Sunday, October 30, 2016

Indie Dyer in the House!

Just like the title says, a new indie dyer is in the house...not really! In the last two months my mom and I have been experimenting with dyeing our own yarn! (Not that I really needed more yarn to add to stash) It's been an extremely fun way to dive into another part of this wonderful yarn universe.

We've started off using icing dyes purchased from Michael's and blank yarn from Knit Picks (merino/nylon and merino/nylon/stellina) which have worked out perfectly for us!

I've only dyed yarn one other time before my mom and I had started. The first was with my friend Andrea, Luna Purl, who owns an etsy shop and is a dye master! So, my mom and I are essentially newbees to everything but the internet is a great resource!

This is our first time using the dye pots. We wanted Halloween yarn to make some socks! It was a success and a fail at the same time, we got some dye but not enough vinegar so it didn't set well. The colors ended up a bit light for us so I set about doing some more research.

This is try number 2! We dyed the yarn outside instead of the kitchen, added WAY more vinegar and had smashing success! We dyed sock blanks first and set the dye in the steamer, so much easier than letting it heat in the pot. While those were setting I attempted speckles but got more of a splashy effect so we tried a different speckling technique for my moms and the speckles were perfect!

The last time I used the dye pots was just me out in the backyard. This was the first time I dyed two hanks to look the same and the first time I was over-dyeing a previously dyed hank of yarn. I have to say, they turned out very close! This was also the first time I tried for variegated yarn (this is one I tried dip-dyeing with) which is the pink and yellow hank. So far the yarn dyeing adventure has been super fun! I need to purchase more blank yarn to experiment with...and maybe some new bases too!

Sunday, October 9, 2016


So, this is my introduction post for slow fashion October. If you haven't heard anything about the movement here is the original post and idea maker Karen Templar (link).

I find slow fashion kind of a tricky topic to address, not because of the idea behind it but because of my own feelings toward my purchasing habits and making. I love the idea of a streamlined wardrobe that matches my personality, making, and creativity. My hang up is, I don't know my style. I know what I might like it to be, I know what I find I 'mood board' about but it's not one cohesive style. I fall into two 'categories' if you will, modern vintage and casual crafty.

Most days I'm dressed in high-wasted skirt and top or a knee length dress. Other days you'll find me in a cute top, jeans, Birkenstock's and hand knit socks. I guess I'm not really sure how to 'make' for this wardrobe.

Slow fashion for me is knowing who my yarn and fabric come from. Not so much as what plant they were produced in, but what shop/family/business am I supporting when I make a purchase. Is it some nameless big box or a small local shop on my travels or the area I live in?

Money, for me, is a significant factor on where, when, and who I can buy from. This month for #slowfashionoctober I will be focusing on cultivating my style so my purchasing and making head towards a capsule wardrobe that will last me for years. Instead of making impulse and fast fashion/fad purchasing. Even knitting has fads and popularity trends that may look great now but won't hold my interest for the future.

For myself, I'm coming to the realization that my wardrobe doesn't need to look like everyone else. My capsule wardrobe doesn't have to be black, tan, gray, and cream. It can be army green, cranberry, cream, and denim. I just need to find what works for me not what works and looks good on others.

I'm me and I'm proud of that, so I need to figure out where I fit in this industry not where I think I should fit. Other than finding my style over the month I'm searching for the answer to this question:

          What do you do with your hand knits where they've become too worn?

Slow fashion October is a shift in mindset, and shift in making, and a shift in purchasing. I need to remember this shift wont happen in a month. This is a lifetime commitment that will flow and change and take some getting used to.

I think I'm up for the challenge.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Feeling Moody

I've been a bit moody about my knitting lately. Nothing has really inspired me to work on it; I'm not loving any of the patterns, none of the colors are speaking to me, everything is just...meh. I think its this period of transition into fall. It's not really summer any more but definitely not fall yet.

I'm ready for:

1. Cool weather (give me grey skies!)

2. Wearing handknits season (this goes hand-in-hand with cool weather)

3. Cozy up under a blanket and read a book (again cool weather)

4. RAIN!

I need Fall!

So with this restless feeling taking over and my knitting not fulfilling, I've started sewing. I work full time at a yarn shop but we're actually one business with a quilt shop! We have two different store fronts but one name and one staff. This has given me the opportunity to be surrounded by AMAZING fabrics.

My ultimate goal is to be able to sew my own clothing but I'm going to start off with some project bags and a small quilt first. I'm currently borrowing a Janome sewing machine from one of my favorite customers at the shop. She's looking to sell and I'm looking to buy, so far the machine has been great. And I've made three project bags!

The first bag was made with great aid from my friend and co-worker Claire. She makes the project bags that we sell in the shop and they are amazing quality in the perfect sizes. I made a nice large one with a few pockets for a large shawl and small blanket.

The second and third bags I made on my own. Everyone I know who sews has been handing off fabric and rulers like they are going out of style. I'm currently swimming in fabric that I don't have time to use yet :) One set of fabric was Halloween/Fall fabric! I've been eyeing Halloween bags on Etsy and I'm so excited that I got to make my own!

Ta Da! Yay! Halloween bag for me and enough leftover fabric to make my mom one too! The thrid bag I made was a simple draw string bag that was supposed to have a round bottom but I made kind of squircle, but cutting the corners off of a square. I also started a new fall inspired sock project to match my new bag!

So my Friday's off have been spent in the sewing classroom at the quilt shop working on my new skills! Yay for self teaching! I'm joining Ginny and Frontier Dreams in the Yarn Along for the week. I'm slowly making my way through the illustrated Harry Potter and the Sorcerer Stone but The Chamber of Secrets came out today!