Friday, November 22, 2013

It was a yarny kinda week

I started off my week with my personal knitting projects (still in progress). They're going slow ...mostly because I'm usually more motivated when I'm knitting/sewing for an order, than when I am doing so for myself. So my socks and knitting needle case are coming along nice and slow.

In the meantime, a member from a sewing group I belong to, asked if I could knit something with a Celtic theme. It was for her mom's birthday gift. I had just the thing in mind. A Celtic cabled neckwarmer. I have had this pattern saved in my Ravelry library for a while now.

She chose this yarn from what I had available - a KnitPicks Swish Tonal called "Canopy", definitely Celtic!
Canopy 2

The pattern is a fairly easy to follow, knits up amazing, and it really showed off the variations of color in the yarn.



I absolutely love how this neckwarmer turned out. It's in the mail and I hope it gets to the lucky mama soon... Mailing out packages during the holiday rush always makes me a little nervous!

Next up, I have some newborn-sized and 6-9month sized woolies on my list, along with my ever present personal knitting projects.

With that, I'm off for the night. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Soap Dispensary


There's this cute little shop on Main street, in Vancouver, that I've walked past or driven past a few times. I looked them up online a few weeks ago, and was so impressed! 

It's called The Soap Dispensary. The idea is you go in with your own empty bottles, and get refills of a variety of soaps, oil, laundry detergents, natural cleaners for the home, hair and body care products, natural cleaning ingredients like borax or washing soda, sun care lotions, sanitizers, bug repellents, salts, clays, soap making ingredients, solid and liquid oils and butters, herbs.... the list goes on and on.

They sell some really great empty bottles and jars as well --- so if you're plum out, you can always buy one for a few dollars right there. They have clear bottles, as well as the dark amber colored ones. And you can also buy pumps for the bottles - very handy if you're getting refills for lotions or oils.

I went into the store with some very specific needs in  mind. Dr Bronner's Baby Soap, Unscented Eucalan, and pure lanolin. Here's a breakdown of what I spent:

Dr.Bronner's Baby Soap (500 ml)       $7.50 

Unscented Eucalan wash( 500ml)       $9.00

Pure Lanolin (60ml)                         $2.10

TOTAL - REFILL                             $18.60

How does that compare to retail prices?

Dr.Bronner's Baby soap (473 ml)     $14.50

Unscented Eucalan  (500ml)            $12.25

Pure Lanolin (2oz or 59ml)              $ 8.50

TOTAL - RETAIL                             $35.25

That's a 50% savings... just like that!

Here's a pic of my purchase. The Dr.Bronner's bottle was quite full  - the little bit that's missing, is what I used to make a 250ml bottle of baby wash for my little one.


I used about 1/10th of the Dr.Bronner's to make a 250ml bottle of baby wash for my little one. Her washes normally run me about $12/bottle. So this is a significant savings, while still getting something gentle and natural for her. 

The Eucalan will probably last me a couple of years. I only need about 1tsp in 1 gallon of water, so a little goes a really long way. I only wash her woolies once every month or less. 

The lanolin again will last me forever! I need about a pea sized amount to lanolize each time, depending on how many woolies I am doing.

I am so pleased with this little shop! They carry a ton of refillable products - so I know I am definitely going back once I run out of anything else around the house, that this store carries. 

If you live in the Lower Mainland, a trip to The Soap Dispensary is definitely worth it!

Do you have a shop like this near where you live? 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Yarn Dyeing Guide


Apart from knitting, sewing, crocheting and blogging, I am also a Technical Writer. I mostly use my skills as a technical writer in my day job - to write manuals, procedures, trouble shooting guides, or just plain instructions when passing on a project. 

It's a fun vocation, and I really quite enjoy it (as boring as it might sounds, it really isn't). 

A few months ago, Lindsay Baker (the owner of Family Roots ) posted on her Facebook page that she was looking for a technical writer to help her create an ebook on how to dye yarn. I responded, we exchanged a few messages, talked a couple of times and decided to work together. 

I was extremely excited about the project. It was the perfect combination for me - writing and yarn! Over the next several weeks, we worked on the eBook, chapter by chapter, and created a beautiful guide to dyeing yarn - complete with a lot of step-by-step photos, and recipes to her most popular colorways.

The eBook was published slightly ahead of schedule in the last week of October 2013, and has been receieved really well by the knitting and yarn dyeing community. If you have ever thought about dyeing your own yarn - whether for personal use or to sell as a business - I strongly recommend checking out the Family Roots Legacy: A Guide to Dyeing Yarn .  There are two versions available to purchase. Both versions contain complete instructions on yarn dyeing. The smaller version includes 5 of the most popular colorways, and the larger versions includes 12 of the most popular colorways. 

Lindsay will also be offering up individual colorways (recipes only) for sale, so there is something for everyone. 

I am extremely proud of this project, and am loving seeing so many people be able use eBook successfully.