It's been a hot minute since my last blog post! I thought I'd share what I've been working on in the past year. :)
I've been focusing on using 100% recycled and upcycled materials in my weighted blankets. My new favorite place is the Goodwill bins for old bedsheets and fabric scraps. I'm always on the hunt for more places to find used bedsheets and deadstock fabric.
It's quite a bit of work to go from sourcing materials, to making fabric strips into yarn, and finally into a knitted finished piece. I love every bit of work that goes into it, but it is definitely a labor of love.
I have a few blankets listed in the Etsy shop and am working on getting a few more listed soon.
Hope you're all having a fantastic week!
Vogue india feature
When I was a teenager in the pre-Pinterest age, I would save clippings from all my favorite magazines, especially teen vogue. My favorite were the home decor articles featuring DIY makeovers and how to design rooms. My ultimate dream was to be featured as a designer, with young girls saving my articles.
If you have followed along in the blog or on my instagram, you’ve probably noticed my new focus of home textiles and knitting patterns. I’ve always been a big believer in using recycled materials that are friendly to our earth. As much as I would love to use only luxury hand dyed skeins for every project, finding recycled materials and discarded textiles is a crazy fun experience.
This past fall I was contacted by Vogue India to be featured in their January issue on sustainability. I was in disbelief. They want to hear about my passions? I’m making a difference in this field? Wow, it was crazy to me. As soon as I saw my blanket photo in their glossy issue, I was shaking. I can’t believe I was included as a leader in sustainability.
I have to say this whole issue is incredible with so many brands and labels leading the cause in sustainability and reducing textile waste. There are so many young brands you’ll want to check out after reading.
This blog post has me thinking, if there was one childhood dream that you could accomplish, what would it be? I’d love to hear in the comments below!
Oh the wonders of scrap yarn
In the beginning of this year, I set a lofty goal to design more patterns using leftover and recycled yarns. As much as I adore visiting yarn shops and buying pretty new skeins, I knew I had to find ways to use the stash I had. After all, the most sustainable option is the one you already own.
With this in mind, I discovered my lovely Instagram friend @aliona.nova of Aliona Nova Fiber Creations. We had some really fun conversations about using recycled materials and how clever her scrappy colorful yarns are. She uses some really creative materials from scrap yarn, to embroidery floss, to even cat fur! Needless to say, I was impressed. I sent her some of my own trims and yarn scraps from recent projects, and in return she sent me two stunning hand spun yarns!
Combining this special yarn with another eco friendly company, Echoview Fiber Mill, my Eco Hipster Hat was born. This slouchy hat features a textured ribbing that highlights the colorful handspun yarn that Aliona spins.
Pick up a special skein of handspun yarn, and cast on today! I'd love to see your own photos using her yarn in the comments below!
New Patterns fri-yay!
Hello friends! I was super productive this week and pumped out THREE new patterns on Ravelry and Etsy!
The first one is a blanket-style shawl that I've been working on since the winter. It's called Follow Your Heart, and it uses four of your favorite skeins of sock yarn. I had a lot of fun with this pattern by practicing lots of lace, fading in colors, with a little bias construction. I was waiting on someone to take photos for me, but what the hey, let's just get it published! I wanted to use as much of each color as I could, without making it too huge. It's been thoroughly test knit, and I'm sure you'll love it!
With the extra day off this week, I busted out this adorable little baby swaddle. I've been hoarding a few skeins of Camelot Dyeworks and decided this would be the perfect project to use it in. It's a worsted base in super soft merino wool. It definitely helped me practice my own colorwork and working from charts. It was super fun to get back to my roots of baby knitting! Inspired by my cat, the Coco Snuggles Swaddle is a perfect pattern to knit for your favorite little newborn!
The last pattern to come out is my Textile Blanket! I was super happy with how it turned out. I figured out a cool way to use the icord to attach each separate panel together!
I have been very inspired by the use of recycled fibers and fabrics lately. I found a manufacturer in India that sells kantha blankets made from recycled saris. All the pieces are lovingly hand stitched together. I thought this was a perfect backing material for my textile blanket. Every part of this blanket uses recycled materials- from using yarn from frogged projects, to yarn specifically remade from recycled fibers, and the fabric backing as well.
Of course you could create your own blanket using entirely new materials if you so wish!
Please check out these patterns in both my Ravelry and Etsy shops. I find that they sell in both places! As always, send me a message with any questions!
All my love,
Recycled Textiles Blanket
As you may know, I'm a sucker for making scrappy blankets. My first scrap blankets started out as a mish-mash of crazy colors, usually not matching or complementary in nature. I must say, some of them were pretty crazy looking! Since then, I've designed a few patterns that can combine all these colors and make it look awesome!
This spring I started designing a new blanket using all recycled yarn from either frogged projects or recycled yarn companies. I am designing the blanket in panels, and sewing a recycled silk sari fabric to the back! I'm also working on a cool icord join to attach the panels together. I haven't really seen it before, I wonder if other knitters have tried it.
It's been really fun taking apart old projects that I never really used. Sweaters that just weren't flattering on me, scarves that never got worn, and others. I like being able to give this yarn a new life in a project I know will be used.
I'm working on putting together either a tutorial of the icord seam and/or writing up the entire blanket pattern for my Ravelry shop. I'm not even half done with the blanket, so it will be quite awhile before the pattern is complete. I'll be sure to post more progress photos along the way!
Now I'm curious.. what are your favorite ways to reuse or recycle yarn? Comment below!
all those pesky yarn scraps
As many other knitters do, I've been saving all those pesky yarn scraps that accumulate as you finish projects. The trims from weaving in ends, the leftover yardage that did quite get used. I've always had a use for them. Adding into all my different blanket designs. But what about those scraps that are just too short to tie onto your blanket? Read on for a few suggestions!
The first project I made was to fill up a clear lamp base with the smallest scraps, and made sure to use my favorite special colors. This is one of my favorite pieces because I not only got to save the yarn, but it adds quite a bit of color to my room. I picked up this adorable clear base and shade at Target. Once I collected enough scraps, I stuffed this puppy FULL!
I picked up a few bulky skeins of handspun at a local fiber festival. I wanted to add a little color to it, so I tied on a bunch of the smallest scraps every few inches. It looks a little funky, but that's just the way I like it. I'm thinking about making a few more skeins like this and creating a throw pillow.
I wish I was one of those talented spinners out there. How cool would it be to spin them all together? That's when I discovered LoomDenim on Etsy. You simply send Ashley as many bags of your yarn scraps as you wish, and she spins them into STUNNING works of art. I'm getting ready to send off some to her once I finish a few more projects.
I hope you get inspired by these projects! What do you do with your yarn scraps? Comment below, I'd love to hear!
I first discovered sari yarn years ago when I was browsing a local yarn shop. I was in awe of the silky softness, and of course the BRIGHT colors! I bought a skein, but was never sure what to make with it, and ended up gifting it away in one of my knitting swaps. Boy am I kicking myself now!
Fast forward to this year. I started listening to the Knit Collage Podcast and was totally inspired by Amy's entire mantra; follow what inspires you, embrace the weirdness, and always be growing. All of the Knit Collage yarns are handmade and hand spun in India by a group of women. Incredible! In one of her early podcasts, she had guest Christina Dean, and they discussed the effects of fast fashion and how much waste it creates. Christina created Redress an amazing fashion company that focuses on reducing textile waste. Needless to say, I was inspired. What could I do to help?
I remembered back to the day I first picked up sari yarn. Using the powers of Google, I researched high and low about the materials, process, and the workers who make this colorful yarn. Sari textiles are a major tradition and a huge fixture in manufacturing in India. Unfortunately, many tons of scraps from the manufacturing floor become waste. What is their way of turning these into usable products? Making colorful ribbons and yarn. I discovered a manufacturing group located in Rajasthan, India that sells gorgeous textiles and home decor. They also sell the sari ribbon! IN BULK! Dangerous for me, I know! I placed an order and within a few days the yarn traveled all the way to my doorstep.
I knew I wanted to design a blanket for my home using these crazy colorful skeins. I found lots of projects on Ravelry using sari yarn, but not a single blanket pattern. There had to be more people out there wanting to make a sari blanket. Grabbing the largest needles I had (US 15), I cast on what became my Pink City Sari Blanket. Each stitch was a complete joy. With every color change in the skein, there were delicate hand stitches joining the sari scraps. These women in India are so talented! Within a few days, my blanket was complete. Oh the wonders of chunky yarn. I can honestly say, I snuggle up with it every day! It has definitely become my favorite piece at home.
I hope I've inspired you to test out this amazing fiber for yourself! Not only are you using recycled materials, you also empower women with each skein they create.
What is your favorite project using sari ribbon? Leave a comment below!
Hi all! After a long hiatus from my blog posting, I learned how much I miss it! With all the new directions my shop has taken in the last year, it just makes sense to get back into blogging. Those Instagram captions only explain so much!
This year, I've decided to take a more eco-friendly approach to my shop. As much as I LOVE using luxury yarns and expensive indie dyed yarn, it isn't always the most financially wise decision. What began my journey into recycled yarns was frogging my own previous projects. If I wasn't going to wear this huge shawl, why not reuse the yarn and design something new? While I love reusing hand dyed yarns, I didn't want to frog EVERYTHING I had made. I did want to keep some of it!
When I first started researching recycled yarns, I rediscovered sari yarn. This amazing silk yarn was re purposed from traditional Indian saris, and turned into gorgeous colorways for the next knitting project. They even take unusable scraps from the manufacturing process to turn into yarn! How cool is that? Even better, it employs women in India who may otherwise not be able to work. With this fiber, I searched for a blanket pattern to highlight this incredible material. Unfortunately, I could not find a single hand knit blanket pattern using sari ribbon yarn. As a result, my Pink City Sari Blanket was born! You can download it for FREE on Ravelry by clicking this link! (https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-pink-city-sari-blanket).
Then, I discovered Echoview Fiber Mill. My favorite yarn of theirs is from the Recycled Yarn Collective. They take a super-soft wool and blend it with recycled yarn scraps from other yarn businesses! I recently purchased my first few skeins from them, and cannot wait to test it out!
With this blog, I hope to continue to discover sustainable yarn companies around the world as well as design new patterns for all of you using these materials! Do you have any yarn company recommendations for me? Leave them below in the comments!!
I opened Leo's Lovely Treasures in 2014 with a focus on creating heirloom quality knitwear. Since then, I've grown into a knitwear designer focusing on using sustainable and recycled materials.