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Angelarae Knits

Angelarae Knits

...and Crochets

My Photo
Location: Raleigh, NC, United States

Hello! Welcome to my Blog! I live and enjoy the fibery crafts here, in Raleigh, NC with my husband and 5 children! I love to share patterns, tips, and recipes along with my spinning from time to time. I hope you'll enjoy your time here and stick around a bit!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Free Knitting Pattern Blue Ridge Shawl

Hello, my Friends! I hope you are looking forward to a happy weekend ahead!
Today I want to share one of my paid patterns, Blue Ridge Shawl, free of charge!
As you know, I love to crochet, but I also love to knit. Blue Ridge is a great pattern to make as a gift because it's knit in worsted weight yarn and it was designed to be knit with one skein of Malabrigo Worsted or Manos Del Urugay Maxima.

Be sure that your gauge is correct when you begin this shawl. If you don't, one ball may not be enough to finish it!

Here's the link to the pattern...I hope you enjoy it!
Blue Ridge Shawl

Free one skein Knitting Shawl Pattern

Free one skein shawl knitting pattern


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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Craft Adventure - Dying Yarn with Food Coloring

I have always wanted to try dying wool! I enjoy making yarn with my spinning wheels and spindles, so I thought it would be fun to try dying some of my handspun.  I do not have professional dyes at the moment, and the koolaid I bought to dye with has long been mixed and consumed by my children:0)
So, I looked into dying with simple food coloring and I only need 4 ingredients:

~white vinegar
~food coloring

For my little experiment, I used some hand spun and plied Cormo wool from my stash, approximately 75 yards. Cormo is extra soft and squishy when it's spun. I love it!

I also used a store brand set of liquid food coloring.  In my research, I read that food color gel can produce somewhat richer color, but I wanted to use what I had.

how to dye yarn with food color
yarn dying ingredients
I mixed the color with warm water and a splash of  vinegar.  The vinegar helps the fiber accept the dye more quickly, so I soaked the yarn in a vinegar/water mixture for approximately 20 minutes before actually applying the dye.

I used apple sauce cups to mix my dye. These are sturdy and have many uses around my household. I filled each cup a little more than halfway with warm water, added a glug of vinegar to each one and then added my red and yellow food color.  The cup on the left has more red than yellow and the cup on the right is mostly yellow with a small amount of red.

After my yarn had soaked, I squeezed out the excess water and laid it in a 9x11 glass baking dish. This is where I applied my dyes.  This works well as it keeps the mess to a minimum.

how to dye yarn with food color
I was pleased with the way the yarn accepted the darker hues and lighter hues as well.
So my yarn has a mottled effect throughout of dark and lighter orange, which is what I was going for....Yay!

After that, I had to heat the yarn.

I moved it and the remaining dye water to a smaller dish that would fit in my microwave.

I should point out here, there are two things that cause wool to felt, heat and agitation. Since I was using a 100% wool and had to use heat to set the dye, it was important to keep agitation to a minimum. That's why you should gently squeeze and not twist the yarn as you work with it.

dye yarn with food color

This dish worked well because each section allowed for more dye water and it is easy to see that there is still more orange in the water/vinegar mixture that the yarn has not absorbed yet.
I placed it in my microwave for 2 minutes.  When it was finished processing, I took it out and allowed it to cool down completely. I then microwaved it again for 2 more minutes and checked the water.

dye yarn with food color

As you can see, the water is clear, meaning all the dye has been absorbed by the yarn.  I allowed that to cool and then rinsed my newly dyed yarn in some cool water and gently squeezed as much water out as possible.

I hung it to dry for a few hours and, voila!

Hand dyed, hand spun yarn!

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Friday, April 22, 2016

Free Crochet Pattern Candle Cozy

There's something about candles I just love!  They are a zen experience for me.  The warm glow and flickering of the flame are calming, somehow.  Last year, my son Ian gave me a wonderful gift for Mother's Day...a WoodWick Candle! I adore these because I love the crackling noise they make as they burn along with their rich aroma.  The only thing I don't love about them is their price, between $15 and $30, depending on the size you buy.  So you can understand how excited I was to find these at Dollar Tree!! 

dollar tree crafts small candles

Yup! That's a wood wick candle on the right! SO excited!
But, I think both of these need a little something, don't you?  Maybe a nice crocheted cozy, perhaps? Yes!

dollar tree crafts small candle cozy free pattern

Now, that's better! I will share this pattern with you! It only takes a small amount of cotton yarn, 62 cents worth of Peaches and Creme (and you know I did the math), bringing the entire cost of this project to $1.62 + tax. (yarn bought at Wal Mart) Not bad! If you use stash yarn, about $1.07!
Here's the pattern!

Size Approximately 2.5 " high and 8" in circumference, depending on gauge. My gauge for this project was 3.5sts and 4 rows = 1" This cozy will fit most 3 oz glass jar candles.
Approximately 50 yds of Peaches and Creme yarn or any other worsted weight yarn. I used colors #1006 Ecru(left) and #1725 Blueberry(right) for this project.
Size G (4mm) Crochet Hook
Darning Needle, Scissors
ch - chain
st - stitch
slst - slip stitch - insert hook in next st, yo and draw up a loop. Pull loop through 1st loop on hook
sc - single crochet - insert hook in next st, yo and draw up a loop. Yo and draw through both loops on hook.
blo - back loop only - work in back loop of stitch.

Make a Magic Ring, ch1.
Rnd 1:  6 sc in magic ring, join with a slst. (6 sc)
Rnd 2:  2 sc in each sc around. Do not join. (12 sc)
For the next few rows, work in a spiral. Place a stitch marker in the first stitch of this round and move it up each additional round. I did this to avoid a visible seam. Of course, if you'd rather join every round, by all means, do so.
Rnd 3: 1 Sc in next st, PM, 2 sc in next stitch. *1Sc in next stitch, 2 sc in next stitch; rep. from *, around. (18 sc)
Rnd 4: [ 1sc in each of next 2 sts and 2 sc in next stitch] around. (24 sc)
Rnd 5: [ 1 sc in each of next 3 sts and 2 sc in next stitch] around. (30 sc)
Rnd 6: 1 sc in blo of every stitch around. (30 sc)
Rnd 7-11: 1 sc in each sc around, moving marker up at the beginning of each round (30 sc)
Rnd 12: 1 sc in each sc around, join with a slst to marked stitch.
 Check sizing at this point. Slip your cozy onto the candle to see how you like the fit. If you are happy with it now, work Edging. If you need it to be a little taller, work another row of sc, joining with a slst at the end of the round.

Rnd 1: Ch1, sc in same stitch. [Ch2, skip 2 sc, sc in next sc] 10 times. Join with a slst in 1st sc of round. You should have 10 ch2 spaces.
Rnd 2: Make 4 sc in each ch2 space around. [Join with a slst to 1st sc of round and finish off the usual way and weave in ends or do not join with a slip stitch and use my Invisible Finish, below.

Free pattern for dollar tree candle cozy

Do not join after last stitch

free pattern for dollar tree candle cozy

Cut yarn and bring through.

free pattern for dollar tree candle cozy

Bring yarn under both loops of beginning stitch

free pattern for dollar tree candle cozy

Insert needle into center of last stitch of round

free pattern for dollar tree candle cozy

Pull tail gently through to complete join. Weave in ends.

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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Share A Book - Getting Things Done

One of the things that has always plagued me as a knitter/fiber enthusiast is an ever growing pile of unfinished projects (UFO's); items I committed to make for someone, either to myself or personally, sweater's I just put down and never picked up again, and designs I started, but gave up on...I know I am not alone here; many in our fiber community have blogged, tweeted, and pinned about the same problem. With that in mind, for the very first post in my 'Share A Book' series, I'd like to recommend a book I am currently reading called 'Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity' by David Allen.  I first heard about this book from watching Miss Trenchcoat in her 'Plan Like An Entrepreneur' series.
I have been praying about my struggle with accomplishing tasks and feeling so overwhelmed all of the time. This book has truly been an answer to those prayers, and that's another reason I wanted to share it with you today! 
My prayers have gone something like this: " Lord, why am I not accomplishing anything that really needs to be done? I feel so overwhelmed and helpless.... Please help me not to feel so anxious and exhausted."  I thought my problem was fear, worry and lack of faith. With that, comes guilt; for what I am not doing that I should be doing and fear that my future is in my hands, but my hands are weak. That's how I felt. Overwhelmed and with little ability to correct it.

But Mr. Allen's book has really helped me to turn that around. First, he thoroughly explains the problem:

"A paradox has emerged in this new millennium: people have enhanced quality of life, but at the same time they are adding to their stress levels by taking on more that they have resources to handle....the plethora of options and opportunities brings with it the pressures of decision making and choices. And most people are, to some degree, frustrated and perplexed about how to improve the situation."

For me, I also have and overextended life situation with my husband's illness, which has added to what is stated here as well as the normal, everyday activities and responsibilities most people have.

The solution begins with getting everything out of your head and onto the page, and continues with tips that will help you to organize tasks into do-able next steps, and begin to move items into the 'completed' category. Amen....finally!

I must say, I have felt so much more clear headed and calm, just in taking his first suggestion of 'capturing' every task, real or imagined, every promised action, every 'should' or 'I wish', no matter how small or trivial, on paper. Now having all of that 'stuff' out of my head and in a trusted place has done wonders for my sanity...truly!

I am particularly impressed that these techniques can be partially or fully implemented with immediate results and are very forgiving in their presentation. No need to dive in head first and commit to a complete lifestyle change. Just use what you can and feel good about that.

If you've never read this book, buy it, anyone can benefit from his down-to-earth techniques or, if you have already read it, get the latest edition. Mr. Allen has updated his methods to include tools which are available today which were not when the book was first published. I have a provided an Amazon Link on my sidebar. Just click through and purchase the digital or paperback edition. I also have a link for the Kindle Reading App on the sidebar. Enjoy!

Review Getting Things Done David Allen

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Wow! Hard to believe it has been close to a year since I posted an update to this blog. Life moves pretty fast, doesn't it? There have been some changes chez Angelarae, but I am sure most of you could say the same.

My husband's brain injury has pretty much had the usual impact on life, but I am happy to report that over the last 6 months we have finally found a helpful resource. The Brain Injury Association of NC has been invaluable and giving Hal and our family the support we have needed for so long, but just didn't know where to look.  We finally have answers to and validation for many of the behaviors and difficulties we have dealt with over the past several years and have also joined support groups which are useful for me and beneficial for Hal, especially helping him to understand and accept his limitations and weaknesses.

Emma and Will are growing quickly:0)

Will is 17, now, a senior at Cary H.S. and Emma is 14, just starting CHS as a freshman...

As for me, I have finally decided I need to get serious about my blogging.  I miss writing and interacting with all of you!  Social networking is fun, too, but it really hasn't taken the place of blogging for me. So, I am glad to be back! 

Now to brainstorm some cool blog posts! Got some great ideas, already!