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It’s that time again and this month we are excited to bring you a giveaway that truly embodies the knit and crochet community spirit. JennieGee’s designer hand dyed and screen printed ‘Keep Calm and Carry Yarn’ project bags are a must have for any fiber artist. Being product and graphic designers by trade, we were drawn to JennieGee’s story of how these clever craft bags came to be.

” I arrived in Brooklyn in September 2009 for the MFA Design program at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. Packed among the few possessions I brought with me were screens I’d made with a design idea: “Keep Calm and Carry Yarn.”

I came up with the idea while working at Home Ec Workshop, a yarn and fabric shop in Iowa City, Iowa. Based on one of my favorite posters, from WWII Britain, it expresses just how much knitting gets me through stressful situations. But with my preparations for graduate school, I didn’t have time to do anything with it.

My academic program discourages working while in school. Sounds financially irresponsible, right? That’s what I thought. But our course load was so heavy, I couldn’t find a job in New York City (especially in the terrible economy) that paid a living wage and was flexible around my class schedule. I hardly had time even to look. After the first semester, it became clear that I wasn’t going to be able to find a living wage job that was flexible around my schedule. So I listed a few of the posters I’d printed on Etsy. My friends spread the word, and the message caught on.

I progressed on to the project bags, which I had the idea for some time, but it proved difficult to find a source for colored cotton bags. In the end, I had to choose between sewing them myself or buying white bags and dyeing them. I chose dyeing them, and they’ve become my most popular item.

My master’s program had a strong entrepreneurial component, and my Etsy shop proved to be an object lesson in a lot of the topics we were learning about, like reaching your audience, marketing, and pricing. I ended up doing my thesis about knitting, and my professors were all amazed at how the knitting and crochet community connects online, supports good design, and cares about how things are made. Whether you knit, crochet, spin or do something else with fiber, I hope “Keep Calm and Carry Yarn” touches you, too.”

When chatting with JennieGee she spoke to how after each move since, it’s been the knitting groups she finds that have helped her re-establish her community.

“It’s been very heartening to be able to make a living making things for a community I feel so strongly about and identify with. My grandmother originally tried to teach me to knit when I was 12. It didn’t take at that point. And though she wasn’t around anymore when I was 22 and decided to try to teach myself, I think those original lessons made it easier to learn from a magazine article. “

1 Random Winners receive: 
1 large “Keep Calm and Carry Yarn” Project Bag – color of their choosing

To Enter:
Buzz over to JennieGee’s Etsy store, and then comment on this post “where this bag would come in handy”. This will enter you into the random drawing. Entries must be received  by March 31st. Simple as that!

SPECIAL DISCOUNT: 
JennieGee has been kind enough to give all Rewind readers a limited time discount. Simply type ‘REWIND’ in the coupon code at check out to receive 15% off anything in her Etsy store.

Spread the Word:
Pay it forward. Feel free to share this giveaway on other blogs, sites or social media!

Please also check out JennieGee’s talent on her graphic design website!

When we stumbled upon the DIY Ombre Dyed Yarn tutorial by Xandy Peters we were inspired! That weekend we went to our local craft store for yarn and grocery store for Kool-Aid to have a little dyeing party. We also experimented with yarns we had around that we knew were wool, the results were amazing. Not only was this project super easy, the combinations are endless!

We used black cherry, watermelon-cherry, pink lemon-aid, lemon-lime and ice blue punch to come up deep reds, corals, bright blues and minty greens. The first task was to wind the balls of yarn which was the most time consuming task. The yarns we ended up dying were 100% Fisherman’s Wool in Natural, Stitch Nation ‘Full O Sheep’ in Honeycomb and some other hand-me-down wool yarns.

We took Xandy’s tip and used spoons and tongs to maneuver the yarn balls in the dye bath. Once they had boiled the two rounds in their dye baths, the tongs were lifesavers as we rinsed the yarn balls in the cold water. These suckers get super hot!! Half way through dyeing the yarn we came up with the idea of creating a 2-tone ombre by dyeing the yarn – rinsing it / letting it cool, unwinding, rewinding with the new color in the center and re-dying. What we created was a Christmas-Italian-Watermelon inspired colored yarn. I can’t wait to see how this knits up.  Each one took the dye in a unique way, the most interesting was Stitch Nation yarn. Since it was already Honeycomb we weren’t sure if it would take color but it took the Black Cherry Kool-Aid wonderfully, creating a fiery color combo.

Mary and I highly recommend trying this out. As they say “if we can do it, so can you!” It was a lot of fun and we plan on sharing some finished projects soon!

Hello all! Where has this month gone? Wow…

Using our random number generator magic we have our winners!! Angelina and Megan please email us your mailing address to mary@rewindknits.com so we can send the goodies out to you asap. Huge thanks again to Buttons By Robin for the giveaway items.
Thank you all who commented and entered to win. March’s giveaway is just days away! 🙂 Stay tuned.

This month’s giveaway is another Etsy seller who, when seeing her products, we just had to ask if she’d partner with us. We were delighted when she said yes! Like last month there is the opportunity for 2 winners, Robin has been kind enough to giveaway 2 sets of her handmade resin buttons!!

A transplanted ‘country girl’, Buttons By Robin grew organically through various crafts Robin found herself drawn to. From painting to jewelry making, she found herself always going back to making buttons. Much like any passionate crafter she was drawn to the need to create and experiment, and it was through experimentation that she found a way to create handmade resin buttons that were durable and most importantly washable. With the popularity of her buttons, Robin has begun to work with other Etsy sellers and graphic designers, giving them the opportunity to reach a wider audience by using their images on her buttons.

2 Random Winners receive: 
1 set of 6 resin buttons (small size) in the design of their choosing

To Enter:
Buzz over to Buttons By Robin Etsy store,and then comment on this post “what you’d be inspired to knit or crochet using Robin’s buttons”. This will enter you into the random drawing. Entries must be received  by March 9th. Simple as that!

Spread the Word:
Pay it forward. Feel free to share this giveaway on other blogs, sites or social media!

Make sure to check out Robin’s blog and facebook, as well as her jewelry Etsy store. Also don’t miss her new Etsy store featuring magic lantern slides here.

Mary and I are very pleased to bring you our first ever guest post. We love his website and were thrilled when he was willing to post a little something on our blog about the craftastrophes he finds on his many shopping travels!

When I heard that I was being nominated as this year’s Miss August, I was thrilled. I ran to my computer, updated all my statuses–wait, wrong post.

When I heard that ThriftHorror had a chance to share the strange and eerie world of Austin’s used yarn underworld with the fine people at Rewind Knits and Crochet, I thought, “My god. Are they that desperate? I have to help these poor souls.” So, Brandy, Mary, here you are. You’re welcome. Or, I’m sorry. One of those.

Let’s get right to the clowns, which really is our lifeblood down at Thrifthorror. There was a time, just after complex invertebrate life emerged from the primal sludge, but before the lion tamer act, when giant, tentacular clowns roamed the bottoms of the ocean, cracking open clams with their sucker-covered limbs and clustering inside comedically small discarded shells, coming out only to feed or, regrettably, mate. And gentlemen, here is the proof.

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True story, the stumpy land-fish worked up the courage to get the hell out of the sea because they were utterly creeped out by these things. It takes a lot to really bother a fish, but drifting, doll-headed octoclowns the color of an epileptic fit are a good way to begin.

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Truly, a startling reproduction of an entirely regrettable geological epoch. My favorite part is its beak.

From toys to scare your cat to projects Grandma unwisely began and wisely stopped. Have some wild, wild mushrooms.

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I think the one on the left is a loose morel.

(crickets)

Anyway, the best part of this particular piece of embroidered embarrassment is you can actually see the exact moment when the artist figured out where this project was going to end. Then everything got a little bit unwindey.

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I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this picture a dozen times on dishes that escaped from the Seventies, maybe a couple of Audobon prints. And you know what? It looked pretty darn phallic there, too. Not the sort of image that mere needlepoint would be able to salvage. The little twizzle of embroidery floss flying away like an obscene party streamer, nice touch. But I really like the delicate shading the artist sketched in right before giving up. You can tell, after this point, it’s really only going to go downhill.

The image could only have been improved with a pair of well-placed puffballs.

Sticking with the “unfortunate nature” theme, you really can’t go wrong with a big honking macrame frog. Unless, of course, you can, and I’ve been lied too all these years. You be the judge.

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Remember, someone almost certainly hung this up in a house. Probably the guest bathroom, nobody goes in there, but possibly in the children’s playroom, where they will not only develop a deep fear of frogs, but of all aquatic life, which will serve them well as they grow into upstanding young hydrophobes. I can’t imagine what emotions this frog is trying to express. It’s like he’s trying to file his small business taxes.

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Our executive producer, Dr. Chance, says this thing bears a striking resemblance to the monster “Lungfish on “Psychonauts.” I think I disagree. The overall look is more “roadkill.” I should have bought this for the office’s Christmas party: can you get a penalty for rough play in a white elephant party?

This post seems to be going into triple overtime, so I’ll wrap up with this sweet little piece of handicraft from the “don’t do that with wool” file.

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Martha Stewart has nothing, nothing at all to say about this piece. It is clearly a bad thing. Each lovingly scalloped ruffle and pleat is a hand-crafted coaster. It only looks like bacon. Unfortunately, that means that when you have a party of six or eight heavy drinkers, you’re left with this.

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Which after a few beers, is actually kind of funny. Except for its sad, stumpy little arms and pencil-thin body, and one massive, circular foot. That’s just sad. Baby, pull down your hood. Hide your shame.

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Fist full of baby! Soft, organic folds of knit muscular tissue rammed on a stick and topped with a cheap doll head. It’s really the little things that matter in life.

Thank you for the kind invitation, Brandy and Mary! Let me know when you’re passing through Austin and we’ll go shopping!

Best wishes,
TV’s Jacob
Thrifthorror.com

DIY Ombre Dyed Yarn

When I stumbled across this ombre knit bandana on Ravelry, I was mesmerized. I have a love of all things ombre but to achieve a great knit or crochet gradient my heart starts to beat fast and I begin to imagine the horror of color work (which I’m hell bent on mastering) and finishing all the ends. As I began to read more about this pattern I learned that this is a single strand design and it’s all about DIY gradient yarn. You can create a complex look with very minimal effort. Best of all Xandy Peters gives great step-by-step how to dye your own gradient yarn on her cool blog. I will be forcing Mary to have a yarn dyeing party soon!!

katie

No question about it, I would pick the “Keep Calm, Carry Yarn”! In fact I think I will definitely order this for my daughter too:-)

There were three sets that I really liked. 1. Sock monkey 2. Alice in Wonderland 3. Bird’s nest/birds Charming and reasonably priced, too!

Using our random number generator magic we have our winners!! Katie and Julie please email us your mailing address to mary@rewindknits.com so we can send the goodies out to you asap. Huge thanks again to Knit Girl in Idaho for the giveaway items.
Thank you all who commented and entered to win. We hope you’ll come back and bring some friends for this month’s giveaway and future posts.
Oh Ryan… you know exactly what to say!