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Projects on My Needles – July 27, 2018

It’s been a little over a month since my last project update. I feel like I’ve done a shitload since then, but it doesn’t look like a whole lot in 6 weeks. But in addition to the knitting I’ve been doing, I’ve published a Natural Yarn Directory for anyone to use and contribute to, I’ve published my Hero of Time hat pattern (see below!), I’ve been dyeing a lot of yarn, and I’ve been sewing project bags. I do think that after I’ve worked on the sweater design I have up next, I’ll take a break from pattern designing. I have so much dyeing research and development to do still, I AM IN LOVE WITH the project bags I have in the works, and I just want to knit more for myself – I keep adding to the list of yarn brands/bases I want to try.

But at any rate, these are the things I’ve been knitting while watching the Handmaid’s Tale, Atlanta, Rick and Morty, Archer, Ozark, etc…

Finished Objects

Hero of Time x 3

I was in progress on the first of these three during my last WIP update, and I’ve finished all three and published the pattern since then! These were a ton of fun to work on. I wrote a post that details the story behind this design, and if you’re so inclined, I have kits of the 7 contrasting colors available for purchase with a FREE pattern download in the Etsy shop.

Pattern: Hero of Time (Ravelry), Hero of Time (Etsy)
Yarn: My own Fuzzzy Green Fibers in Erie, and some Recycled Yarn (fingering weight)
Ravelry Project Page: Adult Large, Child/Small Adult, Toddler/Small Child

Works in Progress

Okanogan Socks – For Jason!

I finished my own pair of Okanogan socks, and have cast on a pair for my husband! This time I’m doing the calf-shaping for him. The main color will be the deep gray and the stripes will be the green that my socks were made from. I’ve only ever made him 1 pair of socks, so hopefully these fit him even better and he gets legitimate use from them!

Pattern: Okanogan by Andrea Rangel
Yarn: Blacker Yarns Mohair Blends 4-Ply in Ladock Woods and Metherell
Green Mountain Spinnery Meadow in Natural
Ravelry Project Page: Okanogan for Jason

Portage

I hadn’t even started this yet during my last post, so I think this is considerable progress along with 3 hats and casting on a pair of socks (and the 685683 other things I’m up to). I just finished the tubular bind off last night (omg so much kitchener) and will pick up the front/collar tonight. I may have to block the shit out of this when it’s done since I made the XS, and I may have to do some color shenanigans for the wrist cuffs since I have 100 yds less than it called for, but I’m so excited for POCKETSES!!!

Pattern: Portage
Yarn: Mountain Meadow Wool Lilura in Teal
Ravelry Project Page: Portage

Near Future Cast-Ons

Contrast Heel-Toe-Cuff Socks

Kelly T
October

I’ve been dyeing up a storm and working on colorways. This was my first prototype of Kelly T which turned out gorgeous, but it isn’t exactly what I had in mind for the colorway. However, my intentions with many of my colorways are to make sock kits with their related base color, so I’m going to use this as a beta-test for that (weight/yardage needed, how the dye technique knits up). Kelly T will be a colorway available for purchase soon, and October is available now!

Pattern: Personal toe-up recipe (Judy’s magic cast on, maybe Fish Lips Kiss or scrap yarn afterthought heel?)
Yarn: Fuzzzy Green Fibers Geauga in Kelly T with October contrast heel/toe/cuff

Rose Cardigan

Another thing I want to offer is dyed-to-order fade kits. Since fades will usually be a differing number of skeins in whichever color depending on your project, I can’t so much have them available ready to ship, but I really like fades that are dyed to be faded, not just colors striped together that hope for the best. Those tend to look tacky and “omg did you knit that yourself, bless your heart!” I’m going to make myself a Rose Cardigan with this fade (even though it’s fingering weight when the pattern calls for sport weight – the gauge calls for 26 sts/4 in, I think we’ll be okay), while coming up with other fade kits too (I’m thinking a navy to beige fade, a gray to mustard fade, etc). I would just buy a fade kit from someone else, but I cannot find another indie dyer using non-superwash yarn who dyes just precisely what I’m looking for, so I might as well DIY and offer it up to the world!

Pattern: Rose
Yarn: Fuzzzy Green Fibers Geauga in Mauve, Muffin Top, Jackie Jormp-Jomp, and Rural Juror

Pullover Design for Nae

For Christmas, I gifted my friend Renee the promise of a pullover that I designed. I’ll probably need to make multiple in a few sizes to make sure the pattern is all mathed-up properly, so I’m happy to gift one of them to my bff. I let her choose what color she wanted it knit in, and while I didn’t quite nail what she described (sry, am dye n00b), she liked the resultant colorway anyway :). This colorway isn’t going to be available in the shop, mostly because I had to do some messing around to attempt to correct it, and I would have no ability to recreate it exactly. However, if this speaks to you, let me know and I can do my darndest!

Pattern: It’s all in my brain at the moment!
Yarn: Fuzzzy Green Fibers Geauga

That’s all for now! I do a lot of daily updates and whatnot on my Instagram page, so if you’re interested in more nonsense from me, check it out.

<3 Larissa

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Crowd-Sourced Natural Yarn Directory

Do you enjoy natural yarn?

You don’t use yarn with superwash or synthetic fibers like acrylic or nylon?

Look no further!

I’ve collated yarn brands and their bases that fall under this broad “natural” category.

Organized by:

  • Company Name
  • Yarn Base Name
  • Yarn Weight
  • Fiber Content
  • Specific Sheep Breed(s) Included
  • Natural Plant Dye Used
  • Country of Company
  • Whether the yarn is ideal for socks
  • Organic Machine Washable Treatment
  • Whether you can buy it by the cone
  • Vegan Yarn
  • Indie Dyers
  • Novelty Yarn (Art Yarn, Handspun, etc)

And of course for your ease of purchasing/browsing, their website is linked with each base.

I’d love this list to be a living document! Please email me additional brands you know of (or corrections if I’ve gotten something wrong!).

You can access it 2 ways:

  1. Excel Spreadsheet Download
    • Sheet 1 is all bases & concurrent information
    • Sheet 2 is only the brand with its country and website
  2. Google Docs Spreadsheet
    • Sheet 1 is all bases & concurrent information
    • Sheet 2 is only the brand with its country and website

*Most recent update: September 23, 2018

Peruse at your leisure, alphabetize by whichever category you like… if you download the Excel file you can delete, reorganize, markup whatever you like!

I sincerely hope this is helpful. Any updates to the list will be announced through my Instagram account and will be reflected here.

Enjoy, happy knitting, okay, love you, bye!

Larissa

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FibreShare 2: Electric Boogaloo

Hi everyone! I did a FibreShare again this round because the last time was so dang fun. You can read about my first FibreShare in a previous post. If you haven’t heard of it before, basically it’s a yarn swap that’s facilitated for a small fee. Ashley matches you (BY HAND!) with two partners: one to send yarn to and one who sends yarn to you. It’s super cool to learn a bit about your partner and be a sleuth to piece together your interpretation of the perfect gift!

This time both of my matches were domestic, which was nice shipping cost-wise!

Sending to my Washington friend

I learned my partner Karissa likes natural fibers, enjoys a cuppa coffee, the coast, eats Paleo (holla!), and hopes to make her first pair of socks. I think I did pretty alright! Although, check out some of the featured packages on the FibreShare Instagram. Holy crap are some of them over the top impressive!

My goal for sending things to Karissa was to include things that can only be found in Cleveland. Obviously, everything didn’t fall under this category, but the Land is well-represented here! Since she, like me, enjoys her coffee, I picked up a bag of Phoenix Coffee from their Coventry location. And of course I found a cute mug for her to drink it out of!

While I was in the Coventry neighborhood, I stopped by the Cleveland Candle Company. You guys, if I could shove this candle through the screen for your own huffing pleasure, I would. I chose one of their Ohio/Cleveland scents called “Ohio Harvest” for Karissa. And I might have bought one that smells like Fruity Pebbles for myself. It’s out of this world.

I found some Hail Merry Paleo treats at my local Fresh Thyme and included those – cookie dough bites and a Meyer lemon tart (my favorite!).

I made a project bag, in which I included some stitch markers, a tape measure and collapsible scissors. Hers, I made from a shower curtain and a pillowcase with some beautiful black & gold zippers.

Now onto the yarn I included! First, there was a beautiful ball of teal yarn leftover from a crochet sweater I made. This was KnitPicks Shine Sport which is cotton and Modal. It’s sooo silky soft. Next was a supersoft skein of alpaca and silk called Babydoll from Storybook Alpacas, a local farm. It even says which alpaca the fiber comes from :). Then came a skein I bought at my LYS the Artful Yarn called “Crazy” by Stonehedge Fiber Mills. This is made from recycled leftovers from their yarn manufacturing process. And lastly, I picked up a Cleveland-themed skein of yarn in the colorway Lake Erie by Destination Yarn. This is a local indie dyer whose colorways come from inspiration from travel. I chose the base Postcard, which is a 75/25 sock yarn if she wants to use it for socks!

Speaking of socks, the last thing I included was 3 sock patterns with differing heels: Smooth Operator Socks, Fish Lips Kiss heel, and Okanogan socks.

Receiving from my Buffalo friend

I actually received my package from Tara the same day that Karissa received hers! It came from beautiful Buffalo, NY <3.

Kitty stitch markers with complimentary cat hairs on my floor.

Since Tara is from the Buffalo area, she wanted to treat me to the Buffalo experience. In this case it meant Frank’s RedHot hot sauce. Little did she know, this is my favorite hot sauce on earth, and I routinely buy it in bulk from Costco. In the same spicy vain, she gave me a jar of homemade Buffalo spice made from peppers grown in her garden! You know I’m into that hippy-gardening-eat-local thing. I put some on sweet potato fries. Died. Came back. Ate the rest of them.

Speaking of hippy gardening nonsense, she included some flower seeds – Marigolds and a butterfly attraction mix. I am on a tirade to make my yard full of little buzzy creatures, so these are for sure getting planted in the spring.

She included some rad notions like some Soak brand wool soap. This is great since I’m starting to dye yarn kind of often and want to find a good wash with lanolin to get it nice and sheepy after making fun colors. There is a row counter, which is perfect because I just make tally marks on a piece of paper and it’s a total mess. As long as my toddler doesn’t get ahold of it, I will make good use of it! I’ve already used the little 6 inch straight ruler a bunch of times for measuring gauge count and small progress like hat brims and sleeve cuffs. I’ve been using a worn out tape measure, so I’m sure this is at least marginally more accurate! She also included some little kitty stitch markers which are going for a ride at the moment on my Portage cardigan. And some ones handmade my her from her Etsy shop Scara Creations – these are little lightbulb ones with sparkle beads and the cutest witch holding a kitty. These ones have been helping me keep count during long cast ons (I’ve decided any amount over like 60 stitches needs a marker every 20 stitches or else I’m 100% miscounting).

Onto the yarn! First was a little kit with a mini ball of gradient yarn with a button and a pattern to make a wrist cuff bracelet. It looks like such a super cute fast project! She also included a shawl pattern – Clincher by Ash Kearns – if I wanted to use it for one of the other yarns she included. There were two skeins of Patons Classic Wool Worsted in Natural Mix and Pumpkin. I think I might use these for a baby blanket, but I can’t make up my mind! Next there was a skein of Sheep Loves Monkey Adventure in the colorway Silver Swords, which I want to make socks out of! I’m thinking of finding a good dark contrast heel/toe/cuff. And finally a skein from Dyed in the Wool Yarn Co. Sparkle Twisted Sock in BB Guns & Black Eyes. This is 100% going to be a shawl, it’s so sparkly and bruisey, but in a pretty way.

I love everything, holy guacamole. FibreShare is so much fun – not only because of the gifts you get to send and receive, but the friends you make in the process. My advice – figure out when the next round of FibreShare is and sign up immediately!

kthxloveyoubye

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Project Bags

I just wanted to make a quickie post about sewing project bags! I’ve made 5 so far in my life, 4 of which have zipper pockets inside (and I’m very proud of this, thank you very much). I’ve been using this tutorial for the bag and this video tutorial for the interior zippered pouch.

Fun fact: I haven’t bought any fabric for these! I’ve been able to use leftovers from previous projects (husband’s bow ties, our duvet cover) and household fabrics that weren’t living up to their destiny anymore (pillowcases, sheets, shower curtains, etc.).

I’m a big proponent for not letting things go to waste & reusing things. For example, I love the yarn I bought that was recycled from a thrift store sweater and I even bought a turkey roasting pan from Goodwill to dye yarn in!

I have a lot of ideas for bags in the future. I’ve been using some metal zippers in fun colors, and I’m enjoying playing around with fabrics and bag sizes & shapes. I think I’d actually like to sell them eventually. I need to work on professionalizing a lot of my work, but these bags are a lot of fun to make.

What say you? Do you like repurposed items getting a new life? I sure do!

Weena helping.
This went to my latest FibreShare partner. Hi Karissa!
I’m obsessed with these neon zippers.
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Kool-Aid Yarn

I don’t know what the impetus was for me wanting to dye yarn, but once I got the idea in my head, it happened. I bought some undyed yarn and first wanted to try Kool-Aid as a dye. I wasn’t sure I wanted to commit to buying a whole bunch of yarn dye if the whole process sucked (it didn’t). I’m designing a hat based on the Legend of Zelda video game for my husband and figured I could use those colors to try out some dyeing. From my limited research, it seemed like about 4 packets of Kool-Aid per 100g skein of yarn would do the trick.

I bought the 9 colors of Kool-Aid packets that my grocery store had, dissolved them in some water, and let a piece of yarn soak in them overnight to get an idea of the colors.

I was a bit fooled by my scrap of yarn overnight soak, and expected relatively vibrant colors. So, I attempted 4 solid colors:

  • Yellow – 3 packets of Lemonade and 1/2 of a packet of Orange.
  • Green – 3 packets of Lemonade and 1/2 of a packet of Mixed Berry.
  • Blue – 3 packets of Mixed Berry and 1/2 of a packet of Grape.
  • Red – 1 packet each of Hawaiian Punch, Black Cherry, Cherry, and Orange.

Once I decided which colors I would use & blend, I bought more and got to work. First, the yarn took a bath in some Dr. Bronner’s soap to get any excess oils out of it, and to make sure it was soaked throughout to guide dye-laden water into the fibers.

Yarn was rinsed and added to a pot with enough water to cover it and the 4 packets of Kool-Aid. Brought to a temperature below simmering until the water turned clear. Let cool. Rinse.

I did this process with the other colors. I was lulled into a false sense of vibrancy from doing the red first.

As you can see above, the yellow turned out pale creamsicle orange, and the blue & green turned out very pale.

The red, however, turned out adequately saturated!

I honestly was mostly just curious if this would work, and it did. I had already decided that I wanted to get a small starter pack of heavy metal-free acid dyes once I dyed the first one, so I wasn’t concerned about re-dyeing those pale skeins.

I also bought some extra packets for Scottie to play with. We did 2 experiments:

  1. We used some damp yarn in a casserole dish with some paper towel paint brushes.

Added a bit more water and cooked this covered on the stove until the water was clear. Looks like a mess, but wait for it…
Ta-da! Scottie is an artist.

2. Then we did a speckle experiment. Damp yarn, Kool-Aid powder, a glass of water, and a fork. We wrapped it up in cling wrap and steamed it in a pot for 30-45 min.

Again, looks hella messy…
Obsessed.
Being knit into a hat (in low light).

So obviously, you can get some really cool yarn from Kool-Aid, but it for the most part needs to be kind of a lot of packets.

The skeins below are the first 4 that I tried to dye with Kool-Aid. I re-dyed all but the red one with acid dye.

I think you’ll be seeing a lot more dyeing from me in the future. I am having WAY TOO MUCH FUN OMG.