Etsy Shop Update and Newborns in Need

I have just updated my etsy shop with about 20 skeins of superwash sock yarn.20170713_110450

I returned recently from 6 weeks in Europe, primarily in Germany, where I improved my language skills at the Goethe Institute, but also a week in Switzerland.  It was amazing, of course.  Upon my return a week ago I dove into yarn-dyed and creating memorial envelopes for the local chapter of Newborns in Need.  The primary goal of Newborns in Need is to provide a bag of supplies to parents of newborns who have absolutely nothing for their new baby. Usually these bags contain at least one handmade item, such as a knit hat, a crocheted blanked or a hand-sewn changing pad.  A secondary goal of Newborns in Need is to provide items for parents of deceased infants, which is my special interest.  Currently I am making multiples of the item shown below, an envelope that parents can use to keep birth and death certificates and other small items such as a hospital bracelet, photos, a lock of hair, etc.  The primary materials I use for these envelopes come from donated wedding dresses.  If you want to put your sewing, knitting or crocheting skills to good use, go to the website to find and then contact your local chapter.20170712_063129

Sprinkle-dyed Sock Yarn

As I wind down from dyeing for LYSs, I’ve dyed some yarn from my sadly-neglected etsy shop.  I’ve especially enjoyed sprinkle-dyeing, perhaps because the results are always a bit different.  It’s impossible to control exactly where the specks of dye will land, and impossible to know which of the specks of moss green will release a little orange, and which specks of lavender will release a little fuchsia.

In some of the skeins, I immersion-dye the yarn first.  In one colorway, “Glacier Cruise,” I’ve sprinkled the dye onto a white skein.  In my shop, I’ve described the process a bit more in each listing.

The first shot includes Fireweed and Dog Sled Team yarns, hand-painted in the traditional way–well, traditional for me, which involves using a medicine dropper.

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I guess “hand-squirted” doesn’t convey the same feeling as “hand-painted,” although no one actually uses a paintbrush.

The final photo shows all the yarn currently available in my shop–the bottom row consisting of self-striping sock yarn.

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Quilting in the year 1350

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Perhaps it is more accurately called “trapunto;” nevertheless, it is fascinating to view ancient textiles and see how similar they are to today’s:  This quilt is telling a story, just like many quilts that we make.

It is also interesting to see what is DIFFERENT:  Check out these socks!IMG_1487

In Iceland, travelers are forced to walk through the duty-free gift shop if they are changing planes.  I thought, “If they are making me walk through their store, I am allowed to take a few photos,” and I did.IMG_1644IMG_1645

A jacket I’ve seen before at the Desigual store (in Stockholm this time) caught my eye again, because I really want to make one like it.

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I could remove sleeves from a thrift-store jean jacket, add sleeves from a thrift-store sweater, add some applique/embroidery–what do you think?  I hope to post my own jacket here later this summer.

Of course I did some knitting–free ravelry pattern “Genmaicha” from Kate Gagnon Osborn.  I used my own 50-g. ball of gradient yarn, colorway Blueberry; more is available in my shop. The little skein is what was leftover.  Naturally if you started with the blue (instead of the pale green as I did), you would have more blue in the hat.

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The hat is knit top-down.  You need dpns and a circular of one size (to achieve 7 stitches per inch) and also a circular two sizes smaller for the ribbing.  The author gives instructions for making the hat out of different colors of yarn; I just continued on with the same yarn.  She also advises binding off with “Jeny’s Surprisingly-Stretchy Bind-Off,” which I did.  I found these instructions for making a pom-pom; I made the 4.5 cm. size. I inflated a balloon to a circumference of 20 inches and blocked the hat over it.

Almost December 2015

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I added a new colorway to my shop, Alaskan Rainbow.  Use coupon code Nov2015 now through the end of the month for 10% off all items.

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My son has just opened an etsy shop featuring DIY kits to create wall art such as the item shown above.  He only has a few items in the shop now and will have more in the future.

A podcast you may like is Krista Tippett  On Being. Another is Meighan O’Toole’s; I especially liked this post.

Happy Post-Thanksgiving Weekend!

 

 

Indigo Dyeing

DSCN0458I finally broke out the indigo dye that I purchased from Dharma Trading Company a while back.  It’s a processed, somewhat easy-to-use formulation.  DSCN0454

I used the basic shibori techniques that can be easily found on the internet, along with plain old dyeing. One thing that’s fun is that when the items are removed from the indigo bath, they are blue-green.  They need about 15 minutes’ exposure to the air to darken.  Here is a photo of the back of the shirt fresh from the dyepot:DSCN0456

Just as with chemical dyeing, you’re going to have irregularities unless you agitate the item a lot in the dye bath.  Agitation is discouraged in indigo dyeing because it introduces oxygen, which can ruin the indigo bath for future use.

Here is some yarn and fabric that I dipped in the vat without tying any type of pattern.  (Yarn for sale here)

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To achieve the darker shade, you just repeat the process of dipping and leaving the item out for a while to oxidize. The darker-colored items were dipped about 3 times and also suspended beneath the surface of the dye once for about 15 minutes.

I dyed an additional skein, shown below, and was knitting it for 2 hours at the Spinners’ and Weavers’ Guild meeting.  I noticed that the color was coming off on my fingers, especially the left index finger where the yarn passes across (I’m a continental knitter.).  I asked a natural dyer how to prevent the dye coming off and she said, “Indigo does this.”canvas

I will certainly rinse the heck out of the cowl after it’s finished and hope that my neck doesn’t turn blue!  (Yarn base is Sterling Silk and Silver.)

And now for some links that you might find interesting:

How failure helps creativity article  from BBC.

“If one wants to be active, one mustn’t be afraid to do something wrong sometimes, not afraid to lapse into some mistakes.” More on Vincent Van Gogh’s quote here.

Folt Bolt on Facebook provides multiple bits of artistic eye candy per day in your feed, from ceramics to jewelry to textiles, all with links.

Really good thoughts on this blog,  zenhabits.net

A blog about running a craft business and lots of other fibre-y information, including a weekly podcast, www.whileshenaps.com

Jonathan Fields has a weekly podcast with guests who have thought-provoking commentary.  For instance, this week’s guest, Bronnie Ware, is the author of a book on the 5 major regrets that dying people express.

Have you ever said, “I wish…”?  There is a free, online book with super-practical ideas for turning your wishes into reality:  Wishcraft.