Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Kumihimo - Marudai bucket style

New crafts present the problem of new materials, new tools and finding another space to store them. There is also the money issue, usually more than my budget will allow.

I read about kumihimo (Japanese braiding) and wanted to try it. The tools were a bit pricey for a beginner. So I improvised with the plastic lids from pint sized ice cream. I made several braids using cotton embroidery floss on embroidery floss bobbins. Not pretty, but it worked.

I wanted to make a really long braid that I would use as a component in other crafts. Starting with nylon thread on 16 bobbins that I made with dowels and wooden toy wheels:

Tama made of dowel and 2 wooden toy wheels

My marudai is a knitting loom on a 5 gallon pickle bucket on a lazy susan:

5 gallon bucket with Knit a round and lazy susan and handmade tama

I've made quite a bit of braid so far:

Braid so far

Mostly this will be used as drawstrings, straps and piping on sewn bags.

Take care and keep your yarn dry.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I'm in an etsy treasury

I am always thrilled to be included in a treasury:

Mother may I treasury 04122011


Featuring my "Blossom" knitting pattern from the May 2010 "Blossom and Bark"Phat Fiber Sampler Box.

Blossom line up close up

Blossom close up 2

Set of 4 scrubbies

Yarn credit to Sheeps Egyptian Cotton (http://www.etsy.com/shop/SheepsEgyptianCotton) for the hand dyed cotton yarns and WC Mercantile (http://www.etsy.com/shop/wcmercantile) for the lovely commercial cotton yarns.

I also wrote about using Pecan shells to make a nice pink yarn:

and Bark

A rank amateur's fumbling first attempt at natural dyeing with some help from an expert

Thanks to Mama Jude for the help! Visit her at mamajudes.etsy.com

This month's theme was very educational for me. My husband creates large bags of osage sawdust, I thought I might explore dyeing and send samples of osage sawdust. Some google searching led to a claim that pecan shells will produce pink dye. I live in Texas and there is a pecan grower about 10 miles away. I called and they had 15 pounds of pecan shells I could have free! Free is my favorite flavor, so 20 minutes later, I had my pecan shells. I researched a bit, mostly finding information on walnut shells. I asked Phellow Phattie Mama Jude (mamajudes.etsy.com) for her opinion on dyeing with shells. She was very patient answering all my questions. (Check out her shop, you'll love her work.) The shells sat soaking for 3 days because life got in the way of completing the experiment, but they did not ferment.

The part of the pecan fruit, called a drupe, that I am using is the hard shell. The fruit grows on the tree encased in green hulls which turn brown (see picture) as the fruit matures. Most of the searches turned up information on dyeing with the hulls. The shells I obtained were leavings from the shell cracking machine, so some nut meat was still in the shells. I removed this as best I could, leaving the nut meat for our squirrels.

Dyeing ingredients:

4 oz raw 10+ year old Corriedale fiber, picked over for VM, soaked to remove dust and larger boulders, water changed several times, washed with Dawn dishwashing liquid. Locks left mostly intact.

4 oz Pecan shells, sorted to remove nut meat, coarsely crush in muslin bag with large hammer, finely ground in coffee grinder that might not live through the experience, soaked in 1 qt water for 3 days, strained to remove shell grit. Nice dark brown with rose notes. I re-read the google site about the dyer that got a pink out of pecan shells. I missed that she used the WHOLE nut. Maybe next time I have stale pecans I will try that method.


Place wet wool (I did not use a mordant) in oval crockpot. Discover that 4 oz of wet wool just about fills 5 qt oval crockpot. Dither for a moment and then decide that a slow heating will distribute color, so there is no need for room. Cross fingers on this point. Realize that I only have 2 electrical outlets and coffee has not been brewed yet. Brew coffee, pour a cup, sigh, resolve to dedicate a counter to dyeing in the future and plug in crockpot. Turn to low setting and try to forget it so I won't be tempted to raise the lid every two minutes. Let it sit on low for about 6 hours, turning about every 2 hours or so. Removed small amount of fiber to check. Nice rosey light brown, not what I was expecting, but still in early stages. Left the rest of the fiber overnight. Turned a nice, mellow, unmistakable pink!

Blossoms and bark corriedale pecan shell dyeing on magic wand spindle

(End of article)

I'll be working with Sheeps Egyptian Cotton again for the May 2011 Phat Fiber Sampler Box. I just got a lovely set of custom dyed cotton yarn for the pattern.

Blossom pattern available at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/blossom---flower-scour-power.

If you have not heard about Phat Fiber Sampler Box, check it out http://phatfiber.com/

Take care and keep your yarn dry.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Crane Pattern - Third version - Basket Crane

Presenting the third version of "One Thousand Cranes" in three sizes (still just $1 ) :

3 cranes stacked better 04062011

3 cranes side by side better 04062011

3 cranes stacked  and all folded with Bob holding in a heart shape

DH holding the nested cranes in a heart shape

3 cranes stacked  and one wing head and tail folded with one wing open to show cranes inside

All three versions are available on ravelry.com, search under "Gari Lynn".

Almost 200 wonderful people have bought the first two versions. The crochet pattern is selling well, too. I don't have the exact numbers, but if you don't knit, check out "Charity the Crane" on ravelry.com (search under "Patterns")

We have contests on ravelry.com - with PRIZES! Buy a knit or crochet pattern and enter it in the contest. Check it out:


The first contest will end on April 22. The second contest will start soon after.

Thanks everyone for your support.

Take care and keep your yarn dry.

Monday, April 4, 2011

1,000 Cranes etsy treasury

I've created an etsy treasury, featuring the crocheted and knitted cranes at the top:

1000 cranes etsy treasury 04042011

Please visit and give it some love!


I'm finishing work on the third crane pattern. This one is 2 needle and will stack from the top. The body is a slanted sides basket shape. Here are some teasers of the doubled worsted weight knit on size 8 needles:

Wings and body from top, showing I cord folding lines for wings

Green size 8 needles doubled WW RHSS Body top showing I cord folds for wings

Wings and body from bottom, showing I cord folding lines for base

Green size 8 needles doubled WW RHSS Body bottom showing I cord folds for base

Picking up stitches for the small ends that will become neck and head

Green size 8 needles doubled WW RHSS Body top showing pu st from inside I cord on ws body and crochet hook picking up st

Working side to side, picking up side stitches to increase taper of the basket body

Green size 8 needles doubled WW RHSS Body top 3 st wrkd pu and knitting st from side

Knitting last stitch together with picked up stitch from side once taper increases are done

Green size 8 needles doubled WW RHSS Body top 6 st to base of end working 6th st tog with 1 fr side

This pattern will have 3 sizes - size 1 needles with fingering weight yarn, size 3 needles with worsted weight yarn and size 8 needles with doubled worsted weight yarn. More pictures and pattern to follow.

Friday, April 1, 2011

One Thousand Cranes - Third version

I'm cranking out crane patterns. I've sold 140 of my previous two 1,000 crane patterns:



The third and newest version is also 2 needle and stacks from the top rather than the bottom, but knit modularly, with working in of ends being the only sewing.

Red crane top loading stackable 2 needle  side and front

Red crane top loading stackable 2 needle back

Red crane top loading stackable 2 needle from back at an angle to also show detail of neck and head

Red crane top loading stackable 2 needle front

Red crane top loading stackable 2 needle side

Red crane top loading stackable 2 needle tilted forward to show inside basket for stacking

Red crane top loading stackable 2 needle tilted to show base

Red crane top loading stackable 2 needle tilted to show inside basket for stacking

Dewberries will be ripe soon. (Nature's barbed wire)
Dewberries will be ripe soon

Pattern coming soon to Ravelry.

If you are interested, please consider joining the contest on: