Dyeing for you

Hello Yarnistas!

Let me start by apologizing for the long delay in getting this entry up, but I experienced a personal loss that left me deep in grief. Luckily I have some wonderful friends who wouldn’t let me go down.  The ladies here at the shop were bound and determined to get me back into life, kicking and screaming, fighting them every step of the way, but they wouldn’t take no for an answer.  Thanks a lot girls, and I really mean it, THANKS,  a whole big bunch.  Love you all!

For those of you who don’t know, Teri Gabric, who brings us her fabulous, North Woods Farm Yarns, also does hand-dyeing, right here at the shop.  It was my pleasure to watch the process, which was quite different then I expected.  It all starts with an inspiration for her colorways.

For her demonstration, the inspiration was a photo of an old weathered door.  Teri chose grey, tan and light blue for her colors for the first batch, tan and two blues for the second.

Starting with blanks of merino wool, she soaked them first in water, then squeezed, (or is it squoozed?) out the excess water and laid them in a crock pot with a little bit of hot water. 

Looks a bit like spaghetti, doesn’t it?

Next came the dyes—first the tan in one corner, next grey in the opposite corner, and finally  blue in the middle.  Using a wooden spoon, she pressed down on the yarn to make sure it was saturated in the dyes, turned on the crock pots, covered them and walked away. A few hours later, and the yarn was ready for a rinse, then set in the sun to dry.

What surprised me about this, is how little mess there actually was.  I always shied away from things like this because I was afraid that more of the color would end up on my skin, the walls/floors, and the dogs, than on the yarn.  The dye, much to my surprise is completely absorbed into the yarn.  For those of you who are bolder than I, who have been down this path, we do carry a line of dyes and supplies, including yarn blanks.

Dying is not just for the yarns we sell at FAB. Elizabeth Neily, also has some great ideas for dye enthusiasts.  If you need a quick gift, and we do mean quick, it only takes about 15 minutes or so, to make a one of a kind, hand-dyed, silk scarf for someone special. Don’t forget, you’re special too.  Using Colorhue Dyes, and a luxuriously sensuous, silk scarf, you can make a gift for someone, and even sign it or write a special message!  We can even put together kits for you.  This dye doesn’t stain skin, and is ready instantly. No need for special equipment, just a little spray bottle or dropper bottle makes it perfect for home use.  Can you say party time?  Teens, would have a blast with this at a birthday party. Or how about your next baby shower, when each guest can bring an item to hand-dye for the new arrival, hats, booties, shirts, onesies… all hand-dyed just for them.

These are just a few of the colorful things going on here at Fab Fiber.  Come in, sit and relax with us for a while and we’ll get your creative juices flowing, you know you’re just “dyeing” to.

TIPS

As always I will leave you with a few yarn related tips.  The first comes from Knitting Nuances. If you want to improve the look of your knitting, this is the site you must see.  They have lots of tips on how to improve the look of edges, cast on, bind off, ribbing, increases, and decreases.  The tips they give will enhance the look of your design, rather than detract from it.  Please don’t shy away from this site thinking it’s only for experienced knitters. It isn’t. Even beginners will get something out of their visit.  For instance, the example below is so simple you will wonder why you weren’t taught this in the first place. Look what happens when you reverse it!

For you crocheters out there, I highly recommend checking out Crochet Kim. http://crochetkim.com  Kim Guzman, will fearlessly take you into some of the nicest, most creative crochet patterns out there.  Her blog is well written, with lots of clear pictures, and if you still need help, well, click on to her YouTube videos, you will be glad you did.  With Kim’s help you will learn some new skills, put your old ones to better use, and have fun while doing it.  Here are some examples of what you will find on her website, both of these are categorized as easy, but oh so pretty.

Berry Bubblegum Fling
Mermaid Isle Scarf for Tunisian Crocheters

 

 

Until next time, enjoy a little time everyday with some yarn. Think of it as your meditation, get back to my happy place, leave me alone world moment.  Plus it’s fat free, calorie free and guilt free.

 

 

 

Nik Nits with Vida

Hello Yarnistas,

I do realize that it has been more than a week since my last post, but we have been so busy here at FAB Fiber. First, we participated in making pink hats for the Women’s March on Washington and Sarasota, and I can’t tell you how good it felt to be a part of the movement, even in such a small way.

Next up is the Bay Area Yarn Crawl sponsored by the Tampa Bay Area Knitting Guild. Click here to download the crawl PASSPORT.

For this event, participating shops were asked to provide a one skein pattern.  In our case, it’s going to be an original, designed by (drum roll please) yours truly.  For the design I picked out one of the sumptuous yarns from North Woods Farms, hand-dyed by Teri Gabric.  To be honest, I have been drooling over this yarn for the longest time, but I’m trying to be good about using up my stash.  Having the opportunity to design something for the shop was the perfect excuse for scooping up one of these beauties.

Speaking of Teri, she has Procion MX Dyes (coldwater) available for those of you who want to dye your own, as well as some of the loveliest yarns that are ready to be dyed — in cotton and  in a cotton/bamboo blend.  These are the softest yarns I have ever felt and perfect for the Florida climate.  If you love the feel of them as much as I do, but like me, not up to doing my own dying, Teri can do it for you.  One of the things I thought of when I saw them was for a shrug, or bolero for a bridal party.  The bridesmaids could have theirs made from a yarn custom dyed to match their dresses and the bride could have hers in white.  What a lovely gift to the bride from her mom or grandmother.  Hmmm… maybe that gives me an idea for a future pattern, just a thought.

Also new in the shop, Katia Yarns Ombre Pack.  This is a collection of six skeins of extra fine merino in tones ranging from light to dark.  I found the Eivissa Shawl by Alessandro Estrella, on the Katia blog, which I hope to be able to complete in time for the yarn crawl.

Find us on nextdoor.com!

Hello Fab Friends!

FAB Fiber is now on Nextdoor, the private social network for neighborhoods. Would you recommend us to your neighbors and help get the word out?

Recommend us: https://nextdoor.com/pages/fab-fiber/recommend/
Thanks for being a FAB Fiber customer! We appreciate the support you provide to our local business.

–Margot Woodrough, FAB Fiber

New Year, New Blog…. the adventure begins

NIK KNITS

by Vida Nikolic

Welcome my fellow “yarnistas.” This is my first post to start the new year and what’s more, it’s my first post ever, and I am so excited to share my love of yarn crafts with all of you!  I do write a post in the monthly Fab Fiber newsletter, this will be a bit different, so I would invite you to sign up for the newsletter too.  For this blog I intend to share with you my newest projects, hopefully on a weekly basis.  One thing that I plan to do is create a stitch book, and I hope you will work it along with me.  For those of you who are not familiar with the term, it is compilation of stitch patterns. Usually you will only only work it as one or two repeats depending on the amount of stitches and rows.  Since they aren’t being worked for projects, you can use your leftover yarn to create them.  If you would like to use your samples as a project, you can always make a sampler afghan.  To do that you would have to plan out a size for your afghan and then decide the size of each square, if you would like some help in figuring that out I am more than happy to help you.   No matter what you choose to do with them, they can be a wonderful resource.  Trying different patterns is a help whether you are planning on creating your own patterns or just to improve your skills.  For this project I plan to explore crochet patterns as well as knit patterns.  Follow along with me as I explore patterns that I haven’t tried.

LET’S GET STARTED

Cell Lace Stitch

For my first stitch entry I have chosen the Cell Lace Stitch.  You can find the stitch at; http://www.knittingstitchpatterns.com/2014/08/cell-lace.html.   I found it very easy to do, a simple 4 row pattern, with two of the rows being purl.  I worked my test swatch in Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice, which I have tons of left over from a project I abandoned years ago, next time I think I would use a finer yarn, no larger than a size 3 (DK weight,) and needles at least 1-2 sizes larger than suggested.  This pattern did pull in slightly, not enough for me to be concerned with, I believe that the larger needles would rectify this.  I liked it so much I tried it with some boucle type yarn that I had, hoping it would make a nice shawl, the results were disappointing.   This stitch works so much better in a smooth yarn.  While the boucle was a fairly light weight, this stitch made it feel bulky, even after I switched to larger needles, it just didn’t have the drape I wanted  This stitch would work beautifully for a cowl, or a shawl, Elizabeth suggested it would also be great for the yoke of a sweater.  After a bit of searching, I came up with a bit of yarn in the weight I wanted, a baby weight, and a pair of size 8 needles.  As I had hoped it worked beautifully.  This is a stitch I will absolutely use in a future project.

 


Join our knit and crochet circle

Another thing I am planning for the coming year is to start a knit and crochet circle to meet on Saturdays at Fab Fiber.  The shop has plenty of seating both indoors and on the back deck.  The goal will be to create items such as Knitted Knockers for breast cancer survivors, chemo caps for kids at Ronald MacDonald house, pet beds for the local shelters, and anything else you would like to make.  It would just be a nice circle of like-minded crafters, sharing their love of yarn.  So if you would like to join us, just stop in, no reservations needed . . . just a desire to knit or crochet with friends.