Some New Avenues

Hand Dyed Yarn: Wooly Mastadon

In a past post I discussed how stash enhancement is rare and exciting in my life. Thus, this means that I have to get creative with the stash I have. Mind you, I have a healthy yarn stash, and I feel blessed to have all that I have and to have friends and family who gift me quite a bit of what I have. Yet, sometimes I need something different.

Cue dyeing yarn. Several months ago I invested in a few supplies to dye yarn at home with Kool-Aid, icing colors, gel food colors, and regular food colors. I had been inspired after a class I took this spring during my last semester of college. I had dyed one skein of yarn and one braid of roving and wanted to do more. However, I wasn’t comfortable using commercial dyes in my kitchen, thus food safe dyes. Last summer I had messed around with dying single skeins of yarn one color with Kool-Aid, but never got very far. This past week, I took it a bit farther with more experimentation. Once again, the wool is old, some yarn I got from my Aunt ages ago and didn’t know what to do with because of it’s boring white color. Dying was clearly the solution because although my results are so far from perfect, I really want to knit with this now. Any suggestions? I really want to get into yarn dyeing for myself and thus I used one of my hand-bound sketchbooks from a fiber class a year ago to keep dye pot notes. Let me know if you are interested in what I did to get these colors and if you are interested in this type of dyeing. I love it, but do you want to hear about it?

Project Bags: Wooly Mastadon

Another step in my crafty journey has been sewing. Many years ago my Grandma gave me my Grandpa’s sewing machine. She wanted someone to have it who would use it (she also gave me his guitars, I haven’t been as succesful with those but I love sitting down a practicing cords on the instruments my Grandpa made people happy with), and I had plans to do just that…but I never set it up. About two months ago I set it up with good intentions and then just never got to it. Last week after I dyed yarn I put another one of my days off to sewing. Now, I’m not a seamstress and I may have sent distress signals to my Mom a few times (she is the best seamstress I know, although she wouldn’t agree with that title), but I managed to sew the bags on my own. The drawstring bag is a formula I gleaned from my Mom a year ago with my own spin on it (flat bottom). The box bag is from this tutorial. I’m glad I found that because I had never sewn in a zipper or used interfacing so I feel accomplished for only ever sewing a basic apron before. A few things I learned…cut all of the loose strings, they make knots, and don’t use sew-in interfacing when it says to use iron-on interfacing. I spent probably an extra half to full hour messing with that stupid interfacing because it wasn’t ironed onto the fabric.

Crafty adventures unite. I hope to do more of both of these, dyeing yarn and sewing. Do you have any favorite projects? What are your tips for success? I’d love to hear what you have to share.

~Stay Inspired


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