Make Madness 2018 – Day 21/22 | Hand Dyed Yarn

So I had planned to post my yarn dyeing adventures yesterday, but it literally took me ALL day to prep the yarn.  And by prep I mean taking 100g hanks of sock weight yarn and breaking them into 50g hanks.  Simple, right?  Not so  much.  I used my swift to wind up half of each skein but somewhere along the way, things got a big tangled and I spent most of yesterday untangling yarn!!!!!  And I didn’t want to bore you with that disaster.  Finally I had 8 50g hanks and was able to set them up to soak overnight so I could hit the ground running today with the fun part. The dyeing!!!

I had dyed yarn in the past with Kool Aid, but today I wanted to experiment with food color paste as well as Jacquard acid dyes.  I also wanted to try different heating options: microwave, steam and immersion.  I watched several YouTube videos: one from Carie of the Creative Obsession and several from Rebecca of ChemKnits.  All the yarn I used was Cloudborn Fibers Merino Superwash Sock Twist (80% SW Merino Wool/20% Polyamide).

Here are the results:


These two skeins (left) were dyed in the same bath using Jacquard dye and the stove top heat method.



For this speckled skein (right), I pre-mixed Kool Aid and applied the color sporadically.  I heat set the dye using steam.



This skein (left) was made using pre-mixed Kool-Aid, but for the yellow color, I added McCormick yellow food coloring to make the color more vibrant.  I heat set this using steam.



This skein (right) was a combination of pre-mixed Lime Kool Aid and pre-mixed Wilton Violet food color paste.  This was also heat set with steam.



For this skein (left) I used a pre-mixed Wilton Violet food color paste applied with a plastic fork and then dipped the fork into powdered Berry Wild Kool-Aid to achieve the reddish/pink color.  I set this with microwave heat.


This skein (right) was a combination of the yellow pre-mixed Kool Aid/food coloring and Wilton Violet food color paste.  This was set with steam.



Finally for the last skein (left) I used the stove-top method and added Jacquard dyes directly onto the fiber.



All in all, I’m so happy with all the results.  I do like the steam heating setting method as well as the stove top method although it’s a little harder to control the color with the stove top.  For tonal and solid colors, the stove top is excellent, but for speckled or striped effects, I prefer heat setting with steam.  I wasn’t crazy about heat setting with the microwave.

Now, what will I knit with all this gorgeousness?????

Until tomorrow,






So this is how I spent my day.







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Make Madness 2018 – Day 20 | Notions bag and Progress Keeper

Even though it’s really cold and rainy today, it’s also the first day of Spring.  With that in mind, I wanted to continue to practice bag making skills with some cheery fabric and new techniques. I found a gorgeous watercolor print in my stash and paired it with a lively lime color for the lining.

I decided to make a notions bag with a “leash” and on a whim added a “dog paw” progress keeper to attach to the zipper pull.  I used my standard lined zippered bag tutorial and boxed the bottom.  Before sewing the sides completely closed, I added a fabric tab with a “D” ring attached for the “leash”.  Then after the bag was complete, I made the “leash” by folding and sewing a strip of fabric to a lanyard hook.

I love using zippered bags for my projects, but prefer that they come with handles.  I had seen bags with detachable ha

ndles and thought I’d try to make one today. I’m really pleased how it turned out and plan to fill it up.

Until tomorrow,






Speaking of “leash”, we’re ready when you are.







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Make Madness 2018 – Day 19 | Socks

No.  I did not knit a pair of socks today.

I FINISHED a pair of socks today.

One of my crafting ‘habits’ is that I love to start projects, make significant progress, but then either  become bored or distracted by the sparkly goodness of ‘new’ projects.  Invariably I end up with lots of UFO’s (Un Finished Objects) and very few FO’s (Finished Objects).  In the past year, I’ve been trying to be more of a finisher than a starter, so that’s why todays MakeMadness project is a pair of socks.  I finished the heels on Day 9 and finished the feet over the past 10 days. Today all I had to do was work the toes and cast off.

And with that I have a pair of FINISHED socks!!








These socks represented a bunch of firsts for me: first fish lips kiss heel; first pair knit with yarn I dyed myself; first pair knit with sock weight yarn; first pair knit from my own sock recipe; first pair knit two-at-a-time.

I’m on the hunt for the perfect sock recipe for my foot, so I used the instructions in the Fish Lips Kiss Heel pattern to make a template of my foot.  As an aside, to my dismay, I now have concrete proof that I have Hobbit feet. As I knit the foot of each sock, I was able to use the template to know when to stop knitting the foot and to start decreasing for the toes.  And it worked out perfectly.  The socks fit wonderfully.

Things I learned along the way:

  1. I love knitting socks two-at-a-time.
  2. The FLK heel or other short row heels fit my foot better than the traditional heel, flap and gusset heel.
  3. I need to make sure I separate my skein of yarn into two distinct cakes before I start.  I had a horrendous episode of yarn barf.
  4. I want all my socks to be hand knit.
  5. I need to cast on another pair right away!

Until tomorrow,







Hey Buddy- we don’t have to go searching for socks in the dryer anymore.  Mom’s making a bunch.

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Make Madness 2018 – Day 17 & 18| Dog Beds

With Baseball Opening Day around the corner (March 29), I knew I wanted to make dog beds for my two dogs using fabric from their respective teams. Ellie is a San Francisco Giants fan and Mindy is a Chicago Cubs fan.  Coincidentally, I am a Cubs fan and Mike, my husband, is a Giants fan. 🙂  We’re a two team family.

About 3 1/2 years ago I wrote a post about how I  make my dogs beds (Anatomy of a Dog Bed) and I used the same exact method today.  I still love the Velcro closure and using standard pillows for the “stuffing”.  All the dog beds I’ve made over the years have stood the test of time, although a couple have needed some repairs due to doggie nibbles.

Here are today’s (and yesterday’s) dog beds.







Until tomorrow,







I love my bed, Mom.  Do you think I could get a collar to match?

Posted in Accountability, Challenges and Contests, DIY From Scratch, Dogs, Fabric, Goals, Homemade, Make Madness 2018, sewing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Make Madness 2018 – Day 16 | Decoupaged Easter Eggs

In preparation for Make Madness, I found a slew of cardboard eggs that I had great plans for at one time.  While I had my napkin collection out for Day 12 (Mini Lined Envelopes), I decided to use them to decoupage these eggs.

I chose a napkin with vintage writing, butterflies and flowers (a Parisian feel), cut it into strips and used a 50/50 solution (50% Mod Podge/50% water) to glue on the napkins.  Full strength Mod Podge can be a little too much for the thin napkins and cause them to tear.  After they were completely covered, I set them to dry and then added another coat of glue because I wanted to coat them in glitter.  I chose silver, goal and iridescent glitters.








After I’ve finished a few more, these will look lovely in a glass vase maybe surrounded by twinkly lights.  I love the vintage look and how the plain cardboard plays against all the glitter.

Until tomorrow,





Hey that glitter is almost as shiny as my coat.  Not quite, but close.

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Make Madness 2018 – Day 15 | Dog Paw Applique

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that I really like to get the most use out of any material I use: fabric, yarn, paper, etc.  I really dislike waste and after any project, I’ll set aside the remnants for other potential uses.  I don’t always know what those will be, but something always comes up.

So with that in mind, I have a fairly good sized stash of scrap fabric.  While browsing Pinterest, I came across an idea to just begin sewing all the scraps together in a hodge-podge fashion and making full pieces of crazy pieced fabric.  I didn’t really want to go down the quilt-piecing road (although it’s always an option) because I wanted to explore the idea of creating applique pieces.






I organized my scraps into color families and chose the purple pile today.  I sewed the pieces together fairly randomly until I had a solid sheet about 10″x 15″.  (The eagle-eyed among you will spot the fabric I used for the dog’s collars from Day 2 of Make Madness 2018.)  Then I applied a piece of Heat’n Bond Ultra Hold Iron-On Adhesive to the back of the fabric.  With the released paper still attached, I drew and cut out dog paw shapes.  Because the fabric was such a mixture of prints and colors, each paw was different.


Then I removed the release paper, and ironed the paw onto a piece of solid fabric.  For today, I chose a scrap piece of duck cloth.  Making sure the paw was securely attached to the duck cloth, I used my sewing machine to sew the paw pad outlines.  My free motion sewing leaves a lot to be desired, but that’s just a matter of practice, practice, practice.

I’m really pleased with how the paw turned out and can see using this technique in the future.

Until tomorrow,







You know what one of those paws would look good on, don’t you?  Yep, a dog bed. Or two.

Posted in Accountability, Challenges and Contests, DIY From Scratch, Dogs, Fabric, Goals, Homemade, Make Madness 2018, Recycling, Repurposing, Saving Money, sewing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Make Madness 2018 – Day 14 | Sock Gnomes

A couple of months ago I found a tutorial (video below) on Facebook that showed how to make Christmas gnomes out of socks.  Specifically those fuzzy socks that look like slippers.  The end result was super cute and today I thought I’d give it a whirl.

I followed Jenny’s instructions and while her gnomes are really detailed and adorable, I was pretty happy with my result.  I used a faux fur for the beard on the gray gnome and braided some yarn for the pigtails on the pink gnome.








Until tomorrow,








So gnomes?  Not sure what they are, but they look fun.

Posted in Accountability, Challenges and Contests, DIY From Scratch, Goals, Homemade, Make Madness 2018 | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments