Playing with Yarn

Hello, Stitchy Friends!

Summer vacation is in its second third week already. Amazing how quickly time is flying by. We’ve been busy making bottle rockets, reading great books, and mostly doing just a whole lot of nothing. Sadly, that also means I haven’t been stitching much. My mojo has waned as the heat has grown.

But, even school holidays demand at least a tiny bit of a schedule. So, when the little man is working on some worksheets (gotta prevent the summer knowledge leak!), I settle down with my lovely shawl project.

Edlothia Shawl, designed by Jasmin Räsänen

I haven’t made much progress since the last time I shared, but it is still moving along. As before, the pattern is Edlothia, designed by Jasmin Räsänen and available for free on Ravelry.

Meandering Socks, designed by Dana Gervais for Knit Picks

My other little project is Meandering Socks, designed by Dana Gervais for Knit Picks. It is part of their Artful Arches pattern book. Every pattern in the book is designed to look good with hand-painted or stripey yarn. I’m using Lana Grossa Meilenweit Solo Cotone Print in colourway 4002, which is a beautiful tonal purple. Unfortunately, I’m stuck on the heel of this darn sock. It is a modified Feegle, which I love, but I keep losing count! The heat has melted my brain!

More stitching and other good stuff is coming soon, I promise. Until then, keep cool (or warm).

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4 Comments | Posted in Crochet, Knitting | Tagged , , , ,

Saturday School – Dyeing Yarn

Welcome back to Saturday School!

Today we will be watching another video from Yarnspirations and The Crochet Crowd. This time Mikey is taking us through the process of yarn dyeing. Specifically, he is sharing how cotton yarn is dyed as a solid and as a variegated yarn.

Spinrite makes all sorts of yarns, and different dyeing processes are used depending on the composition of the yarn. Home dyers know that wool yarns need different dyes than cotton yarns due to the way that fibres absorb the dye. If you’ve ever played around with dyeing fabric for needlework and have found that, say, adia takes dye different than linen, it is sort of the same idea.

Dyeing cotton yarns or floss at home isn’t too hard. You can use dyes like Tulip that are meant for fabric dyeing. Fibre reactive dyes are the best choice, but natural dyes (like onion skins) also work really well. Just be sure that you properly set your dyes or you’ll end up with a mess when you wash your project.

Wool yarn and floss is also super easy to dye at home. You can use food dye, KoolAid, Easter egg dye, and more. Acid dyes also work great and can give you some amazing colours.

Acrylic yarn is a whole different ball (ha!) game. Most acrylic yarn is dyed before it is spun into yarn. (Remember the pink fluff at the beginning of last week’s video?) It is possible to dye it afterwards, but the colour tends to stay on the outside of the fibre and isn’t always absorbed evenly. If you want to dye acrylic yarn at home, it is pretty difficult. You can’t use RIT, fibre-reactive dyes, or acid dyes. Most dyes needed to dye acrylic yarns are pretty toxic, although there are a few brands of disperse dye that are safe for home use. Check out this link for some more info.

Dyed mixed-fibre yarn

Dyeing mixed fibres can produce some interesting results. I once dyed a cotton/bamboo/elastic blend. The cotton and bamboo took the dye really nicely, with each fibre coming out a slightly different shade of blue, and the elastic remained white. So, the yarn looked heathered–an unexpected by lovely result.

Have you every dyed fabric, yarn, or floss? How did it turn out? What dyes did you use? Please let us know in a comment below.

1 Comment | Posted in Crochet, Cross Stitch, Knitting, Satuday School | Tagged , ,

Saturday School – How Yarn is Made

Hi, Stitchy Friends!

Today marks the start of a new series here at Stitching Lotus: Saturday School. Every week I’ll be sharing a cool video, article, or picture essay that will teach us all a little bit about needlework, knitting, yarn, or other fibre-y things.

For the inaugural Saturday School I wanted to share a fabulous video put together by Yarnspirations and the Crochet Crowd. It shows how Spinrite, the makers of wonderful yarns like Bernat and Lily, make some of their yarns.

This video shows how a couple of different types of yarns are made and explains a lot of the steps involved. It is facinating to watch the yarn move from raw fibre (it looks like pink cotton candy!) into a finished ball of yarn. Who knows, one of these balls could have ended up in your stash!

Let me know what you think! And please let me know if there are other topics you’d like to learn about.

1 Comment | Posted in Crochet, Knitting, Satuday School | Tagged , , ,

Little Santa Sack

Hi, Stitchy Friends.

Once in a while I manage to overcome my laziness and actually properly finish a project or two. You may remember that my Smalls SAL finish for May was Lizzie*Kate’s Very Merry Santa, and that I hadn’t got around to sewing it into a bag. Well:

Very Merry Santa, designed by Lizzie*Kate

Yay! Here he is all finished up. I used the fabric, ribbon, and buttons included in the kit. The back is the same fabric you see on the top cuff.

Unfortunately, this bag didn’t go together as nicely as the previous ones in the series (Hello Spring for example). The template was too small (I would have had to cut some of my stitching to make it fit), and the included finishing fabric was only very barely just enough. In fact, I had to make the top cuff shorter than called for to make it fit. This is the first time I have run into any issues with a Lizzie*Kate kit like this, and hopefully it will be the last. 😉

Santa will be put away until Christmas. But, at least I have all the other designs from this series stitched up and properly finished, so I can display the proper one for each season.

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5 Comments | Posted in Cross Stitch | Tagged , ,

Happy 150, Canada!

Today Canada celebrates its 150th birthday.

Like the vast majority of you, I love my country. Yes, we have problems with poverty, racism and immigration, how we treat our Native peoples, and liberals vs. conservatives. We fight about language, with one province regularly threatening to succeed over it. But, overall, it is a really great place to live. Generally speaking we are a tolerant and inclusive bunch, fairly polite, and as proud as possible to be Canadian.

I will admit that I’m not the most patriotic person in the world. But, this year I did plant my front garden with all kinds of red and white flowers, and there are little Canadian flags in all my flower pots. I’ve also stitched a few Canadian-themed designs over the years, and I thought I would share a few of them with you today.

Hearts of Canada: Nova Scotia by Victoria Sampler (stitched 2009)

Reflections of Canada, designed by Ink Circles

O Canada! Sampler, designed by Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler

I Love Canada, designed by unknown

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Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canadians! And a happy Saturday to everyone else. 😉

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7 Comments | Posted in Cross Stitch, The Outside World | Tagged , , ,

Smalls SAL – June 2017 Check-In

Hello, Small Stitchers! What’s this? The post is up on time (at least for my time zone) and the reminder email is due to go out soon. I managed to pull myself together this month! School just finished up yesterday and the lazy days of summer are finally here so there really was no excuse. 😉

This month I stitched up a little kit that I got as a freebie from my LNS. The design has the lovely name of PM1214 and is from Luca-S. The kit included the floss fabric, and the twine. I finished it up and stuffed it with some fibre fill and some dried lavender.

Luca-S Sachet Kit

The quality of the materials is really nice. The fabric is quite thick, and the floss is from Anchor (I think). I totally want to stitch more things from them, like maybe one of their handbags or blouses(!).

So, what did you stitch this month? Are you working on flowers or flipflops or other summery designs, or have you gotten a head-start on Christmas or Halloween? Please leave a link to your finished small (using the post’s permalink) using the little button below. Please make sure you use a thumbnail of your finished design.

The link  list will remain open to new entries until about midnight Eastern time on July 6th. Remember: for each month that you share your finished small you get one entry into the end of the year draw.

Next Month
The next Smalls SAL check-in post will take place on Friday, July 28th.

Thank you again for taking part in the Smalls SAL. I really, really enjoy looking at all your finishes every month.



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13 Comments | Posted in Cross Stitch | Tagged , ,

WIP Wednesday – Longest Day Clean-Up

Hello, Stitchy Friends! Here in the Northern Hemisphere it is the first day of summer, finally. And that means it is the longest day of the year. Well, Jo over at Serendipitous Stitching had the wonderful idea of doing a Longest Day SAL where she would spend time working on each of her UFOs throughout the day. (You can read all about it here.) She held the SAL yesterday (so the day before the longest day), and I joined in in my own little way.

So many WIPs. This is going to take a while.

You see, I have way too many UFOs to work on all of them in one day. Assuming I had about eight hours of free time to work on them, I could have spent about 15 minutes per UFO… So, instead I decided it would be a good idea to sort through my UFOs.

I declare these finished! Sure, they aren’t stitched totally as charted, but I like them the way they are.

It is a bit humbling and a bit depressing to see them all spread across the living room floor. The oldest one dates back 20 years, and the newest was started last month and has just a couple of stitches in it. Some of them seemed so important or special when I started them, but then somehow they just weren’t anymore.

Stuff to put away. It’s okay to give up on projects.

I put on my big girl panties and made some tough choices. That really old UFO, TW’s Magical Night, went into the bin (it was tangled up in some bad memories and it was stitched on fabric that didn’t have a square weave. Ugh!). It was joined by a few others. A couple of started kits ended up in my “to sell” pile, but if no one wants them they will go too, and a few other projects were picked apart and all the pieces put away.

Good bye old projects!

I also took time to update the Google spreadsheet that I use to keep track of my UFOs. According to my records I’m now down to 63 UFOs. 🙁 Don’t ask about the number of things I have kitted up and not started, or all the charts I have.

Clearly, I need to have a longest day every day and spend way more time stitching!

What does your WIPs collection look like? Could your stash do with a good clean out? Let me know I’m not alone. 😉

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