My friends and family know that my true passion lies in dyeing yarn. For a while I was dyeing and selling constantly. Over the past couple of years I pulled back and I rarely sell yarns or even dye unless it is something specifically for a gift or for me to knit with. It was great to make money on something I love. It feels even better to have my hobby back to enjoy only for me. I love seeing how colors come together. I love using bright colors. I especially love the differences between skeins of yarn even if they are dyed together. I am fascinated by making something unique and personal for a knitting project.
Over the years I have found that customers want unique yarns dyed. This is fantastic. And time consuming. That is why I backed off. I wanted to have time to enjoy other things in my life and develop new skills. Since I shut down my business I have learned to knit socks, started a blanket, and I learned a whole host of other knitting skills like cabling and new cast-ons for specific projects. I am more proud of myself than ever.
Why this post can be filed under “Frugal Living” is because I started to dye and knit because I could not justify the cost of buying the gorgeous hand made baby items out there. I wanted them. Badly. I had this precious little baby and I wanted her decked out in serious cuteness.
So I used the magic of the internet to guide me to tutorials. There I learned to use Kool-Aid and cheap wool to dye my first couple skeins of yarn. As soon as it was dry I started knitting. With the help of my Dad’s wife and YouTube I managed to learn to knit pretty painlessly. I found a free pattern and started knitting what those in the cloth diapering community call “Longies”. These are tiny knit wool pants for babies who have their bottoms covered in fluffy and economical cloth diapers.
My first pair of Longies took me a month to knit. It seemed like forever. I was so excited when I finally finished them though. And I recently handed them off to someone else to pass on to another cloth diapering mom. Over 4 years later they are still being used. That is frugal. I spent a total of about $16 to make them. They were used by both of my daughters and so far by 2 other families. They may not be as bright as they once were but they are still going strong.
Today I am dyeing up 4 skeins of yarn to make cardigans for the girls for the winter. I couldn’t find a cute cardigan for Amelia so we could stretch out some of her summer clothes through the fall. So that is where I come in. Cardigans seem to be getting more and more expensive. I already had the yarn and dyes on hand. So essentially these cardigans will be free to make. They do take time and energy but I consider it a labor of love. When Annabelle outgrows hers we will pass it on to a friend. When Amelia outgrows hers we will hold on to it for Annabelle. My knitting started as a way to make something precious for a fraction of the cost and now it is a valuable survival skill. I am able to make beautiful wool hats, socks, scarves, sweaters, blankets, mittens, and even Longies. All of these things for a fraction of what it costs to buy good quality wool items in the store.
What is your hobby? Is it functional or just for pure enjoyment?