Adventure in Yarn Dyeing

I subscribed to KnitCrate last month on a whim after seeing people post about it on one of the facebook groups I’m in. I got a code to get my first KnitCrate for $5 and I figured, why not? (If you want to try it for $5, you can use my link – for my referral, I’d get a month free. Then you can get a code to share and get a month free for every one of your referrals, too! It’s really a give-give situation.) I got the BEST crate ever! It’s like they were reading my mind or creeping on my convos.

Sometime in the last couple months I was musing with a friend about how I’d like to dye yarn. I wasn’t sure if I should take on a new hobby involving yarn. I keep getting packages of yarn and my husband is starting to wonder about all the packages I have coming. Some are for my businesses and some are for my hobbies. I’d say they are about equal in deliveries. I don’t think there should be so much concern. In any case, imagine my surprise when I opened up to this:
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The yarn is so squishy! It is a 75% Merino / 25% Nylon sock base. I don’t typically use sock yarn because it’s so fine. I’m more of a worsted kind of girl but since I got such a deal on this yarn, how can I not be thrilled with it!

I watched a bunch of videos by ChemKnits and thought to myself that I was going to try a bunch of techniques. Extra, I know. So dip dye, ombre, speckled yarn was the goal. We used three packets of Kool-Aid: Sharkleberry Fin, Cherry and Grape.

You can check out the video on YouTube and see how Lil D and I partnered up to dye this yarn. I’m surprised he was able to maintain attention for so long. The result was lovely. Not quite as purple as I had hoped. I may have to get more yarn and grape Kool-aid to experiment further. Knitcrate may have created a monster. Here is a pic of the yarn drying and a pic of the final result. I am super fascinated in the way yarn soaks up the dye and the water clears.

This was a fun project for sure. I hope you watch the video and hear Lil D’s commentary. I tried to speed it up a tad since it’s over 20 minutes long and somehow I missed a clip somewhere talking about how long the yarn should stay in the pot and heat set. I had a bit of melty mess of plastic wrap. I may have deleted it. The kitchen did not smell as good as the yarn.

Do you have any favorite videos of yarn dyeing or have a story about dyeing yarn? What was your experience? I’d love to hear about it!

Until next time! craft on!

Welcome to Crochet Ray Ray

In light of the pandemic (I just can’t believe we are in this state of affairs), my friends asked me to teach them to crochet. So I started a YouTube channel, an IG account and a new website. I tried to convert some of the Craftmanic Mommy stuff over to Crochet Ray Ray but it didn’t really work. After my IG account was stolen, I have been trying to figure out what crafty pages I should rename/restart. I’m going to keep the blog here and link it to my website.

So, if you’ve ever wondered about me and my personality, check out my YT and maybe subscribe. As soon as I get through some basic stuff, I’m going to be sharing on projects and other knotty stuff. My goal is to share about how I cram in my crafting as a busy mama. 🙂

Life as we know it

It is amazing that life has drastically changed in a matter of weeks. I truly hope that people take this COVID-19 business more seriously. I know that there are so many important issues all over but this one is just at the forefront. 😦

It’s been a long while since I’ve updated this blog. My life is certainly much different than last year at this time. In fact, I didn’t write anything here in 2019. I had a quite dramatic year. In May, I was let go from my day job. It was something that I had expected. I messed some things up and I don’t fault them for letting me go. My head just wasn’t in working at the time. I had such an emotional upheaval for most of 2018 to mid-2019 dealing with my oldest son.

Sooooooo…you would think that I would have so much time to write! However, I had a lot of things to get in order and figure out a way to get work. My youngest son was ecstatic because that meant spending more time with him, which I have definitely been able to do a lot more volunteering at his school. It has been a lot of fun.

You would even think that I would have accomplished more knitting and yarny things. I really haven’t. I did learn how to weave! I’ve only woven two things LOL I even bought a vintage Milton Bradley loom and have yet to warp it. I will eventually.

What did I do? I set up my portfolio. You can check it out here. I’ve done a LOT of volunteer work. I’ve never felt more satisfied in my life! I got a part-time job. And I’ve just taken it slower. My life is still busy but now I’m not so manic with getting things done. I started taking meds that I have finally been able to commit to and get myself together. I used to be so worried that if I took the meds that my spark would be gone and while that bit of edginess I felt was so endearing is gone, I’ve actually been able to get a bit more grounded and productive.

And speaking of productive, I’ve been churning out these little dragons. This pattern is by dsgnGirl. Super easy to whip these up. I got the eyes from glasseyesonline.com. They really make the difference in the details for the eyes. I’ve made about 15 of them in the last week. I think my only issue about making any kind of stuffie amigurumi is sewing all the parts together. Even my little guy had a special request for colors.

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Well, I have some other stuff to do. Just wanted to do a little update. I’ll be back (hopefully soon) to chat about some of the fun work I’ve done! Especially the safari company projects I’ve worked on.

Be well!

 

It’s beginning to…

Look like way too much to do!

I’ve been thinking a lot about simplifying my life and reducing the amount of commitments I’m involved in. This is very hard to consider because I truly love my volunteer and mentorship relationships. However, now that our little guy is in a very family-involved school, it’s been more difficult to get everything done with personal projects, freelance work and physical well-being. I went to yoga for the first time in probably a year and it’s been sporadic, at best, in my home practice.

As for freelance work, I’ve had several new clients and current clients bring me projects and I love the creative break that it grants me away from my day job. I like diversity. My head is always spinning with new creative endeavors that I wish I had more time for.

How do I get more time!?

Since starting with the new school, we’ve been very involved. There are fun events that brings everyone together. This past month was Feast Day – our Thanksgiving celebration. Last night we had a trolley ride to our local Christmas light area called Candy Cane Lane. It was so fun! And I’m also involved with the committee to develop a new logo for our new vision statement. It’s been fun so far.

As for some personal projects, I’ve completed another pair of rainbow crocodile booties. I’ve been working on some elfin booties as well for the last two weeks. I had looked at several patterns and pictures to finally settle on ones I like.

Now I have to do the second one lol. This is the most holiday I’ve gotten so far. We have yet to put up decorations aside from a wreath and I think we are going for our tree next week. I haven’t figured out our holiday cards yet either! I’m so behind. I did buy one present so far.

I’ve done a couple holiday shows and have one more to go. The last show I sold 5 bars of soap but almost all the lotion. Quite interesting! I will be selling soap as much as possible to start the year fresh!

This last week was quite emotional. My eldest son went to the ER because of a seizure scare. Thankfully, he did not have a seizure according to his dr. More like a stressed induced event. He hasn’t been taking the greatest care of himself and his girlfriend might be pregnant and moving. He is under a lot of stress. We were all very scared.

I can’t believe that we are in the last month of the year already. My birthday will be here before I know it. I will be perpetually 39 now. 😉

My winter knit

I knit myself a hat. I try to knit myself something new every year. Hats seems to be the easiest things.

I also test knitted a unicorn hoodie scarf. I don’t think I like anyone enough to make another.

I made some Earl Gray soap called Cuppa Tea. It smells delightful. That’s a lil bit of calendula on top and it’s colored with turmeric.

It was school pics last week and my little guy is 7 now. I can’t believe he is in second grade! We are going camping this week as a school event. I’m excited!

That’s it for now. I’ve had some other good things happen this week but can’t talk about them just yet! But just wait! I think the universe has been listening. Thanks for everyone’s kind words and thoughts. I feel better.

Strugglin’

I don’t know if it’s the turn of the weather, my oldest son’s upcoming birthday, work or what but I’m feeling so down. I hate feeling depressed especially when I do my best to combat it. There’s only so much sometimes though I can do to not go through what I’ve always gone through. Some years, I’m really better. Other times, I go months feeling that I’m in a rut.

Rut rut rut…

It’s officially knitting season again and I’m pushing myself to knit. Maybe this will cheer me up.

Unicornia Mania

A few of my unicorn highlights this week.

Legging my mother-in-law found for me.

At the Scholastic Book Fair:

The topper of a lovey I have yet to finish:

My new phone background. I found this on Pinterest but I didn’t save the link for some reason.

Just wanted to share some magic. I needed a little bit to start the week.

New Year, New School

Our lil D has started second grade at a new school! We are so extremely stoked. The last couple years have been hard on him and every morning he would groan and lament about going to school. So, we decided we are trying something different – private school.

There are several private schools in the area, most of them being parochial and since we are quite free-range with our parenting, we went with the one that most suited our thought process. It’s called West Branch School and it is delightful! Picture one-room schoolhouse. It has an upper and lower level of “grade levels” My son is in the lower level and the school only runs to 6th grade so he will only be there for a few years until he has to go back to public school. So far he is really excited. This school’s mission is to foster a love of learning and teach the whole child. I just love that.

Now, this school has some parental expectations. This is not for the kind of parents who are not hands on. After going through the last 13 years with my eldest, I would categorize us as pretty handsy. However, there is a lot more to this school. Parents keep the school together with committees that each parent gets to be on. We clean the school on designated days and group days. We get to come in every month and teach the kids something so the teachers can do planning. There is a fair that is held every year and almost monthly activities to join in on. I really like the aspect of being involved with my son’s schooling on a more personal level. Think the PTA on steroids but with a smaller amount of people. There’s less than 50 kids in this school, so that’s less than 100 people running things.

In any case, we feel so fortunate that we are able to send him there. We’ve known about it for awhile but was just not able to financially afford such an endeavor. This meant putting off getting a new vehicle but I’ll keep driving my 20 year old Jeep. She’s purple and I just can’t bear to part with her yet. I think that the investment is far worth the gains in my son’s attitude and education. I’ll regale you with our tales as the year goes on. This should prove interesting!