Works in Progress-October 2017

I always have multiple works in progress going on.  This month I had to drop everything, and start knitting a baby gift that I need by the end of the month.  Some of my October projects may get lost to winter hibernation as the holidays near.  I am usually working on holiday gifts by now, and am really behind.

Knitting

Architexture
Architexture Scarf Knitting Kit by Jennifer Weissman Craftsy
  1. Long Term Project – I am still knitting Architexture by Jennifer Weissman: from Craftsy It’s done in Cloudborn Highland Fingering yarn. You can get the kit  from Craftsy,  or you can get the pattern by itself from Ravelry. 
    Cloche Hat
    Lucy Hat Pattern by Carina Spencer

    Lucy Hat Pattern by Carina Spencer.
  2. Instant Gratification Project – Finished!   Carina Spencer’s Lucy Hat done in Lion Brand’s Wool Ease in Cranberry and Oxford Grey.  I wish I would have knit the bigger size.  The hat fits, but I would like more ear coverage. This pattern is adorable, and it knitted up quickly. I am pleased with the way it turned out. I love the swirl created by the decreases on the top of the hat!

    Susie Rogers
    Susie Rogers’ Reading Mitts
  3. Fingerless Mitts – I had put this one aside.  I started it because I needed a photo for my post 10 Websites for Knitting and Crochet Patterns.   This is one of my favorite free patterns-Susie Rogers’ Reading Mitts.  It is a delightful knit, and I would a pair of these for myself.  I am knitting the mitts in Lion Brand Wool Ease-Cranberry.

    Giant Ball of Yarn
    Instant Gratification Scarf
  4. Instant Gratification Project-Quick Scarf – This yarn is a giant ball of different kinds of yarn tied together.  I am knitting it into a scarf for an amazing family member.  It is knit on size 35 needles so it is going pretty fast.

    Baby Gift
    Baby Gifts
  5. Baby Gift – I need a baby gift before the end of the month, so I dropped everything and started knitting my favorite baby hat pattern the Umbilical Cord Hat by Jennifer L. Jones.  I finished the hat, and now am working on a pair of Beth’s Easy Knit Baby Booties by Beth Koskie to go with it.  The yarn is Bernat Satin. I finished the first bootie, and am working on the second one. You can read more about my favorite baby patterns in my post 7 of My Favorite Free Patterns for Babies.

Weaving

Weaving
Pink Shawl-Lionbrand Shawl in a Ball on a Kromski Harp

5. Pink Shawl –  I am still working on the pink shawl on my Kromski Harp. The yarn is Lion Brand’s Shawl in a Ball.

Pumpkin Art Yarn
Pumpkin Art Yarn
Yarn
Knitting into a Pumpkin

Spinning-Knitting

6. Pumpkin Art Yarn – I dyed up some Blue Faced Leicester wool in my “dye only” crock-pot using Jacquard Acid Dyes.  I gathered every bit of orange wool I could find in my yarn stash and put it in a bin.  There were some bits of silk, lovely merino wool, and some copper sparkle.  I used my hand cards and made some mini art rolags. I spun a thick and  thin yarn and then  plied with orange sewing thread.  Now I am knitting it into a pumpkin.

7 of my Favorite Knitting Patterns for Babies

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Every now and then you have to drop what you are doing to knit a baby gift. That’s what happened to me last week. I lost track of time and need a gift for a baby shower at the end of the month. Knitting for babies is a lot of fun. Babies are tiny and adorable, so knitting for them is a great joy. Most baby gifts are quick and easy. I find that I tend to go for the same patterns over and over. I want to share with you 7 of my favorite knitting patterns for babies.

Umbilical Cord Hat by Jennifer L. Jones 

This is my favorite baby hat pattern, and my go to baby gift. I usually give this hat with a matching pair of baby booties.  The hat is knit in the round and the pattern can be found in Deb Stoller’s Stitch N’ Bitch: The Knitter’s Handbook.  You can buy the book from Amazon here. The book is a lot of fun, and I have lost count of how many times I have made this hat.

Beth’s Easy Baby Booties by Beth Koskie

I love this free pattern. I usually knit it up in a single color and use a ribbon for the drawstring. It is my go to baby bootie pattern because the booties stay on the babies feet.

Baby Boy 5 Hour Sweater by Gail Bable

I enjoy knitting this free pattern for both boys and girls. I love it for its speed and simplicity. Baby sweaters make great first time sweater projects because the construction is the same as an adult sweater, but done on a smaller scale.  It is much less intimidating than knitting an adult sweater.

Mary Jane Booties by Lucie Sinkler 

These are super cute!  They have the look of Mary Jane’s, but more comfortable for the baby.  You can add cute buttons to hold the strap.  These can be matched with any cute outfit!

The Once Upon a Time Baby Blanket by Caitlyn Ffrench 

Fans of the ABC series “Once Upon a Time” may recognize this blanket as baby Emma’s blanket in the series pilot episode.  This gorgeous blanket makes appearances through out the first season.  The blanket was designed by the amazing Caitlyn Ffrench, who is kind enough to offer the pattern for free!

Yoda Baby Hat by Shinah Chang

I am a huge Star Wars fan.  This free Yoda hat is a great gift for future fans.  I knit this hat up as a gift for an awesome new mom about a year ago, in a town far far away… Just kidding!  It was knit in my hometown.

Baby Surprise Hat by Elizabeth Zimmerman

This is probably one of the most knit baby sweaters of all time.  The amazing garter stitch construction looks stunning in yarns that change color.  It has been published in numerous books and magazines.

Related:  10 Websites for Free Knitting and Crochet Patterns

 

How to Dye Yarn in the Microwave: The Ziploc Bag Method

The Yarn Bucket is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.  If you purchase from Amazon using one of these links I may make a small commission at no additional charge to you!

This is one of my favorite ways to dye yarn. It is a lot like steaming vegetables in a bag. I like that you can seal the bag to minimize mess.

Supplies:

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Glass Pyrex bowl
  • Wool – Yarn I used Lion Brand’s Fisherman’s Wool, but any 100% wool can be used. You can also use some wool blends. I have had success with blends with 80% wool. You can also use a super wash wool and not have any worries about felting.
  • Wilton Icing Colors – I used Kelly Green and Royal
  • 2 Pyrex measuring cups
  • Gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Aluminum foil
  • Ziploc heavy duty freezer bag gallon size

    How to Dye Yarn in a Microwave - Ziploc Bag Method
    Yarn Prepared for Dyeing

Step 1

Prepare your yarn. In order for us to dye the yarn we need to wind your yarn into a hank, or a large ring of yarn. You can do this with a nitty noddy if you have one. If you don’t have a nitty then you can use my tutorial on how to tie your yarn into a hank with a chair.

Step 2

Prepare your work space to protect your counter tops. I like to use aluminum foil to cover my work area. I also laid down paper towels. Keep the paper towels close by for a quick clean up. Gather your supplies. Don’t forget to wear the glove to protect your hands from staining.

Step 3

Soak your yarn in a water and vinegar solution. For this batch I used a ratio of 1 part vinegar to 6 parts water. Let soak for at least 30 minutes.  You can mix your dye while your yarn is soaking.

Preparing Yarn to Dye
Let the Yarn Soak in the Vinegar and Water Solution for at Least 30 Minutes

Step 4

Mix the dye. Fill Pyrex measuring cup with 2 cups of water and1 tablespoon of vinegar. Dip a fork inside of the icing color of your choice. Stir into the measuring cup. You can also add some food coloring if you like. I decided to mix two dye colors for this batch. I used two forks full of Royal for one of the measuring cups, and 2 forks full of Kelly Green for the other measuring cup.

 

Mixing the Dye
Add One Tablespoon of Vinegar to Two Cups of Water
Dyeing Yarn with Wilton Icing Colors Ziploc Bag
Add a Fork Full of Dye
Dyeing Yarn in a Ziploc Bag in a Microwave
Use a Paper Towel to Check the Color Saturation
I Used Two Forks Worth of Dye for Each Color

Step 5

Microwave your dye for 2 minutes. Stir again to break up any chunks of icing color that still need to dissolve. Set aside for at least 40 minutes.

Step 6

Transfer your yarn into a Ziploc bag.  Gently squeeze out the excess water, but do not wring it out.

The Yarn in the Ziploc Bag

Step 7

Pour dye into the Ziploc bag a little at a time.   I poured the blue on the left side and the green on the right side.  You can use a spoon or your gloved hand to make sure the dye reaches the inside of the hank.  I ended up using all of the dye.

Dyeing Yarn
Pouring the Blue Dye
Dyeing Yarn in a Ziploc Bag
Pouring the Green Dye
The Yarn is Ready for the Microwave

Step 8

Place the bag in the microwave, and microwave for two minutes, then let it rest for two minutes, and then microwave for two minutes.  Repeat microwaving and resting at two minute intervals until the water in the bag is clear.  I had clear water in four cycles.

Dyeing Yarn in a Ziploc Bag
When the Water is Clear the Dye is Set

 

Step 9

Wash your yarn in the hottest water that will come out of your faucet.  Use a few drops of dawn dish detergent, gently swish yarn, and rinse well. Be careful not to let the water flow directly onto the yarn.  Too much agitation and dramatic temperature changes can cause your yarn to felt.  Hang the yarn to dry.

Dyeing Yarn in a Ziploc Bag
Hang the Yarn to Dry

 

I hope that you enjoyed this post, and will create your own colorways.  Please help other people find my blog by sharing this post on Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter!

How to Dye Yarn in the Microwave: Ziploc Bag Method