Yarn Dyeing with Laine and Lotus
By Michele Thymmons and Jen of Laine and Lotus
Have you ever been inspired by someone and wanted to follow them and see all that they design and make? For new yarn dyers, crocheters and knitters, there are sooooo many fellow makers that can inspire you and help you along your journey. Jen of Laine and Lotus is amazing and highlights a lot of whom has encouraged and helped her along her journey and she has also created some gorgeous patterns and handmade yarns!!! Her yarns are inspirational and beautiful! You can get lost in the colors and dream of all types of projects you can make with all the yarn!!!!
Hello everyone! I’m Jen, the maker, mama, and yarn lover behind Laine and Lotus. I started crocheting when my son was just a baby (can you believe he is now in first grade?!), and I taught myself to knit a few years later. When I started out, I was just looking for something to keep me busy when my son napped. Something that didn’t involve housework. Something that was a bit of a creative outlet. Something that, dare I say, was just for me.
Both my grandmother and my mother crocheted and when I asked my mom if she had any supplies that I could use, she brought over some of my grandmother’s old hooks. It made me feel connected to her in a way that I hadn’t felt since she passed when I was just a young teen, and I felt as though part of her was with me again.
My mother had strayed from crocheting over the years, so she wasn’t quite able to help me learn, which is when YouTube and bloggers like All About Ami and Make and Do Crew came in VERY handy. While my first couple of projects weren’t the greatest, I was instantly fascinated by the fact that with merely a hook and my two hands, I could turn yarn into something useful, functional, and most of all beautiful. And then began the obsession.
My first few attempts at knitting were even less successful than my early crochet projects. I thought, if I could ever get the hang of it, knitting would always take a backseat to crochet. I persisted and failed, cussed and tried again. But now, I find myself reaching for my needles more often than my hooks *gasp*.
When I first began crocheting, I NEVER thought I would have what it took to become a designer, but the inspiration, support, and encouragement I received from fellow makers in the community gave me the courage to challenge myself and discover my inner designer. A few years ago I was chosen to be a tester for the amazing Jessica Carey of The Hook Nook, and the confidence and guidance I have received from her over the years has just reinforced my choices to try new things and push myself in my business…especially when things seem scariest.
My love of fiber has grown exponentially since my journey began, and the long held desire I had to dye my own yarn finally came to fruition. I have been to many fiber festivals since my love affair with yarn began, but my last trip to Stitches United was a game changer for me. I had been contemplating dyeing for a long time, but for some reason, that day something just clicked. I went home and immediately started researching how to dye my own yarn. I watched every video, read every article I could find, I took out books form the library, and even looked of local classes (which unfortunately there were none). Once I felt like I had a bit of a handle on it and wouldn’t totally ruin any yarn I tried to dye, I ordered a few sample skeins and gave it a shot!
The freedom, creativity, and joy that I have since found in dyeing has been unmatched by any other aspect of my maker journey. It has challenged me in ways that I never expected, and has allowed me to rediscover aspects of myself that had been long since forgotten.
Dyeing truly feels like where my business and I were destined to land, and I truly appreciate your support in making these dreams possible.
Resources I have used and recommend:
All About Ami - @allaboutami: Stephanie runs an amazing blog with tons of free patterns that are suitable for beginner crocheters and knitters alike. She also has more advanced patterns, and is a brand ambassador for Lion Brand Yarn so there is always something fun going on on her feed. I turned to her blog quite often for easy beginner patterns, that didn’t look so beginner, when I was first learning to crochet, and still do now!
Make and Do Crew - @makeanddocrew: Jess also runs an amazing blog with weekly free crochet and knit patterns. She shares everything from sweaters and hats, to pillows and blankets. She also has partnered with Lion Brand Yarn to create some amazing kits and patterns. Definitely a blog for all yarn lovers to check out.
The Hook Nook - Jessica Carey - @thehooknook: Jessica is an absolutely amazing inspirational maker! She is so much more than a crochet and knit designer, she is a true light in this maker community. She has shown me so much love and guidance over the course of the last few years, and I am forever grateful to her for her friendship and inadvertent mentorship. Not to mention that her feed is absolutely beautiful, and her website helps to highlight other makers within the community!
Stitches Events - Knitting Universe hosts events all over the country all throughout the year highlighting indie dyers, knitters, weavers, spinners, and everything fiber lovers dream of. It is where it all happened for me, and it was then that I decided to make my dream of dyeing a reality. Perhaps you’ll be able to find me at a Stitches Event in the not so distant future!
Dyeing to Knit: how to use and create your own beautiful hand-dyed yarns. Elaine Eskesen - Down East Books - 2005 - I checked this book out of my local library before ordering my bare yarn and dyes and read it cover to cover while taking notes.
Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece: Dip-dyeing, Hand-painting, Tie-dyeing, and Other Creative Techniques Gail Callahan - Storey - 2010 - I also took this book out of my local library, but it is a great resource for anyone who is interested in learning more about dyeing to have in their collection!
Note - This post contains affiliate links, which means I will make a commission at no extra cost to you, should you click through and make a purchase.
Everyone creates, designs, and learns things differently. With this in mind, I’ve added a number of other crocheters and knitters who also have great patterns and some also have tutorials for crocheting or knitting. If you have more that you think I should add, please let me know as there are a great number of amazing makers that could be added here that I do not know about. :)
Crafty Intentions is an amazing crocheter designer who has created several gorgeous and easy to read patterns. She’s created dragons of all types - adults in various positions, juveniles, and babies. She’s also created pegasus, unicorns, and hippocampus patterns so you can make one for yourself! I’ve got the dragon patterns that I’m working on :) There is a Facebook group you can also join that she runs to showcase everyone’s patterns as well as get help for creating with her patterns.
bykaterinacrochet has so many gorgeous patterns I don’t know where to start! I already have a number of them that I will be creating and more as she comes out with them. Her patterns are anything from hats to scarves, dresses, shirts and so much more. :) Her Instagram is full of inspirational pictures and captions. She also has kids clothing patterns!
Yarnhookneedles - Jerica not only has gorgeous patterns but she has amazing tutorials on a variety of crochet stitches where she shows you how to do any number of stitches upclose as she shows you step by step what you need to do to make a stitch. Her fall line of patterns has been unique an beautiful (tunisian crochet dress anyone?!), I look forward to seeing what else she makes! She was also featured in the Hook Nook with her crochet tunic pattern. Jerica was also one of the first maker features focused on creating your own blog.
Miramarwoods - Kristina not only creates gorgeous handmade crochet hooks but also has designed several gorgeous patterns to include the Archer’s Hood (my favorite) and a recent crochet hammock that can be used for toys or yarns :) She also has a maker feature where she discusses how she creates her beautiful crochet hooks and where you can find them :)
Fiber and Fern - Brie creates gorgeous patterns of all types from beanies to scarves and even wall hangings!! I’ve had the privilege of testing several of her patterns and absolutely love them. The latest cardigan is amazing and one of my favorites :) She was also one of our first maker features focused on pattern creations and resources to help in creating patterns.
Teaganandlu - Theresa has created ear warmers, Halloween patterns, winter wall hangings, necklace, clutch and so many other patterns that are available via her Ravelry shop that are fun to make (fox beanie anyone?) and gorgeous to wear infinity shawl. :)
mjsoffthehook - has some gorgeous and fun designs! I’ve purchased and made several of her kits from Craftsy (now called Bluprint) and will be doing a full review of some of these and other kits for Bluprint in a future article (will link it here when it’s posted). Some of her designs are patterns for blankets - dragons, dinosaurs, cats, reindeer and a variety of other animals. She has shawls, shirts, hats, blankets and so much more! She’s also one of the creatives behind @sentryboxdesigns with a number of tutorials and designs.
coco.crochet.lee - Lee is a crochet/knit designer and blogger who has patterns galore, and also is a curator of @wipwednesday and works with knitandcrochetnow.com - and all-access club focused and crochet and knitting. She’s has tutorials on her Instagram and designs as well as gorgeous pictures of what can be created using yarn and ingenuity :)
Pumpkin&Pine - Myra creates so many gorgeous pieces of crochet and knits! She has beautiful patterns and completed pieces on her Etsy shop to include hats, ear warmers, and even knitting wall patterns! And her Instagram is also full of inspiration and amazing projects!
Pinkplumeriamaui - Tonja is a crochet designer and knitter with such a variety of gorgeous patterns. I’ve been grateful to be able to test two of her patterns (to include the X and Os beanie which I created three of various sizes for a family member and her girls and the Cross the Lines Beanie which I used for a wonder woman beanie for myself and my mum :)) She’s also got a blog full of free and fun patterns. And fun fact - she does all this from an island in Hawaii :)
The Burlap Kitchen - has amazing free crochet and knitting patterns and she also creates her own faux fur poms!!!! :) She is a veteran owned business that has gorgeous patterns! I love her Front Range Infinity Scarf as seen on her Instagram and can’t wait to start my own!
desertblossomcrafts - Rachel is an amazing crocheter and blogger that I have and will be highlighting in the blocking article and tutorial coming out next week where I used one of her articles to assist me in learning to block my crochet pieces. She is a crochet designer and blogger and has a number of great articles and tutorials on her site along with tons of free crochet patterns.
Thank you for joining us for this Yarn Dyeing Maker Feature! Check out Jen’s website for more gorgeous yarns and knitting and crochet patterns! You can also find her patterns in her Etsy Shop . I’d also love to hear from you about what types of resources you want more information on as well as Makers you would like to nominate for a Maker Feature! You can find other maker features on clay sculpting, yarn dyeing, and more here. Please email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or leave a comment on this article! Looking forward to hearing from you and have a great day!