PVC pipe niddy noddy, but you could also use the back of a chair, a textbook, or any other object in your home.  With proper planning (or even handpainting), you could avoid the reverse speckles to get a much cleaner gradient than you sometimes get with blanks.  I'm personally a fan of the mottled and speckled look from unraveling blanks, but some people want more solid tones in their gradients.  

Sometimes it takes a while for me to share a new video on the ChemKnits Tutorials YouTube channel.  There is a lot that goes into the video production: fiber prep, dyeing, waiting for the yarn to dry (and sometimes second prep steps), and finally editing.  If you would like to get some behind the scenes sneak peeks of what I'm working on currently, check out the ChemKnits Patreon.  Some of the perks for becoming a Patron include behind the scenes sneak peeks. I'll start a livestream while I'm filming for a DPW episode so you can get the first look, watch me do multiple takes, and ask questions as I'm filming.  The archive of replays are up for all new "Wool" Patrons so you can go back through and watch the older sneak peeks.  How do these unedited streams compare to the final video I release?  Watch to find out!  

This post contains affiliate links, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.  The affiliate partners mentioned in this post are Paradise Fibers, Amazon, and KnitPicks.  


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