Dyeing Yarn With Kool-Aid



B and I decided to do some yarn dyeing with kool-aid for fun the other day. He isn’t very interested in the idea of making anything out of the yarn himself. I even tried to entice him with weaving or friendship bracelets, but he thought the dyeing would be fun and I will take my crafty-time with him wherever I can get it.
Here is how we dyed our wool yarns…
You need 100% wool yarn, I got my wool skeins from YarnUndyedUSA but you can use the cheapest yarn you can find from major craft stores (with those 40% off coupons) it just has to be 100% wool. Next it needs to be in a skein (also called a hank), not ball. If you buy from a place like YarnUndyed it will come in skein, but if you have a ball from the craft shop you can follow instructions here to turn it into a skein. You’ll want to tie a few pieces of scrap yarn around the skein spaced out (3-4) to keep each area secure so it doesn’t become tangled.
You’ll also need packs of unsweetened kool-aid (the store brand works fine too, it just cannot contain sugar or sugar alternatives, they would leave your wool a sticky mess)
1. First I laid out some brown paper to protect the table, kool-aid is non toxic and you can wipe it up, but it can stain. Newspaper works great too. Then I laid down some wax paper because that is what I had on hand, you can use plastic wrap too.
2. Next I soaked each yarn gently in warm water, till the water seemed to really soak in. Then a couple of gentle squeezes so the water wasn’t dripping everywhere.
3. Then have fun with the kool-aid. You can sprinkle it, turn your yarn over, add more, add less etc. The more colors you add and the more you handle your yarn, the more the colors will mix and muddy.
4. We carefully rolled up the wax paper and placed it down inside a microwave safe bowl. I added water to cover the yarn and microwaved for about 2-3 minutes until the water is a murky grey free of all color. The citric acid in the kool-aid when heated adheres the food dye to the wool, so once the water is clear you know its set. The yarn will be very hot. Let sit in water cooling until you can handle it safely. If you want to ensure that none of your colors blend and bleed together you can use a microwave steamer basket set over a bowl of water in the microwave instead, but you may have to cook it a bit longer. I try not to move the yarn around too much and we didn’t have too much muddying.
5. Rinse your yarn gently, do not ring, or agitate the wool too much or some of your yarn could felt. Then just hang to dry.
There are tons of great recourses and info on dyeing yarn with kool-aid, food coloring, and Easter egg dye here. It really is so much fun and inexpensive to experiment with!

Sew Together Bag






A few weeks back my friend Katie and her son came to stay for the weekend. On Sunday we decided we should do some sort of sewing project together and Katie was talking about how she needed a new makeup bag. I’ve made the Sew Together bag once before, but it was on my old machine and I ended up giving it away, so it seemed a good time to try another.
I don’t have any photos of Katie’s bag except here on Instagram because I took these photos later, but she did such a great job! While I think Katie does enjoy sewing, I’m pretty sure she was cursing me for making her attempt such an involved bag. In the end though you could tell she was super proud and had a new makeup carrying case for her next trip!
I love my bag and still have not decided exactly what I want to keep in it, which probably means I need a new special project just to store in my bag.
Sew Together bag pattern
Kim Kight’s Lucky Strikes fabric for Cotton & Steel (this is what I used on my bag, I love these fabrics so much!)

The Salvation Army Fabric Fair


I was really bummed when I got the postcard this year for my local Salvation Army Fabric Fair and saw it was the same dates as our trip to Florida. I look forward to the fair so much each year that I have been known to not only have trouble sleeping the night before, but to have weird fabric fair dreams. So coming back from Florida and still feeling bummed that I missed it I thought I would do some google searching to see if there might be another close by. I knew there was a sale in Pittsburg (I went one year, but its a 3 hour hike and it was in April), there is a small one in Carlisle PA but that is usually held in the fall, and I knew of one in Portland Maine (looks like they hold theirs in May). It took awhile of me searching but I was so excited when I stumbled upon a postcard announcing a fabric fair in York PA, which is only about an hour drive for us. Yesterday Tom, B, and I woke up early and set out for York. Oh and true to form I had dreams the night before that we showed up late and there was barely anything left to look through. The guys were so very patient leaving me to shop, but then coming back once I had a filled bag so they could go pay for it while I continued to look with free hands.
All the sales I’ve been too are generally set up the same way. There are tables with fabric divided into cottons, wools, silks, etc. Then there is usually a section with small scrap cuts of fabric bagged in little bundles.
Now besides fabric you can find a million other craft supplies, patterns, books, yarn, knitting needles, crochet hooks, sewing machines, and any other sewing notion you can think of. This sale had boxes set up in a craft area that you had to dig through to see what treasure might be inside. I didn’t end up finding too much fabric I liked, but got a few smaller pieces. I did get some pretty buttons, dolls, cute embroidered animals, doll eyes, and I’ve taken a few photos to show you what I bought.
I also took a few phone photos when I was at the sale, but at times it was a crowded hot jumble so the photos are not the best.
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If you want to see some of my previous fabric fair experiences you can find them all here:
2014
2013
2012
another from 2012
and another 2012
2011
and a photo from 2007
-3 photos from 2006 here, here, and here though I think 2005 was my first year attending I couldn’t find any photos from it.

Fauxdori (using iron on transfers on leather)

fauxdori
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fauxdori
My friend Olivia had been texting me photos of her planners, and it’s made me really want one of my own. She introduced me to the midori traveler notebook, which is basically a leather folder with elastic inside so you can add in and remove notebooks, planners etc. I loved that idea and once you start looking into the world that is midori, you’ll discover all these fauxdoris (or handmade midori style planners) Since there are loads of DIYs showing you how simple it is I decided to try and make my own.
I had recently learned that you could use InkJet Iron-On Dark T-Shirt Transfers to iron images onto leather. So I decided to try and customize mine with images from my recent fabric designs. I am happy to report that I have been using my fauxdori for a few weeks now and the iron on transfer still looks like new. No edge peeling, no flaking, or cracking. I can’t wait to try this method for projects now.
For the inside of my fauxdori I cut some small blank notebooks I already owned down a bit so they would fit inside. I have been using one to plan out things I need to get done each day, another for sketching, and the third for list making. I’d love to sit down and create some printable custom inserts for my fauxdori soon.
Please note that the Amazon link above is an Amazon affiliate link and if you purchase something using the link I will receive a small Amazon credit.

Accessories Bag


I recently took the plunge and invested in a Juki TL-2010Q sewing machine Even though I sew for a big majority of my work, and I’ve been doing this as a career for the past twelve years, I could never bring myself to invest in a proper machine. Instead I’ve burnt out motors on cheaper machines, and just made do over the years. I am so in love with my new machine! The first thing I decided I needed to sew for it was a bag to hold all the accessories and feet that came with it. The Juki doesn’t have an area to store them on the machine, so I knew I needed to take care of that first. Plus I was eager to dive in and sew something up as soon as I figured out threading & oiling.
I used this free pattern by The Sewing Chick for the body of the bag, but then altered it by adding a drawstring bag top because I didn’t want to knock the bag over, or lose anything if I moved it around the studio. This was my first time sewing with Cotton & Steel’s gorgeous fabrics too, such a treat! As you can probably tell I still need to work on getting my tension down for the top stitching, but I was very impatient so I didn’t spend enough time testing it out.
I added one of the little fabric tags I made a few weeks back. You can see a bunch of the ones I made here all together. I used a technique I found here for creating the tags. They were so easy to make and really add something extra to a project!