How To Embroider Lazy Daisies - A Photo Tutorial

My sock pattern, Lazy Daisy uses (really easy) chain stitch embroidery to add the daisies to the socks after they have been knit.




















Chain stitch embroidery is easy, quick, and a handy skill to have in your arsenal.  I have used it to embroider numbers on our advent calendar (24 miniature stockings), and names on knitted items.

This is a close up of a finished daisy:



















These fun little Daisies are a great way to use up otherwise-useless bits of scrap yarn or embroidery floss.  I used leftover sockyarn from socks gone-by.  I would use yarn the same weight or lighter than the yarn you used to create the fabric you are embroidering.  It may work with heavier yarn, but I have not tried it so I don't know for sure.  If you try to embroider in a heavier yarn weight, I would love to hear how it works out.

Here is what you will need to make lazy daisies:

  • scrap yarn
  • scissors
  • tapestry needle








Step one: Thread your tapestry needle with about 2 feet/ 60 centimetres of scrap yarn.   Bring the yarn up through the wrong side of the fabric where you would like the centre of your daisy to be.  Like this:















Step two: Bring your needle back down into the fabric as close as possible to where you brought it out and bring it out again where you want the outer edge of your first daisy petal to go.  Like this:












Step three: wrap the working yarn/embroidery floss around and under the tip of your needle to form a loop.  Like this:












Step four: pull your needle and yarn through the loop - not too tight or you will close the petal.  Like this: 












Step five: bring your needle through to the wrong side of your fabric on the outside of, but as close as possible to the outer edge of the petal.  This will create a little loop that will anchor the petal in place. Like this:   



















Step six: bring your needle up from the wrong side of your fabric as close to the centre of your daisy as possible and repeat these steps for the next petal












After the daisy is complete I tie both ends into a knot on the wrong side.  Not the most glamourous finishing technique I could use, but who will be looking inside my socks?  My daisies had 5 or 6 petals, but you can use as many or as few  petals as you want.  Embroidered daisies are as close to gardening as I ever get.  If you have any questions, please contact me either by leaving a comment on this tutorial or by email at DanaGervaisDesigns at Bell dot net.  

Homemade Laundry Soap

I get lots of requests for my laundry soap recipe, so here it is:

I have been making my own laundry soap for a few years now.  Actually I have been making all my own cleaning products for years now.  Our family's shift from commercial to homemade cleaning products was born out of necessity. My youngest was having physical reactions to commercial brands.  He has had issues with cleaning products, laundry products and some paints.  Weirdly he has no food or pet allergies and can use commercially made hygiene products with no reaction at all. 

I also use this soap to wash my hand knit garments and it works great.  In a pinch I have used it for pre-block washing when I am out of Soak or Eucalan. 

Friends and family who have used our laundry soap give it rave reviews.  I made laundry soap as small gifts for Christmas this year.  I have had lots of requests for the recipe since then. 

Laundry soap is really easy to make and has the added benefit of being really inexpensive.  What I now pay for one year's worth of ingredients is far less than the cost of one large size tub of the commercial brand. 

There are laundry soap recipes all over the Internet and on Pinterest.  The recipe we use is a result of trial and error and figuring out what works best for us. 

Most recipes are for LARGE batches of laundry soap (5 gallons and up). This does not work for me.  We have neither the space nor container to store that much laundry soap.  It is easy enough that I don't mind making a small batch
(about 2 gallons) every 6 - 8 weeks or so. 

What you will need:

1/2 cup finely grated castille soap
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup washing soda
6 cups warm water
5 cups warm water
Container(s) large enough to hold the soap and water with room left to add more water (2 gallon)
Essential oil (optional)


A note to my fellow Canadians:  I had a hard time finding washing soda here.  The 'No Frills' in our town finally started carrying it last year.  Before that I had to make my own.  It is possible to turn baking soda into washing soda by cooking it in the oven. I cannot recall the temperature or time, but there are good tutorials for this on the Internet. 

Instructions:

In a large saucepan, heat 6cups water and grated castille soap over low heat, stirring until soap has completely dissolved. This only takes a few minutes


Then add 1/2 cup Borax and 1/2 cup washing soda to melted soap mixture.  Stir constantly until powders dissolve and solution thickens.

 Once thickened, add remaining warm water to your container (I use 2 containers so I divide my water evenly between them) then add the soap mixture (again, I divide evenly between the two containers). Tighten the lid(s) and shake vigorously.  Put aside for 24 hours. 


After 24 hours, your soap will be very thick, maybe even solid.  This is normal.  You did not do anything wrong.  You now have a very concentrated laundry soap. 

Fill the container(s) to about 3/4 full with warm water.  If you want a scented laundry soap, this is where you would add about 30-50 drops of essential oil.  I prefer my laundry soap unscented.  If I want to add scent to a specific load I either add a few drops of essential oil to the soap dispenser in my machine or I add essential oil drops to my dryer balls. (Yes, I use dryer balls, too).  Shake and/or stir vigorously.  You may need to break up the solid mass with a wooden spoon.  You now have laundry soap.  


Shake before each use. Use approximately 1/2 cup per load adjusting depending on the size of your load.  This soap works in both top loaders and high efficiency washers.  In lieu of commercial fabric softener, I use white vinegar, which also happens to be good for my machine.  

If you want me to post any other cleaning recipes, let me know.