Tag Archives: yarn

DIY: Yarn Wrapped Pattern Weights

Learn how to make these yarn wrapped pattern weights at www.makery.uk

 

A little while ago we were talking about budget friendly pattern weights and I mentioned that I had ordered some giant washers and had plans to prettify them a little. Actually I had a couple of ideas and am waiting on a delivery of some more washers to try out the other(s) but in the meantime here’s one way of prettying them up! I’ve seen these done with ribbon on pinterest which can work equally well, but here’s my little twist on the idea with some seasonally appropriate pastel ombre touches….

Learn how to make these yarn wrapped pattern weights at www.makery.uk

They remind me slightly of pastel macarons when stacked like this

Learn how to make these yarn wrapped pattern weights at www.makery.uk

They’re a decent size too!

 

Learn how to make these yarn wrapped pattern weights at www.makery.uk

If you fancy making your own you’ll need some yarn. (I used simple cotton dischcloth yarn).  Large metal washers (I used these). A yarn needle. Scissors.

 

Learn how to make these yarn wrapped pattern weights at www.makery.uk

The washers singly are not quiiiiite heavy enough so we’re doubling them up. Start by  cutting a length of yarn approx 4m long and tying a slipknot through the central hole of both washers.

 

Learn how to make these yarn wrapped pattern weights at www.makery.uk

Tighten the slipknot then twist the knot and tail around to the back…

Learn how to make these yarn wrapped pattern weights at www.makery.uk

Thread the long end through a yarn needle and start wrapping. The first few wraps are a little cumbersome as you’ve got so much yarn to play with, but it gets easier as you go. The wrapping part is not quite as straightforward as wrapping one strand next to another all the way round.  You have to do it in sections like this, then work your way around about 3 more times, filling in the gaps each time.  So the first round looks something like this.

 

Learn how to make these yarn wrapped pattern weights at www.makery.uk

This is it flipped over to the reverse. Use the first round to “bury” the tail of the slipknot and snip off the end once it’s secure…

 

Learn how to make these yarn wrapped pattern weights at www.makery.uk

Then it’s just a question of working your way round filling in the gaps that the last round left. 3, possibly 4 times with this yarn. More if it’s thinner, less if it’s thicker. The yarn from the current round will slot in between the yarn strands from the previous round. On the final round, when the wrapping has become more compact, use your nail to move the wraps up close against eachother (behind my finger in the pic) and make space (in front of my finger in the pic) for the final round of wrapping.  See those teeny gaps where you can see the metal through the yarn? The final strands of yarn will snug in those inbetween places.

 

Learn how to make these yarn wrapped pattern weights at www.makery.uk

When you’re done feed the tail under the uppermost yarn strands around the hole in the centre to bury it and snip off the excess…

 

Learn how to make these yarn wrapped pattern weights at www.makery.uk

Done! (Each one takes about 15 mins).

 

Learn how to make these yarn wrapped pattern weights at www.makery.uk

I rather like the simplicity of them as they are and they are VERY tactile!

 

Learn how to make these yarn wrapped pattern weights at www.makery.uk

These ones have been dipped in food colouring to give the pastel ombre effect…

 

Learn how to make these yarn wrapped pattern weights at www.makery.uk

These ones I dyed the yarn first with food colouring to create an ombre effect (mini tute on that to follow), and then wrapped my washers…

 

Learn how to make these yarn wrapped pattern weights at www.makery.uk

 

Learn how to make these yarn wrapped pattern weights at www.makery.uk

 

They’re definitely much prettier than your standard metal washer now! Wouldn’t they make great tablecloth weights for outdoor dining in the summer too?? Just add a loop!

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DIY: Turmeric Dyed Ombre Yarn

DIY: Ombre Turmeric Dyed Yarn at www.makery.uk

In the past I’ve used tea & Coffee to dye clothes. I’ve been meaning to try turmeric as a dye for aaaages. Then this week when I was “playing” with some yarn for an upcoming project (which btw worked out really well and I think you’re gonna love!!) I figured I might as well use the turmeric on some yarn instead to guage the process and see if I liked it before committing it to a garment. Well, I like it alot! What’s more it’s so easy to do. If you have some plain yarn at home that is in need of a little more zing….this could be just the ticket!

 

DIY: Ombre Turmeric Dyed Yarn at www.makery.uk

I used Pegasus Cotton Dishcloth Yarn (I love this stuff. Around £2 a ball and widely available on Ebay and Amazon) Ground Turmeric and White Vinegar

DIY: Ombre Turmeric Dyed Yarn at www.makery.uk

Start by winding your yarn into a skein. I wound it between two door handles across a hallway. You can use the back of a chair, or wind it in the same way you might a power cord around your elbow and thumb. Now this bit is IMPORTANT. Whatever you do, don’t tie your skein exactly as I have.  I missed one important element and had a nightmare balling the yarn later as a result! See the multiple loops at either end of the skein? You need to tie through both of those to keep them from tangling in the dyeing process and around your loop at intervals.  Like this!

DIY: Ombre Turmeric Dyed Yarn at www.makery.uk

In a stainless steel pan make a paste from 3 Tbsp of Turmeric and 2 Tbsp of White Vinegar….

 

DIY: Ombre Turmeric Dyed Yarn at www.makery.uk

Add 3 pints of water, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30 mins to dissolve all the turmeric powder…

DIY: Ombre Turmeric Dyed Yarn at www.makery.uk

Thoroughly wet your skein and place into the dye liquid. I wanted an ombre effect so only placed one end of my skein in the dye liquid. Place the whole thing in if not. Gently simmer for about 10 minutes then turn off the heat and allow to sit in the cooling dye liquid for approx 30 mins. Agitate gently and periodically during this phase. Worth noting that I am dyeing 100% cotton yarn. The temperatures that cotton can withstand will be higher than wool yarn which can felt if the liquid is too hot and the yarn is agitated too much. If it were wool I would personally skip the simmering stage and minimise the agitation of the yarn whilst wet.

 

DIY: Ombre Turmeric Dyed Yarn at www.makery.uk

After 30 mins remove the skein from the dye liquid rinse in clean water thoroughly until water runs clear, then hang to dry. (There’s another one I dyed using a different process. Details soon!) Mine took a couple of days to dry completely…

 

DIY: Ombre Turmeric Dyed Yarn at www.makery.uk

This is what you’ll end up with. It will dry much lighter. See those currly loops at the ends that I forgot to tie?! I cannot tell you how much of a mare I had untangling those!

 

DIY: Ombre Turmeric Dyed Yarn at www.makery.uk

Ball up your skein and admire the rich graduated tones of your new “zingy” yarn!

 

DIY: Ombre Turmeric Dyed Yarn at www.makery.uk

Thought you’d like to see how it knits up…

DIY: Ombre Turmeric Dyed Yarn at www.makery.uk

Seriously loving these tones!

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DIY: Recycle Old T Shirts into Yarn

T Shirt Yarn - header image

Last night, I became aware that I’d got through the day having made nothing. I’m leaning quite heavily on creative pursuits at the moment to keep me calm and sane. (Do you find therapy in DIY?) So last night I was feeling a bit twitchy and decided to try making some T Shirt Yarn. Little did I know how addictive it would be!

Now there are more than a few tutorials on this out there. I could have just linked to any one of those but a) that would be a boring post for you! and b) there were a couple of  things that I discovered that I wanted to add into the mix, that I think helped me achieve a better result than my first attempt.

 

Supplies:

Old T Shirts (light to medium weight jersey is better)

Masking tape

Scissors

T SHIRT YARN - SUPPLIES

 

 

Firstly lets talk about side seams. Some T’s have ’em. Some don’t…. This one doesn’t and will make smoother/better yarn because of it…

T SHIRT YARN - NO SIDE SEAM

 

This one does so the yarn I make from it will have little slices of side seam in it every 12-20″, depending on the width of the Tee. We can reduce that bulk a little but it will be there nonetheless. The moral is, if this sort of thing is likely to bug you, pick a tee where the body has no side seams and is one continuous tube of fabric

T SHIRT YARN - WITH SIDE SEAM

Other things to avoid are too thick jersey (like sweatshirt  or ponte thick) and anything with print/transfer or embroidery below the chest area as this prevents the jersey from curling effectively.  So now you’ve got the right kind of Tee this is how you do it…

Step 1: Cut the hem band neatly off the tee. Keep as straight and even a cut as possible…

T SHIRT YARN - STEP 1

 

Step 2: Cut straight across the tee under the arms. Again keep it straight and at right angles to the side seams.

T SHIRT YARN - STEP 2

 

Step 3: Remove any care labels in the side seams as close to the stitching as possible without cutting the stitching itself

T SHIRT YARN - STEP 3A

 

Step 4: Now this may prove controversial, but the full bulk of an overlocked seam in my first ball of nice jersey yarn, bugged me. So this time, I trimmed some of it off. Just the bulky edge, about a mm a way from the double row of straight stitch. Note the double row of stitching as I think this could be key. Not all overlocked seams are formed in the same way. If your overlocked seam looks in any way loose or you see only one row of straight stitch, personally I wouldn’t trim it down. It worked great on this tee and the pink one…but the yellow one (they’re all pictured at the bottom of this post) had a slightly different overlock and unravelled and pulled apart in places so I ended up with several lengths instead of one continuous one…so use your best judgment and if in doubt, cut a strip off the bottom & test first…

T SHIRT YARN - STEP 4

 

Step 5: Now fold the tee body almost in half  (side seam to side seam) but leaving about 1-2″ extra of the bottom layer poking out along the top…

T SHIRT YARN - STEP 5

 

Step 6: Cut strips at least  1″ wide (or marginally wider) up from the folded edge. I used masking tape as a cutting guide to keep my widths even (more uses for masking tape here!). Cut straight up, through all layers, at right angles to the folded edge, and cut through the first overlocked edge but NOT the second. Stop 1-2″ before and leave that part uncut…

T SHIRT YARN - STEP 6

 

You’ll end up with one overlocked edge and a bunch of jersey loops hanging from it

T SHIRT YARN - STEP 8

 

Step 7: Slide the uncut edge over an ironing board.  Start with a tapered, diagonal cut from the outer edge to the first slit. Then from the base of the next slit cut diagonally across to the next top slit. ( Not straight across to the one opposite). You can see the first 2 cuts I made, and the next 3 are marked with dotted lines. Do this all the way along…diagonally from the bottom slit across to the top slit….

T SHIRT YARN - STEP 9

 

…and you’ll end up with a continuous strip like this…

T SHIRT YARN - STEP 10

 

Step 8: Working in approx 18″ lengths, stretch it out and it will roll in on itself to form a skinny tube like this. I found that holding the little bits of side seam, one in my left and one in my right hand, and stretching out just one section at a time, avoided putting undue pressure on the seams.

T SHIRT YARN - STEP 11

 

Step 9: Roll it up!

T SHIRT YARN - STEP 12

 

I nipped to the local charity shop this morning and bought each of these t shirts for 50p each so a super thrifty and eco friendly project. (I’ve kept the leftovers for another project) If you’ve got some lurking in your wardrobe even better! ( BTW, Elliott wanted me to tell you that he helped me style this picture 🙂 He also helped me style another where he artistically arranged leftover strips of each colour in the background. For those of you that don’t know, Elliot is my 6 year old son. He’s actually sat looking over my shoulder as I type this, making sure I type this, and let you know that! Give it a month and he’ll be writing my blog posts for me)

T SHIRT YARN - FINISHED

Now I just need to decide on a project. Have you made or used T Shirt yarn? Please feel free to leave any ideas in the comments below!

 

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