That Crazy Dyeing Thing

Howdy, blog reading friends! In my last post way back when (let’s just say it’s been a while) I talked about my experiments in dyeing yarn. It was very fun and addictive. And I kept thinking and thinking about how much I would like to try my hand at dyeing yarn to sell. But it was sort of scary. I mean, what if nobody buys it? Then I will have loads of beautifully hand dyed yarn sitting in my craft closet just waiting to be knitted up! (Oh, wait, that doesn’t sound so bad, now, does it?! πŸ˜‰) I was afraid of doing something new and having it fail, of having my hard work go unnoticed or unappreciated. I am not a big risk taker.

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But then I thought, how will I know if I never try? There is an element of risk in everything in life. And often, the greater the risk, the greater the reward! So, I dismissed my fears and the little voice inside that likes to tell me I’m not good enough. (Sometimes that little voice is very loud and annoying, and persistent!) I saved up enough to buy some professional dyes. Then I saved up some more to buy some good quality yarn from a fellow dyer who was destashing. And I started up my new little shop, Eclectic Lemon!
I am starting small and building up stock as I can, so right now I only have small batches of worsted and sock weight yarns. But this crazy dyeing thing is such an amazing creative outlet for me that you can get there will be more in the future as I have time and money to add new yarns!

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I do hope you will stop by and take a look around, whether you are in the market for hand dyed yarns or not. I would also love it if any knitters or crocheters out there would leave a comment on this post telling me about your favorite yarn bases or colors that you would like to see me add in the future. Or tell me what colorway you see in my shop now that you love the best!

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Oh, also, I wanted to let you all know that I am on Instagram now! I post pics of my knitting and crochet, my yarn, my kitties and collie dog, nature…and sometimes just random stuff. If you are on Instagram, feel free to follow me @EclecticLemon. See you there! 😊

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Galoshes for a rainy day!

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I meant to get this post written and published a couple of days ago, but it just didn’t happen. Now it seems rather serendipitous because if we were to go outside to day we would definitely need some rain boots! It is pouring rain, and our yard is turning into a soggy, wet mess. But that is ok since we don’t have to go anyplace. Instead, I get to sit here and share my newest crochet pattern with you all!

“My Little Galoshes” is a super cute crochet pattern for baby and toddler sized rain boots! Of course, these are not really meant for splashing about in puddles, but they would make a fun spring accessory for any little one to wear indoors. And if you crochet them in bright colors like I have, they will brighten even the rainiest of days!

This pattern is very quick to work up, taking most of my testers just two hours to complete the pair. I have included several tips and tricks as well as a couple of helpful video links to help you achieve great results. The pattern calls for DK weight yarn, but it would also work for worsted weight if you want slightly larger variations of each size. I think an adventurous beginner who has mastered the basics of sc, dc and hdc stitches would enjoy the challenge offered by the shaping on these boots. So don’t be afraid to jump in and get your feet wet! πŸ˜‰

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You can find the My Little Galoshes pattern PDF for sale in the following places:
Lemon Lane Organics on Etsy
My Ravelry pattern shop
My Craftsy pattern shop

P.S.–if you order this pattern through Ravelry or Etsy before April 7, 2014, you can use coupon code APRILSHOWERS to get a special introductory discount of $2 off! Sadly, Craftsy doesn’t support coupon codes at this time.

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Basic Newborn Bear Hat Pattern

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Ok, so y’all know I haven’t been knitting all that long, so this maybe is not the most original pattern ever. It is pretty much the basic formula for a knit newborn beanie, just with little crocheted bear ears added to the top. I am writing this here more for my own future reference than that I think it will add anything to the knitting world. πŸ˜‰ I am going to start offering this style of hat as a made to order item at Lemon Lane Organics, so I don’t want to forget what I did to create this adorable little hat. And now, you can make some, too!
Also, I knit a fairly tight gauge but forgot to measure the gauge on the prototypes before putting that in the pattern. Next time I make one I will add that information. Just know you may need to go down a needle size to get an average newborn size hat

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Basic Newborn Hat Knitting Pattern (with crocheted bear ears)

Materials: DK to light worsted weight yarn – less than 50 grams (I used O-Wool Balance)
US size 6/4.00mm knitting needles (either a long circular for magic loop or DPNs)
Crochet hook size E/4-3.50mm or F/5-3.75mm
Tapestry needle for weaving in ends and sewing on ears

Hat:
Cast on 64 stitches, using desired method. I like a long tail cast on for this. Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist work.

Work 6 rounds of K2P2 ribbing.

Work stockinette stitch for 3.75 to 4 inches.

Begin crown decreases as follows:
Knit 6, k2tog around.
Knit next round.
Knit 5, k2tog around.
Knit next round.
Knit 4, k2tog around.
Knit next round.
Knit 3, k2tog around.
Knit next round.
Knit 2, k2tog around.
Knit next round.
Knit 1, k2tog around
K2tog around.
Cut yarn and thread yarn tail through live stitches on the needles and cinch up to close the top of the hat. Weave in ends.

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Ears: make two
You want the ears to be a pretty tight fabric without big holes, so use whatever size hook you need to achieve that look.
Row 1: Ch 7, sc in 2nd ch from hook and in next 4 ch, 3 sc in last ch, turning to work along bottom of foundation ch, sc 5 along bottom of foundation ch, ch 1, turn.
Row 2: Sc in each st of row, ch 1, turn.
Row 3: Sc 5, 2 sc in next st, sc, 2 sc in next st, sc 5, ch 1, turn.
Row 4: Sc 7, 2 sc in next st, sc 7. Fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing onto hat. Stitch onto top of hat, placing as desired, and weave in ends. (I placed mine about 5-6 rounds from the top of the hat.)

If you want a little bigger ear, just sc evenly one more row before fastening off.

You could also make this hat larger by casting on more stitches in multiples of 4 (I think? I’m still not too good at this knitting math stuff!) and making the stockinette section longer before decreasing for the crown. Enjoy! πŸ™‚

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Terrific Teal

Teal, turquoise, deep blue green….ah…whatever you call it, this is one of my favorite shades on the color spectrum! I love the cool yet deep color, rich and relaxing all at the same time. In fact, I just finished a set of beautiful teal fingerless gloves, and it is all I can do not to keep them for myself instead of putting them up for sale at Lemon Lane Organics! Since I find this color so inspiring, I thought I would put together a collection of some terrific teal finds from a few of my friends over on the Christian Artists Street Team. I hope you like what you see here!

Teal Fingerless Gloves
Teal Sakura Filigree Ring
Teal Chevron iPhone Case
Dark Teal Mineral Eyeshadow
Teal Infinity Scarf
Turquoise Swarovski Crystal Earrings

 

Turquoise Hand Warmers

Let them play!

So, a couple of posts back I mentioned making gluten free play dough with Little J. Since he has wheat allergies, playing with regular playdough is a big no-no for him, even though he is not a play dough eater, like some kids. See, because of his eczema, even simply touching wheat products can create itchy hive-like bumps on his skin and make his eczema flair up. And breathing in dust from wheat flour has been known to make him sneeze, although he has shown no anaphylactic symptoms as of yet. But I hated for him to miss out on the fun and creative play that happens when kids get their hands on some nice, soft, mold-able dough! So I made some wheat-free play dough for him myself!

Little J's Play dough

And this got me thinking, maybe there are some busy moms, grandparents and even teachers out there who would really like to offer the kids they know with gluten-free, wheat-free modeling clay alternatives, but don’t have the time or supplies on hand to make it themselves. And maybe there are others like me who want an option that doesn’t include a bunch of chemical dyes like Red #40. (Because we all know that even when we are watching them, sneaking little kids will take a taste or two of things we don’t really want them to!) There is evidence that kids with eczema are at a higher risk of absorbing chemicals and allergens through their skin since it is not forming as strong a barrier as healthy skin, so why would I want to needlessly expose my child to icky chemicals? Also, although I have found some other gluten-free all-natural play dough for sale online, most of them are scented, either with fragrance oils or essential oils. But not everyone likes the scents, and they may make some kiddos to be even more tempted to nibble a little when Mom isn’t looking! :p

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Thus, Creative Nature Modeling Clay was born! It is all-natural, wheat-free, gluten-free, unscented doughy fun! First it was just an idea, but as I discussed it with friends online and researched recipes and ingredients, I decided to make the idea a reality. I have already created my first several colors using only natural vegetable dyes from things like spinach, purple carrot and red cabbage! πŸ™‚ The colors are more muted and pastel than you would expect from artificial dyes, but I think they are simply lovely. I am still working on creating a nice blue and hopefully mauve or purple as well, but for now these colors are available right here in my Etsy shop!
Brown and white dough

In the future I may be adding another line of gluten free play clay that is lightly scented with essential oils safe for children, but that will take some more time and research. For now, I’d love to hear what you think and invite you to share the news about Creative Nature Modeling Clay with your friends and family!

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The Little Prince

Seems I took an unintentional vacation from blogging for the last month! Sorry about that! Summer has been busy around here, but in a good way. We’ve been having lots of fun camping, visiting family, playing the backyard and the kiddie pool….all the stuff that you are supposed to do in the summer!

I have been making a lot of new items for Lemon Lane Organics, too, but I was getting sort of bored with making the same old patterns over and over. Finally, after hours of browsing patterns and tinkering with different ideas, inspiration struck! Crowns! Baby crowns, toddler crowns, maybe even a crown for the grown ups… I have noticed that people are using these itty bitty crowns for newborn photos, and they look oh-so-darling! But who says the bigger kiddos can’t join in on the fun?! Why, here is my dashing little prince in his royal robe…
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I have had such fun coming up with this simple crown design that I will be working up a pattern with sizes from newborn on up to adult in the next week. Then you crocheters out there can make something fancy for the little fairy princess or charming prince in your life! And if you don’t crochet, no worries… Because I am listing finished crowns in my shop right now! See?

Silver for the newborn prince…

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And coral for a baby princess…

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Have a royally wonderful day, my friends!

UPDATE: The Little Prince (or Princess) crown crochet pattern is now published and available for instant download on Etsy or Ravelry! πŸ™‚

New FOs and a Giveaway!

I have so many exciting things to share today! Where to begin? First off, let’s take a look at some projects that I have finished recently…

Remember the wool yarn I dyed for a soaker for Little J? Well, here is the finished soaker on its intended recipient!

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I’m afraid he does not like wearing it as well as I had hoped, but I think it turned out nicely. The only real problem is that the legs ended up a bit tight for his little thighs. I tried my best to get a stretchy ribbed bind off, but apparently I need lots more practice!

Here is a new little newsboy cap that I have listed in my shop now, this time for a toddler girl! I love how the little tiny flower and leaf embellishment add just the right amount of femininity to this style of hat. I want to make more in girly colors, but I haven’t any more yarn that will fit the bill just now.

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I also have a brand new type of handcrafted item available at Lemon Lane now! Organic baby quilts! Ok, so I only have one listed right now, but plans are in the works for more once I have the funds to buy more organic fabric…it isn’t cheap! Here is a peak at this fun, foxy baby quilt. Like it?

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So now for some more exciting news! This week I noticed that I now have over 150 Facebook fans! May also happens to be my birth month, and since I always like to do something special for my birthday, I decided now is the perfect time for a giveaway! What will it be, you ask? How about a
$25 Gift Certificate to Lemon Lane Organics! This is my biggest giveaway prize ever, so I hope you will enter and enjoy playing along! I am hosting this giveaway via Rafflecopter on my Facebook page, head on over and like my page for a chance to win! The gift certificate will be good toward any in stock, ready to ship item in my shop, but not on custom order items. I am opening this one up to all you lovely people worldwide, not just in the US, so let’s get started, shall we!? πŸ™‚