WIP Updates

In Your Dreams

I’m pretty sure I am the most tired person in the world right now. Yes. That’s a real thing and you can’t convince me that it’s not. I feel like I’m about to fall asleep on my keyboard right now. On my lunch break. At noon. -_-

Most nights, I settle in around 7pm or 8pm, making myself comfortable on our big squishy couch with my little wiener dogs, my latest knitting project, my love, and a good TV show…. and in about an hour I’m watching the TV show play out on the back of my eye lids. It’s just how I roll. I wake up early with lots of energy (yes, I am the dreaded morning person) and I’m out like a light before 10pm every evening.

Last night however, I was determined to get a project done and so I stayed up until 2 in the morning finishing a District 12 Cowl for a young woman in South Carolina. I probably would not have done that if this wasn’t my second attempt on the project. The first was much too large for her. So I ended deconstructing it and making it smaller.. It’s taken us a while to get to this point, but I’m hoping she will love it.

And I’ve learned a very valuable lesson…. No more all nighters for me.

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Penny knows what’s up. Sleep little puppers, sleep.

❤ Theresa

Craft Markets, Shop Updates

See You In Detroit

Guess who was accepted into the Detroit Handmade show for a second year?! That’s right – Purl You Crazy! Jen and I will be back and even more excited than ever. This is one of our favorite shows to attend and to vend. If you’ve never been to the Detroit Urban Craft Fair… GET YOUR LIFE TOGETHER! You need to go. It’s an amazing show at the Masonic Temple in Detroit full of straight up bad ass makers and artists. ❤

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Finished Projects, WIP Updates

Lightweight District 12

The original District 12 is definitely NOT lightweight. I love it, but yeah… not lightweight. lol

I love a challenge, so when I was approached about creating a lightweight version of the very cozy WOOL sweater cowl, the District 12, I thought sure! I can do that. Why not?

So I grabbed my trusty pattern that I purchased several years ago. There are no instructions on how to alter the pattern AND my pattern is so old that I can no longer find it online. So I was on my own if I wanted to adjust it. It seemed like it might be easy to adjust the size by simply using a different type of yarn and adding a few stitches to adjust for the gauge.

I got about half way through my pattern and it looked like everything was going my way. The herringbone stitch was turning out beautifully, the customer loved the grey hues of the yarn, the yarn was soft and breathable. It was looking good and I was pretty damn proud of myself.

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Looking good!

BUT THEN… I got into the home stretch and realized my beautiful masterpiece that I was so proud of was turning out a larger than I anticipated. No problem. I’ll just decrease more often, right?

WRONG.

The cowl still seemed to turn out rather large, I thought. I don’t want this cowl to hang off the customer – all frumpy like. I want it to sit nicely on her, just like the original. Maybe I’m just being too hard on myself? Maybe this lightweight version is going to be perfect for her. Maybe the largeness will make it more cozy. What do you think? Does it look frumpy or perfect?
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Either way, it was a good lesson in making alterations to projects.

Shop Updates

Laser cut all the things!!!

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Weeee! I am so excited!!!! I FINALLY had the chance to try my hand at laser cutting and engraving. This week, I took my fiancé on a date night to Factory Two, the maker space in Flint and it was the best date night idea I’ve had in a long time.

Before heading to the maker space, we stopped for tacos – our go to meal for date nights. Mmm tacos. After our bellies were full of deliciousness, we headed over to Factory Two. There we learned how to use inkscape (the program we would use to draw our projects), saw a few of our friends, learned how to run the laser cutting/engraving machine AND got a tour of the wood shop in the maker space.

The beautifully designed keychain above is what I made. I can’t wait to perfect my art and make a million more of them to hand out to people at market. 😉

People may think that Flint is a struggling community without a lot of resources – and they would be right. But we are also a struggling community with a STRONG arts/maker community. I’m so happy to be a part of that community and I can’t wait to see what everyone does next.

Makers Gonna Make

Hand Dyed Yarn

Watermelon Daze

Another skein dyed! This one was supposed to be a peach color, but I wasn’t liking the way it was turning out. I threw in some red food coloring and now my skein looks a bit more like watermelon than peaches. 🍉 Oops! But that’s ok. It still looks delicious.

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And I love what they all look like together!

I can’t decide if I want to knit with it or sell it…. Hmmm. Decisions, decisions.

Tutorials & Advice

Tutorial: Dyeing Yarn At Home – With Mulberries & Coffee

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A couple of weeks ago I plucked a bunch of mulberries from the huge ass mulberry tree in my backyard and headed to the kitchen to dye some yarn. I have been fascinated with dyeing yarn for a few years now. I love all the colors, designs and fun names that indie yarn dyers dream up. My favorite thing to do is browse #handdyedyarn on Instagram. I finally got tired of just daydreaming about making my own yarn and decided to jump into the yarn dyeing game myself.

There are tons of blog articles on how to dye your own yarn. And, of course, there’s a bit of variation to each one, so I’m just going to say here is how I did it:

Wash and rinse your bare yarn. Make sure not to get it tangled – so pay attention to where your skein is tied off. Make sure the yarn is damp when you apply the dye.

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Set the yarn aside. Put the berries (or whatever you’re cooking with) and some water into a small pot and stick it on the stove. Let it simmer for about an hour. Be careful not to burn your ingredients. Add alum and cream of tarter for a mordant. I used about 1 to 2 tablespoons of each, but the amount seems to vary in all the readings I’ve done. That’s something I’ll be toying around with a bit more…

Once your dye has simmered for about an hour or so, remove it from the heat. Honestly, dyeing with food is less of a science and more of an art when compared to using to acid dyes. In essence, allow your ingredients simmer until the color is vibrant and not watery.

Now, you see all those bits of mulberries in my dye? Yeeaaah. You don’t want that in your yarn. So, strain that shit thoroughly before you do any soaking. I just used a mesh strainer over a stainless steel mixing bowl, but you could use cheesecloth as well. The point is, you don’t want to be picking berries and other food stuff out of your beautiful yarn. So strain it.

Once your dye is strained, you can slowly drop your yarn into the dye. If you want to dye the entire skein, you will place your entire skein in the water. Now we wait. Let it soak as long as you like. The longer than more vibrant. I soaked mine over night.

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Finally, you will do a vinegar rinse to set the color. Remove the yarn from the dye. Squeeze the liquid out. Soak the yarn in one part water, one part vinegar for about half an hour. Next, rinse the yarn with cold water until the color stops running from it. Hang up your yarn to dry. And don’t freak out – your yarn will be a lot lighter once it’s dried. The first time, I hung my yarn up on a swift and put a towel down on the floor, but after that I just hung my yarn on the clothesline outside.

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Voila! You have hand dyed yarn! The steps are really simple. However, the process is time consuming and something of an art. Every skein will be a little different unless you make large batches. And if you want to create speckled yarn, self striping yarn, variegated yarn or anything using acid yarn, the process looks a bit different.

I repeated this process with left over brewed coffee as well and got what I call Blondie.

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Have fun! ❤