Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Writing Meme...

One of my friends found this wonderful meme about who your writing style is like. So I clicked the link & this is what I got...

I write like
J. K. Rowling

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Isn't that awesome!!! My favorite author of my favorite books. :D

Monday, June 14, 2010

I've been doing some extensive research on the different methods of dyeing yarn & want to share a few with you all. The 3 methods I have tried are squirt bottles, stove-top & bowls. I'm showing you these methods with kool-aid but I've done them with professional dyes as well. They work just as well except you have to add vinegar to the water bath & the dye liquid.

Squirt Bottle Method
*animal fiber yarn (I used wool)
*cling/saran/plastic wrap
*gloves (if you don't want colored fingers)
*kool-aid packets (for this yarn I used 4 envelopes of Black Cherry & 4 of Grape)
*squirt bottles-1 for each color you're using (I got mine at Wal-Mart for $.97, you can use anything that will allow you to squirt a small stream)
*medium to large bowl

Vampire's Kiss yarn

*Prepare your work area by placing a tablecloth down (or if you don't have one handy, sometimes newspapers work). Layout your yarn to use as a measurement for how long you need your plastic wrap to be. Put down layers of plastic wrap overlaping the edges. I lay down 2 next to each other & place a third overtop both of them. I then pat that one down to make sure they are clinging to each other. I put 2 more layers down & pat those too. You just wanna make sure the kool-aid solution won't leak out when your dyeing your yarn.

Vampire's Kiss yarn

*Using lukewarm water, fill your bowl up enough to cover your wool. Place wool in the bowl & hold it down to get all the air bubbles out of it. The more air bubbles you get out, the more color your yarn will absorb. Let it soak for about 20 minutes.

Vampire's Kiss yarn

*Put 1 cup of water in each of your bottles & add your kool-aid. I used 1 cup of water to 4 envelopes of kool-aid for this method. (Feel free to experiment with the # of kool-aid packs. The more packs the deeper the color as shown on this site.) I filled 2 bottles for each color as I wasn't sure how much I would need. I ended up using only 1 bottle of each color.

Vampire's Kiss yarn

Vampire's Kiss yarn

*Once your yarn has finished it's soak, gently squeeze the water out of it. Place it on your plastic wrap & spread it out a bit.

Vampire's Kiss yarn

*Now put on your gloves, if you haven't already. Here's where your creativity comes into play. Decide how you want your yarn to look, where you want your colors. I did half the yarn with Black Cherry & the other half with Grape. You could do little bits of color or all one color. I started with the Black Cherry & started soaking up one end.

Vampire's Kiss yarn

*You might have to pat down the spots that didn't get any color. If your yarn is thick, lift it up to make sure the yarn underneath got color too.

Vampire's Kiss yarn

*Once you have this section done, repeat for the other section & color.

Vampire's Kiss yarn

Vampire's Kiss yarn

*Now lift the top side of the yarn & place it on top of itself to make it smaller. Or just squish it together. Either way works.

Vampire's Kiss yarn

*Pull the bottom end of the plastic wrap up & onto the yarn.

Vampire's Kiss yarn

*Fold the ends in (kinda like how they do with Subway sandwich paper)

Vampire's Kiss yarn

Vampire's Kiss yarn

*And finally pull the top of the plastic wrap down over the yarn & pat down to seal it.

Vampire's Kiss yarn

*Place it into a bowl & put it in the microwave. Microwave it for 4 minutes, let it rest for 2-3 minutes, repeat twice.

Vampire's Kiss yarn

Vampire's Kiss yarn

*Let it cool. The longer you let it cool, the more vibrant the colors will be. I usually can't wait too long & end up rinsing after about 2 to 3 hours. Whatever temp your yarn is, is what temp your rinsing water should be. Now take the plastic wrap off & start rinsing your yarn. Try not to smoosh your yarn too much. Felting occurs from handling/smooshing & not from the hot temp of the water. Your yarn is ready when the water is clear.

Vampire's Kiss yarn

*Squeeze the water out of your yarn & put it on a drying rack or hang it with a bowl underneath to catch the water.

Vampire's Kiss yarn

*Once it's dry, it's ready to use. You can name your yarn too. :D I call this Vampire's Kiss.

Vampire's Kiss yarn

Vampire's Kiss yarn

Stove-Top Method
*animal fiber yarn (I used wool)
*large pot
*kool-aid (I used 4 envelopes of Berry Blue & 4 of Lemon-Lime)
*jar/glass/measuring cup - anything that will hold at least 1 cup of water - 1 for each color used
*medium to large bowl
*gloves (optional)

Forks Supplies

*Using lukewarm water, fill your bowl up enough to cover your wool. Place wool in the bowl & hold it down to get all the air bubbles out of it. The more air bubbles you get out, the more color your yarn will absorb. Let it soak for about 20 minutes.


*Transfer yarn & water from bowl to pan. Turn on your stove to bring the water to a simmer. You want it to be hot but not boiling.


*Mix 1 cup of water with your packets of kool-aid. Make sure it's dissolved. Pour in spots on your yarn like below.


*Repeat with other color.


*Cook your yarn until the water turns clear. Mine took about 30 minutes to 1 hour. The time will depend on how many packets of kool-aid you used. Rinse your yarn with lukewarm water to make sure all the color is gone.


*Squeeze out water & put on drying rack or hang with a bucket underneath.


*When it's dry, use it for your next crochet/knitting project. Oh & don't forget to name it. This one reminds me of the forest surrounding Forks, so it's Forks Forest.

Forks Forest

Bowl Method
*animal fiber yarn (I used wool)
*2 medium bowls (must be able to fit both in your microwave)
*kool-aid (I used 4 envelopes of Berry Blue & 4 of Grape)
*gloves (optional)

Purple Haze Supplies

*Using lukewarm water, fill your bowl up enough to cover your wool. Place wool in the bowl & hold it down to get all the air bubbles out of it. The more air bubbles you get out, the more color your yarn will absorb. Let it soak for about 20 minutes


*Put on your gloves & put lukewarm water, about 4 to 5 cups, into each of the bowls. Add your kool-aid packets to each bowl & mix to dissolve the kool-aid.



*Gently squeeze the water out of your yarn. Put half of it in one bowl & the other half in the other bowl. You will have to dip the middle uncolored part of the yarn in one of the sides to get the color on it.



*Now here's the tricky part, move the bowls into the microwave. :D Microwave for 2 minutes, let rest for 1-2 minutes. Do this until the water is clear. Once the water is clear, let cool for a couple of hours. Once cooled, rinse out with water that is the same temp as the yarn. When water runs clear, squeeze out excess water & dry.


*Enjoy your yarn & name it. This one is Twilight Haze.

Twilight Haze

I hope you will give dyeing a try. It's a blast & you really never know what you're gonna end up with. Beware it can be very addictive. Don't ask me how many kool-aid packets I have. ;D

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hogwart's House Unity Tote

I decided to make a Hogwart's House Unity Tote using all of the house crests on www.sewhooked.org. You can use the tutorial from earlier but just substitute a few things.

Fabric A (Black)
4 - 8" x 8"
8 - 6" x 6" (cut in half diagonally to make 16 total)

Fabric B (Scarlet, Green, Blue & Yellow)
1 - 8" x 8" of each of the 4 colors
1 - 9" x 9" of each of the 4 colors (cut in half diagonally using 1 triangle of each color)

Fabric A (Black) 2 - 4" x 25"

Fabric A (Black) 1 - 22 1/2" x 44"

Follow the directions in the previous post referring to the photos below for the change in colors & placement of houses.

Gryffindor House Tote

I thought I'd use my very first tutorital as my very first post for my crafty blog. It was originally posted about a year ago on my livejournal page. Enjoy!!

A customer at the quilt shop I work at brought a bag similar to this in to the shop. She explained how she made it and this bag is based on hers.

Gryffindor Tote Bag

BagFabric A (Gold) 7 - 8" x 8"
2 - 6" x 6" (cut in half diagonally to make 4 triangles)

Fabric B (Scarlet) 4 - 8" x 8"
2 - 9" x 9" (cut in half diagonally to make 4 triangles)

StrapsFabric B (Scarlet) 2 - 4" x 25"Lining

Fabric B (Scarlet) 1 - 22 1/2" x 44"

Cotton Batting or Fusible Fleece 2 - 1 1/4" x 25"

*Piece your favorite Harry Potter block. Use any of Jennifer's wonderful patterns on www.sewhooked.org or any 5" finished block.

*Matching center of side of HP block and center of long side of gold triangle, place right sides together and stitch. Press towards gold triangle. Repeat with opposite side of HP block.

*Trim edges even with edges of HP block

*Repeat for last two steps for remaining two sides of HP block

*Square block to 8" x 8'

*Referring to the first picture below, sew a gold 8" x 8" square to a scarlet 8" x 8" square to a gold 8" x 8" square to a scarlet 9" triangle. Make sure the scarlet triangle is positioned correctly. Press towards scarlet fabric. Repeat to make 3. Make another one with the HP block positioned as in the second photo.

*Looking at pictures, sew the bottom of a gold square to the side of the other gold square to make an L shape. Start the seam 1/4" in. Repeat to make 2 total.

*Looking at pic & diagram (you'll need to click on the diagram to get a clearer picture), sew both L shapes together leaving 1/4" open on each sides of seam

*Now take one scarlet point and pull it over the corner of where the gold square is sewn to the scarlet triangle. This will sew one side of the bag together.

*Repeat for remaining 3 sides and turn right side out.


*Lay each 4" x 25" piece of strap fabric right side down on ironing board. Place a 1 1/4" x 25" batting/fleece even with one edge of strap and fold over. Press.

*Fold opposite raw edge over to meet other folded raw edge. Press.

*Fold over to completely encase batting/fleece. Press, pin and stitch to secure edge. Add a stitch or two on each side of first seam. You can use decorative stitches if you would like and your sewing machine has them.

*Pin each strap end to the center of each scarlet triangle. Baste all 4 ends.


*With right sides together and using a 1/2" seam, stitch down one side. On the opposite side, sew a seam leaving an 8" opening in middle of one side. Press bottom folded edge.

*W/bag still wrong side out, line up side seam with pressed bottom edge of lining. Press.

*Measure down from point on each side 7 3/8". Mark on each side and draw a line connecting each mark. Pin & sew a seam on drawn line.

*Repeat for other side and trim off corners.

Attaching Bag to Lining

*W/ bag right side out and lining inside out, place bag inside lining. Pin top edges and stitch together. (I added a zigzag stitch to reinforce the seam.)

*Pull bag right side out through the opening in the side of the lining. Whipstitch opening shut. Place lining inside bag & iron top of bag.
*Enjoy your Hogwarty goodness.

*Just in case your not a Gryffindor, here's how I would do the other houses:
Fabric A - Silver/Gray
Fabric B - Green
Straps - Green
Lining - Green
Fabric A - Brown/Bronze
Fabric B - Blue
Straps - Blue
Lining - Blue
Fabric A - Black
Fabric B - Yellow
Straps - Yellow
Lining - Yellow
pst...I don't own Harry Potter or anything from Harry Potter, JK does.