Coastal Yarn

Last month Josh and I took a trip out to the Oregon coast. We met up with friends who will soon be moving out of state. It was a perfect day for kite flying and for making memories.

Josh found gluten free clam chowder and ordered us take out. It was delicious! While there I visited a local yarn shop. With quarantine I haven’t shopped for fun, let alone for yarn, in months. Coastal Yarns is a lovely store with a fantastic selection of yarn. Masks were worn and everybody was politely social distancing.

Noro released a new yarn! Tsubame is a mix of silk, wool and nylon. There were other luscious yarns but as soon as I saw this new to me Noro I had to have it.

This skein is so beautiful I have it on my nightstand. I’m designing a pattern to show off the yarn and to encapsulate our magical coastal day.

Swift Bag Holder

This post was previously published on Think Crafts!

If you knit or crochet you likely have a lot of yarn. I know I do! Skeins of yarn are pretty to look at but yarn cakes are great to knit with and easier to store. I use my Swift every time I buy new yarn. Swifts are great but they’re an odd shape. How to store them conveniently? Make a swift bag that will prevent it from accidentally folding open on its own. Here’s an even better idea-upcycle an old pair of pants to make the holder! This is a great project to upcycle old clothing that is too cute to throw away but no longer wearable.

Craft
Sewing

Difficulty
Beginner

Materials
Old pair of pants
Sewing Thread
Cat (optional)

Directions
Cut off one pant leg long enough for the swift to fit into.

Sew the bottom part of the leg closed.

Fold over the top part of the leg twice and sew down to make a hem.

Make a tie to close the top part of bag. The old yoga pants I used had a drawstring so I just used a portion of that. If you don’t have one cut a thin rectangle from the second leg of your pants. Fold in edges and sew together to make a tie.

Slide swift into bag and store away until your next yarn purchase.

Craft on!

Yarn Dyeing

An earlier version of this tutorial was previously published on Think Crafts!

Want to make a unique yarn in your favorite color? Or want to try hand painting to produce a one of a kind yarn? This tutorial is a great step into entering the wonderful world of home yarn dyeing. It’s fun and a great summer project!

Materials

Natural fiber yarn – ideally wool yarn or roving (Cotton yarn works well with Jacquard dyes but not with Kool-Aid)
Jacquard Procion MX Dye
Kool-Aid
Rubber gloves
Face Mask
Buckets, rice steamer, pots, wooden spoons (Once you use them for dyeing they are not safe for food preparation.)
Sponge Brush
Plastic wrap
Dye Instructions (if applicable)
Towels and sponges for clean up

Instructions

This is a messy project so plan ahead. A friend and I covered her work table with garbage bags for easy clean up. Wear rubber gloves and a face mask to protect yourself.

Wind your yarn into skeins beforehand. Tie them with scrap yarn to minimize tangles. Acrylic yarn works best as it won’t take up the dye.

Kool-Aid dyeing is a lot of fun! We picked up a handful of fun flavors. We heated up some water on the stove. We used thrift store pots-they’re cheap and didn’t ruin our food safe cookware. How much water? How many packets? This is the finicky part since it’s so subjective. It really depends on how much yarn you’re dyeing and what shade of color you want. We added enough water to completely submerge our skeins. To get the desired color we added more Kool-Aid packets until the color we wanted was achieved. Don’t add sugar. We bought a dozen packets of each color.

Soak the yarn until it’s saturated. We soaked our yarn for 30 minutes in hot water. Rinse in cool water until water runs clear. The Kool Aid smell fades over time.

We also tried handpainting yarn.

For this we mixed up small batches of Jacquard Dye. (Instructions are on the jar.) We stretched out plastic wrap and laid out the skeins on top. Using the sponge brushes we painted the yarn. Lift up the yarn to see if you need to turn it over to paint the other side. Firmly push the sponge onto the yarn to make sure the color saturates completely. This will prevent the need for a second coat.

After painting we rolled up the yarn in the plastic wrap. Then we steamed them in the rice steamer for 30 minutes. Afterward we rinsed with cool water and hung up the skeins to dry.

Our Kool-Aid yarn turned out beautifully!

Our handpainted yarn turned out lovely as well.

The yarn at the top of this post was also handpainted.

Craft on!

Ruffle Bowl

This post was previously published on Think Crafts!

Invited to a party and need a gift? A crochet gift bowl is a quick project that leaves an impression. Make one in a pastel color and fill it with baby socks and pacifiers for a baby shower. Make one in a cotton yarn and fill with washcloths, fancy soap and hand lotion for a housewarming party. Or make one in your favorite color and fill it with yummy treats to pamper yourself!

This pattern is highly flexible. Want to make this bowl out of thicker or thinner yarn? No problem! Just use an appropriate crochet hook for your chosen yarn and follow the pattern as is. Want to make a smaller or larger bowl? I address that in the Variation section of the pattern.

Craft
Crochet

Difficulty Level
Beginner

Materials
Yarn: Worsted Weight
Crochet Hook: Size H//5.0mm
Darning Needle

Gauge:
16 stitches/10 rows = 4 inches

Size:
small bowl

Finished Measurements:
4 1/4″ wide, 4″ tall, 14 1/2″ circumference of bowl

Abbreviations:

CH = chain
DC = double crochet
RND = round
SL ST = slip stitch
STS = stitches
* = repeat directions between *

Pattern

RND 1
CH 6, join into a ring
CH 3 (the CH 3 will count as your first stitch for each round)
Work 11 DC in ring
Join round with SL ST to top of CH 3 (each round will end with this type of join)
12 STS

RND 2
CH 3, DC into first stitch, then 2 DC into every stitch
24 STS

RND 3
CH 3, *DC around row, 2 DC into every second stitch*
36 STS

RND 4
CH 3, DC around row, 2 DC into every third stitch*
48 STS

RND 5
CH 3, *DC around row, 2 DC into every forth stitch*
60 STS

Continue in DC until piece measures 3″, approx seven more rounds

Variation
For smaller bowls-Follow instructions until desired size. Continue onto Tie RND.

For larger bowls-DC into every fifth, sixth, seventh stitch (and so on) every row until you reach desired size. Then continue in DC until piece measures desired height. Continue onto Tie RND.

(Tie RND and Ruffle will have more stitches due to pattern alteration.)

Tie RND
This round is more “open” so tie can be woven through
CH 3, *DC one stitch, CH 1*
30 stitches

Ruffle
If using contrasting color for ruffle switch yarns before Ruffle RND 1

RND 1
CH 3, 2 DC into one stitch, *DC, 2DC until end of row*
90 STS

RND 2
CH 3, 2 DC into one stitch, *DC, 2DC until end of row*
135 STS

Cord
Cut three lengths of 25″ yarn. Tie knot, braid pieces, tie knot at end. Weave the cord into the “open row” under the ruffle.

Weave in ends

Fill with goodies and craft on!

Big Eyed Fish

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I needed a new hat for our new life back in the States. This fish hat has been on my to make list for awhile. It gets compliments wherever I wear it!

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Josh brought me back most of the yarn from a trip to Norway. I’ve been keeping it in my stash for the perfect project. The fish lips make for perfect ear flaps.

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The color patterns were improvised. I wanted a more dramatic tail than the instructions called for so decreased more slowly to fan out the curves.

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Blocking this hat was fun. The eyes are made from a bath scrubbie and stash buttons.

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While in Boston we took a day trip to Salem. Pagans galore, cheesy witch tourism, great New Age stores and a Bewitched statue. It was a fun town and if life had played out differently I could see us living there.

Name: Big Eyed Fish
Pattern Source: Knitty
Craft: Knitting
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted-Kiwi, Trysil Garn Iglo-Wine Red, Trysil Garn Natur Tykt Helårsgarn-Light Blue, Ístex Léttlopi-Heaven Blue, Ístex Léttlopi-Lapis Blue
Needle Size: US 7/4.5 mm
Size: Custom