Tag Archives: thread

Hand Dyed Acrylic Yarns

I started dyeing my yarns as a hobby when we were living in Lagos. It may sounds impossible but actually it wasn’t that difficult getting the supplies into Africa from outside especially from the UK. It’s quite strange that when I now live in my own country getting items shipped into my place from the usual online shop I purchased my materials is no longer possible. We are a rich country, we have fast land and ocean and that ocean has lots and lots of fishes, the land has lots of plants which can be bartered with those dyes and the plants we have, that can turn to dyes… Don’t worry, I was just complaining to myself.

The difficulties in getting my dyed especially for the hardest material to dye like acrylic had forced me into an exciting exploration. have been using anything to get yarn samples dyed even if the manufacturer said it won’t work, I tried it anyway.

Among the brands sold in the market here, these are the names which are common at my place, Wantex and Dylon. There is only one type of Dylon available here which is the multi purpose powdered dye (is there any other type?). Anyway, so I tried both, it did paint the yarns but they both runs. Even with the fixer. The acrylic yarns just won’t marry to the dye…

I was frustrated although decided not to give up hope. I kept on working and mixing  the paste… add more water, reduce water, apply heat, use microwave, use steamer, sun dyed… soften the hue, apply heat again and wash the skein in the sink only to see all the deep color being striped off revealing the naked color of the threads… (sighed and wiped sweat on my forehead).

I have some left over Jacquard iDye Poly from Dharma Trading (the only one which is working so far), I tried also an imported Japanese brand which was  intentionally made for acrylic painting on canvas but the label did mention garments in it so I guess that is safe to use. It was funny when I told the guy who sold it what I was going to use it for, he laughed at me with a worry kind of laugh, you know, he was afraid that I was just going to waste my time and money. Well then, is that mean I can’t dye acrylic yarns forever since there is no way I can import Jacquard into here? I can’t take no for an answer to that (the grumpy child in me talking).

I think I will have to live with what I can get locally for now, not too much colors  to play with but it will be good enough till I can get to buy Jacquard iDye Poly again… #feeling-hopeful



I small sample I dyed earlier. I like how this color turns out. I would call it Baby Cashmillon. See the knitting sample below.


Above yarns after washing with liquid soap and sun dried. You see how much color had faded in the washing? It’s still a nice blend however and I am happy with the result.

Knitting sample of the Baby Cashmillon above.

Dyed with iDye for natural fiber, it was very deep purple and dark green before. The above is the result after washing and dried and if I wash it again it may runs again. I know it was silly me not to trust the label.


Yes, no more color runs… The water is clear.

Dyed with iDyePoly and hank to dry. Rewarding myself with a cup of tea while waiting  while reading the book titled “Hand Dyieng…” LOL

I have a patience friend who waited if he will be allowed to touch the ball…

I learned dying technique from book, Youtube and I did my own research and experiments. I have been reading a book by Gail Callahan “Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece” and subscribed to several hand dying channels on Youtube. My favorite channel is Nicole of Hue Loco. I also follow her Instagram. She has done so much wonderful works.

Note on iDye Poly, must wash garment dyed with this separately.

Rectly dyed (uploaded on May 1st, 2016


Tangle Free Yarn

How many times have you wound the yarns and ended up spending countless hours untangling it? Well if you are like me who wind your yarns a lot before  crocheting or knitting, here are some tips for you. This technique is especially useful when you work with a slippery yarns such as nylon or a certain type of silk.  I would call this method making yarn donut casing. With this method you are encasing each ball and pull one end while the ball stay inside the case. It will make your yarn ball hair and dust free too.

You need a plastic pocket in the size to fit the volume of your yarn ball, not too loose and not to tight. Umbrella yarn winder and a ball winder is needed but it is not a  must. If you are manually winding your yarns, just make sure to put something hollow to temporarily hold your yarns such as a bathroom tissue paper holder.

First method: Cut the base of the plastic pocket, slide it into the ball winder then tighten it with a rubber band. Wind yarns as usual. When finish, remove yarns from the winder then pull out one end of the plastic pocket gently and fold it around the yarn enveloping it inside safely.

Second method: Wind yarns as usual. When finish, remove yarns from the winder, slide in the precut plastic pocket through the hole then pull out one end gently. Fold the plastic around the yarn enveloping it inside safely.

Green Method: I have not tried  this but maybe a a crumpled old magazine paper might work as well as a wrapper.

Don’t forget to reuse and recycle the plastic containers.


Water Wheel Crochet Motif

This is not my design. It was the motif of my pink table cloth which I bought in an exhibition a few years ago when I was not yet so much into crocheting. I have searched for the designer online  but I can’t find it. If you happen to know please write me a note so I can properly credit her/him. Thank you. One day I wish to make a mandala out of this using thick yarn such as the one made by

Make a magic ring by wrapping the yarn 10 times on your little finger. Insert hook into the the ring,  yarn over, pull through yarn and make 1 ch.
16 sc into ring, join with sl st.
Make 4 ch (counted as 1 dc and 1 ch).


(1 dc, 1 ch) 16 times.


Join with sl st.


Make 3 ch (counted as 1 dc).


3 dc in same st,  sc in next dc, (3 ch, 3 dc in same st, sc in next dc; rep around.


Join with sl st to first sl st.



2 ch, sc into the 3 ch sp…
(2 ch, sc into the 3 ch sp); rep around…
 Join with sl st.


4 ch (counted as 1 dc and 1 ch), (skip next st, 1 ch, dc in next st); rep around.


Join with sl st to 3rd of 4 ch.


Sc in next 1 ch sp.
[(3 ch, sc in same sp) 3 times, sc in next ch sp]; rep around. (3 picots, sc in next ch sp)



Here is how the finished motif looks like. Pardon the uneven color of my scrap yarn.
My pink table cloth with same motif. Ignore the mochi, but if you drool then maybe you will have to make some. Recipe here in this blog.

Vintage Dolie

I am supposed to make flower of the week and I am two weeks late already but I can’t say no to a friend who asked for a pattern to make a vintage table cloth. I have made 2 different versions of the dolies but this seems closer to her liking and she doesn’t mind I am blogging about it.
The inspiration for this dolie came from an antique pattern crochet book.  This dolie can be used alone as a decoration, a coaster or you can make as many as you like and join them together to make a bedspread or a tablecloth. Joining the dollies is not included in this instruction.
Terms: American
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Yarn: Cotton, sport/fine, lace, crochet thread size 5 in two colors.
Total yarn weight:  about 25 grams
Hook: G/2.25 mm 
Gauge:  6.5 inches at its widest points after blocking
Finished Size: 6.5 inches at its widest points after blocking
Stitches Used:
Yo = yarn over
Ch = chain
Sc = single crochet
Dc = double crochet
Sl st = slip stitch
NOTE:  This pattern is worked in round. 3 ch at beg counts as 1 dc.
Make 5 chains.
Join with a sl st to form a ring. Ch 3.
Round 1: 15 dc  into the ring, sl st to join. (16 dc)
Round 2: *Ch 13,  sl st into the 7th ch from hook or 7th ch from chain base. 
Sc into each of next 6 st toward the base, sc into each of next 2 dc of round 1; rep from * till end of round. Sl st to join, cut off yarn.  
Round 3: Pick up the 2nd color. Sc into any st between two long tentacles looking chain stitches, sk 3, ch 3, sc into the 4th st from the base of chain, ch 3, 15 dc into ring, sk 3, ch 3, sc into the opposite side of previous sc, ch 3; 
rep from * till end of round, sl st to join. (8 partially done petals)
Round 4: Working toward the tip of the petal, ch 3, *dc into next dc, ch 1: rep 14 more times.
Dc into next sc of previous round (in between two petals); rep from * for the remaining petals,  sl st into tip of first ch 3 to join. (8 partially done petals)
Round 5: [*Sc into ch-1 sp of next petal, ch 3, sc into same sp; rep from * 13 more times. (14 pc)] rep till end of round, sl st to join, bind off. (8 petals)
Pink Dolie by Lola Pool 2014
Decorate the centre with ribbon or beads as you like.


Enjoy your new vintage looking dolie 🙂

Thanks to Dien Angreini Sagita for asking me to make this. I enjoyed it very much.

Please DO NOT re upload my files by any means to another blog or website. All my photographs are copyrighted. 
Thank you.

Flower of the Week No. 2 – Lotus

Last week I posted about making one flower a week. So here I am posting this before this week ended. Hey, it’s Finished by Friday:-) 
This week flower is Lotus as many friends in our LCG (Lagos Crochet Group) requested. If you are following my post and make the Lotus flower with me,  feel free to make yours with any color combination of your choice. It would be interesting to see purple, amethyst, white and orange lotus blooming… 
You will need: scrap yarns in these color, white, pink and dark pink.
The flower is worked in round. A round of petals was added at the back of the previous petals by making a round of new foundation chains.
Hook: F/3.75mm

R1: Using white, 2ch loosely, 8 sc into 2nd ch from hook. join with sl st.
R2: *(Ch 2, work 3hdc bobbles
Working toward the bottom of the petal, sl st in same sp as the bobble st, 1sc in next sc) 7  times. (8 petals)

R3: Working behind the petals, (sc into the ch loop under the center of next petal, 2 ch) 7 times. Join with sl st to first sl st. (8 ch-2 sp)

R4: Insert hook into any ch-2 sp, pick up pink, (sc in next ch-2 sp, ch 5, work 3tr bobble, pc, ch 5. Working toward the bottom of the petal, sl st in same ch-2 sp); repeat 7 more times, sl st to first sc. Cut off pink. (8 petals) 

R5: Working behind the petals, *(sc to ch loop under the center of first petal, 2ch) repeat 7 more times—8 ch-2 sp. Cut off pink.
(I must admitted I may have forgotten to take the photograph of the Round 6 but the instruction is as below).
R6: Insert hook in any ch-2 sp, pick up dark pink, *(sc in next ch-2 sp, 6ch, work 3dtr bobble, 1ch, sl st into the previous ch-1 sp. Working toward the bottom of the petal, 6ch, sl st in same ch-2 sp); repeat 7 more times, sl st to first sc—8 petals. Cut off yarn leaving 15cm tail.
Flower center: Using eyelashes, leaving 10 cm tail, loosely make 2 ch, 4 sc into 2nd ch from hook. Join with sl st to first sc. Cut off yarn leaving 10 cm tail.  Tie a knot using the two ends. From behind the petals, insert the hook into the center of the flower all the way through the front, pull the tail from the eyelashes all the way to the back of the petals. Gather all the tails at the back of the petals and tie a knot to secure and dub a drop of nail polish to the knot to secure.

Backing fabric:  Using dark pink, 2 ch loosely, 4 ch, 16 dtr into 2nd ch from hook. join with sl st to 4th of ch-4. Cut off yarn leaving  30 cm tail.  Thread the end into a yarn needle, stitch the backing to the  back of  the flower then stitch the pin into the backing.

If you like what you see and made something from my free patterns, please credit me by mentioning my name and my blog and provide the link to my blog. Please DO NOT re upload my files by any means to another blog or website. All my photographs are copyrighted. Thank you.

Mum and Daughter’s Crochet Bag and Backpack

We have been busy crocheting in Lagos. We are finishing various type of bags for our young one and for us, their mums. It is still in the same motif, strawberry 🙂
Below is our latest models. Strawberry litle princes backpack and Mum’s tote.  Patterns are bing finalized and will be coming soon to Ravelry, InSyaAllah.

Backpack above by Mee Leng and Mum’s Tote by Lola
Please stay tune for more items we are making. Love from all of us in the west of Africa.

Souvenirs from Bali

Hello all… I am back. It is hard to update blog while you are on vacation because there are too much interruption or should I say attractions going on hehe.

Here are my souvenirs to you from Bali in pictures. Some are crochet related and some are photos from the places we visited.

In search of Balinese Cotton Yarn
According to the info I have, there are only 4 national spinning industries left in Indonesia out of original 10. One of them located in Gianyar. I was told that there was one in Denpasar but the factory was closed and I could not go back to Gianyar to see the actual spinning work in progress because of time constraint.

Local spinner, photo  from Tempo.co

Nevertheless I found the yarns were sold in craft shop like Toko Central in Kuta and in many places even outside Bali. The cotton yarns in the pictures below are available in many colors but only in one size (Sport/Size 2). It is not as shiny as the other Balinese Cotton Yarn but is very soft and squishy and didn’t split when crocheted and is suitable for baby apparels.  Laying next to it is the label that was attached to it.


Above and below are crocheted bags  and afghan for sale in the market in Ubud. There are many different type of cotton yarns produced in Indonesia. All the crocheted item you see in the pictures in this post are mostly made of Benang Katun Lokal (local cotton yarn). The name might sounds strange but that is just how the Indonesian people call their yarns and if you look for them by any other name you will not find what you are looking for. The texture of this yarn is very similar to Lily’s Sugar and Cream cotton–rough and dry.


Silk batik scarfs on display among many crocheted items
Tourists strolling Ubud market.
If you travel further to the north from Ubud toward Tegalalang you will find several rest area with restaurants overlooking the rice fields below. Along the streets there are several craft shops selling crocheted items as seen below. These blanket are big, I think it would fit a king size bed. I asked for the price and the seller asking around US$50. Unbelievable! It would take me a year to do that.




A dress made of local cotton).


I can’t resist not to buy one of these hats so I purchased the purple one.

Waiting for sunset in Tanah Lot. Look at the crowd on the bridge in the background.

My son enjoying his cup of coffee at Grand Kuta Hotel and Residence. 

A cafe inside the Agung Rai Museum of Arts. The museum is a great place to visit for art lovers, collectors and artists.


Above is the Thread of Life’s gallery in Ubud.
Threads of Life uses natural dyes in their yarns productions.

The picture above is Krisna gift shop selling items from aromatherapy oils and soaps to woodcrafts, batiks,  sweets and famous Balinese salty peanuts. I like shopping at Krisna because of the fixed and reasonably price thus save time. Krisna has several branches so check the link above to find out the shop near you when you happen to be in Bali.

Note for Muslims travellers.
Bali is the smallest province in Indonesia with majority of the inhabitants are Hindus. Only small percentage are Muslim lives in Bali. We visited Bali from time to time and  have seen some developments in the availability of halal restaurants. However, finding masjid is still difficult if you are outside Denpasar and Kuta area. A few friends decided to pray anywhere including in the local market between shops or  next to her parked car, while other friends suggested they go to Padang restaurants to pray. Padang restaurants are run by Muslim people from West Sumatra province. Krisna gift shop above also provides the prayer room on its 2nd floor. Check this link for more info about the hotels with halal restaurants in Bali. Other restaurants we went were Pawon Pasundan (Sundanese), Jl. Kediri No. 2, Tuban and Ayam Taliwang Bersaudara (grilled country chicken and steam kangkung with chili and tomatoes paste). Jl. Raya Kuta 89. Balinese food are very tasty, and seafoods are also among our favorites.

More to see in Bali:
Tohpati Batiks Factory
Celuk Silver Factory
Textile Info

Easy Slip Stitch Crochet Cord


Slip Stitch Cord is easy to make
1. Leaving a 15cm tail, make the chains as many as you like according the length required in a project.
2. Slip stitch in 2nd chain from hook on the bump side of the chains and continue doing this till the end of the chains.
3. Cut the thread (leaving a 15cm tail), sew in the ends to finish or sew into a pomp pomp for a fancy cord