Friday, October 2, 2015

Easy Soap Sweaters

Soap Sweaters 
Just when you thought we had run out of things to cover in yarn...

Soap sweaters have taken over my knitting life this week. These adorable things are a pretty great twist on felted soaps. Instead of felting the wool around the soap, these are seamless knitted sacks that felt around the soap as you use it.

But why make or use felted soaps / soap sweaters? This question comes up a lot with felted soaps. And because it's me, I have a handy dandy bullet pointed list:

The tl;dr version:
  • Felted soaps & soap sweaters exfoliate. 
  • They prolong the life of your soap. 
  • It's fun and showers are boring. 
The long version:
  • You are a Knitter with a capital K. If it can have a sweater, then it will have a sweater. Plus you have all that wool just laying around not earning it's rent. 
  • You can't beat the lather it makes. Creamy bubbles for everyone.  
  • Scrubba, scrubba, scrubba! It exfoliates your skin gently.
  • The wool becomes infused with the soap as you use it and will continue to lather long after the soap has melted away. 
  • Heat + agitation + pH changes (wool is slightly acidic, soap is slightly basic) = felt. On your body. While you're getting clean. SCIENCE!
  • Sometimes there are colored bubbles and that's kind of neat. (Let's be honest, you're washing wool in water hotter than the normal "cool" recommendation and scrubbing it with soap. Embrace the colored bubbles your first few showers. It won't stain your skin or your tub, and shouldn't change the color of your soap sweater.)  
  • Wool wicks water away and is slightly acidic, making it naturally bacteria resistant. Have you noticed that your cotton sweaters need to be washed all the time, but your wool sweaters don't? Same principle. Wool doesn't hold on to bacteria like cotton does. 
  • Prop it up in a well-draining soap dish to dry & air out between uses. That sweater is going to be fine for a long, long time. 
But how do I make one?  Like this...
Dyeabolical Id Squishy Sport Singles (1 hank makes about 5-7 sweaters) [Use the "search in this shop" section to search for all Id colors currently in stock, or navigate to the "Yarn-Dyed to Order" section to special order a color.]
US 9 double pointed needles
Tapestry needle
Stitch Marker

Notes: Yarn is held double. You can also use a heavy worsted, aran weight, or light bulky held single. If you are making a yarn substitution, make sure you are using a yarn that will felt! This pattern is for double pointed needles, but can easily be converted to magic loop. The soaps used measure 3.5" long x 2.5" high x 1" wide. If you have a wider soap then you may want to do more increase and decrease rows.

Gauge is somewhat flexible. I used about 4 sts/inch. A tighter soap sweater is better than a baggy soap sweater.

 Instructions (hold yarn double):
Holding yarn double, cast on 8 stitches over 2 needles using Judy's Magic Cast On or Figure-8 Cast On

Knit all the stitches on the first needle. Knit all the stitches on the second needle. Mark the beginning of the round. Redistribute the stitches evenly over 4 needles.

Row 1 (increase row): Knit 1, kfb, knit to the end of needle 1. Knit to 2 stitches before end of needle 2, kfb, knit 1. On needle 3, knit 1, kfb, knit to end of needle 3. Knit to 2 stitches before the end of needle 4, kfb, knit 1

Row 2: Knit

Row 3 & 4: Repeat rows 1 & 2

Continue to knit in the round until your piece is as long as your soap.

Row 5: (decrease row): Knit 1, ssk, knit to the end of needle 1. Knit to 3 stitches before the end of needle 3, k2tog, knit 1. On needle 3, knit 1, ssk, knit to the end of needle 3. Knit to 3 sttiches before the end of needle 4, k2tog, knit 1

Row 6: Knit

Row 7 & 8: Repeat rows 5& 6

Insert soap in to your soap sweater. Kitchener stitch the opening closed.

Weave in ends. This is going to be felted as you use it, so I just leave the cast on tail inside the soap and pull the bind off tail up to the inside of the sweater. Leave unblocked.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Eazy Beezee

All done! The brioche wasn't difficult once I got started.

Pattern: Beezee by Katrin Schubert
Main color: Natural (available by request)
Base Yarn: Id Squishy Sport Single

Contrasting color: Closer Than You Think
Base Yarn: Id Squishy Sport Single
The double thick brioche fabric is made in 2 stages. On the first round you knit every other stitch. The opposite stitches are slipped purlwise while making a yarn over.  On the second round you purl those slipped stitches together with the yarn overs made in the previous round and slip the knit stitches while making a yarn over. Luckily, there are many YouTube videos. Surprisingly, brioche knitting was very easy. Just don't ask how to fix a mistake. :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

September already?

I bet you thought I didn't blog anymore, didn't you? :) Instagram has been sucking up most of my social media time. I really love seeing what everyone is working on and pictures from their day. The hashtag feature is great. My favorite IG hashtags are below. What are your favorite tags?
 Summer 2015 was marked by a wicked case of crafters block, especially knitters block. I managed a few projects by forcing myself to sit down and work, but the innate desire to make things hasn't been there. That has thankfully eased up a little, probably because of the cooling temperatures. This week I am working on a 2-color brioche hat called "Beezee" by Katrin Schubert. There were a few false starts, but I'm chugging along now and loving it. I can't put it down!
Yarn: Id Squishy Sport
Color 1: undyed
Color 2: Closer Than You Think.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


20% off all in-stock items
July 2 - July 8

Thank you for making the first half of 2015 a great year for Dyeabolical! As a thank you, please enjoy 20% off all in-stock items! All in-stock yarns, fibers, patterns, soaps & perfumes are discounted 20% from July 2 - July 8. (Dyed-to-order/Made-to-Order items are excluded from the sale)

Want to save more? Use coupon code "SHIP50" on all orders over $50 to receive free domestic shipping. International customers use "SHIPITL50" for a discount on shipping.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A KnittingSarah Giveaway

The lovely Sarah from the Knitting Sarah blog posted a great review of the Dyeabolical Id yarn on her blog today and she's also hosting a giveaway for a skein of Id. Check it out!

Friday, April 10, 2015

April Newsletter

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It has been a busy month! I have been preparing for the Southern Illinois Sheep & Craft Festival tomorrow (see below), released 4 new colors, and listed a new made-to-order decorative soap.
Sheep & Craft Festival April 11, 2015

Southern Illinois
Sheep & Craft Festival

Saturday April 11

Monroe County Fairgrounds Waterloo, Il

This festival is held on the Monroe County Fairgrounds in the barn. See some sheep, eat some lunch, check out the sheep dog demonstrations, talk to spinners & knitters, browse vendors, and more.

Scott & I will be there with our yarns, fibers, soaps, perfume, mini skeins, and row counters. Say hello!
2 new colors and 2 new-ish yarn colors have been added to the shop as dyed-to-order listings.
  • Fate, PhD (version 2) is out of retirement and back on the shelves. The bright aqua blue & dark gold overlap to make murky sea-green.
  • Bigger On The Inside has been a color available by special request for a long time and, due to popular demand, I have added it to the shop.
  • Hocus Pocus, I'm A Crocus is a fun lilac purple and green, with a little bit of brown-gray for contrast.
  • 80's Jam is a bright green, a peacock blue, and the same brown-gray that is in Hocus Pocus.  It's so much fun!
Fate, PhD, Hocus Pocus, I'm A Crocus, and 80's Jam are also available on combed top spinning fiber.
This rosette medallion soap mold makes me so happy. I have been holding on to it waiting for just the right inspiration to strike. I am thrilled to finally offer it as a made-to-order soap. Each soap is made in your choice of color and scent out of detergent-free aloe vera & olive oil soap. It is then painted with a shimmery mica to bring out the intricate details. These soaps will look great on your sink, and the skin-loving additives perform well in the bath.

Not seeing your favorite color or scent? Just ask! I will do my best to fill your request.

To take advantage of free shipping on orders over $50, you must use the coupon code above at the time of checkout.