At Home by Melody Fulone

It's no secret that one of my favorite places to be is simply at home. I love wandering about my little apartment, resting in my cozy living room, enjoying the breeze from the roof or the tiny deck outside my door. The floor-to-ceiling windows (don't worry - the ceiling is quite low, so the windows aren't as grand as they seem) let in so much light my heart can hardly stand it. Green plants sprout and grow from their various perches on the coffee table, kitchen cart, and corner stand. The keyboard sits by the door to my studio, ready to be played when the need arises. 

I love traveling, exploring new places, and trying new things. But a big piece of my heart is always at home. I need a base camp, a place to refresh and recharge, a place to create and be just me. My apartment has been all of that for me, and more. When the Lord gave it to me last year, I could hardly believe the blessing. His love is overwhelming.

A few things I've been reading, listening to, watching, making, etc:

Reading: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (because of course!)

Listening to: The Sounds of Spring

Eating: These Spring Roll Noodle Bowls

Watching: Shetland on Netflix (tiding me over until the 3rd season of Broadchurch)

Making: A new lighting collection (I can't wait for you to see it!)

Do you like to be at home? What's your favorite part about being there?

Demystifying Yarn Care Symbols: Guest Post from Natalie at All Free Knitting by Melody Fulone

Do yarn care symbols confuse you? Would you like to be able to read those labels and understand how to actually take care of your yarn without ruining it? This post is for you! Natalie at All Free Knitting graciously offered to write a guest post on demystifying yarn care symbols, and I am forever grateful. Read on for some great tips!


How to Demystify Yarn Care Symbols

demystifying yarn care symbols

If you’ve ever bought a skein of yarn, you’ve probably noticed those cryptic symbols near the swatch information, needle or hook size, and yarn weight. They are actually universal symbols among yarn manufacturers, which means that once you learn the translation, you can decipher any yarn label!

We at AllFreeKnitting.com know that buying yarn can be a joyous, yet occasionally overwhelming experience, which is why we are sharing our printable infographic, Yarn Care Symbols. Simply print out a copy or keep it handy on a mobile device the next time you go yarn shopping, and you’ll know exactly how to care for any yarn you buy.

Machine Washable vs. Hand Washable

One of the first things you should consider when buying yarn is how it will need to be washed, since bleaching, drying, and ironing will come later in the laundering process. It’s helpful if you can decide whether or not you’re willing to commit to a possibly complicated laundering process even before purchasing your yarn. Different types of fibers have different washing needs, but yarn types can generally be separated into machine-washable and hand-washable.

Machine Washable yarn – Acrylic, cotton, superwash wool. These types of yarn can usually be washed in a washing machine on the gentle cycle. However, not all washable yarns are necessarily superwash, which is a term that refers to a specific type of processed yarn. So, while acrylic and cotton yarns are washable, their washing instructions may differ from that of superwash wool, for example. That’s why your safest bet is to always check your yarn label for specific details.

Hand Washable yarn – Alpaca, cashmere, wool, silk, linen. Protein and plant fibers such as these will have the best results when washed by hand. Wool that hasn’t been superwash treated should be hand washed in cold water. The movement from a washing machine can cause the wool fibers to mat together, which is called felting. And while felting is a technique that creates a recognizable type of fabric, it is not always desired because you will lose the look of your stitches. The bottom line: you should always refer to the yarn label for exact details, as care instructions may vary.

For more information on yarn fiber, check out our guide, Fiber Fundamentals: How to Pick Yarn for Knitting.

Yarn Care Symbols

Dots: Represent temperature. These dots can be found in the washing, machine drying, and iron and pressing symbols. The more dots there are, the higher the temperature the yarn can withstand.

X: If you see an “X” on a label, that means “do not” do whatever the symbol stands for. For example, if you see a triangle, which stands for bleach, “do not” bleach that particular yarn.

yarn care symbols

Bonus Tips

When giving a handmade knit to someone as a gift, it would be a nice gesture to include the yarn label. Then, it will be easy for them to care for the gift you’ve made. You could even make a homemade label with easy-to- read care instructions.

When washing your knits, it is a good precaution to wash them inside a laundry care bag or a pillow case. This will prevent your knits from getting caught on any buttons or zippers if you are washing with a normal load.

It is not usually the best idea to hang your knits to dry as it is very easy for them to grow to an unwanted size or shape. Luckily, this can be easily fixed by washing the knit again and reshaping it.

Acrylic yarn should never be ironed because it is made from polymer, a type of plastic, and will melt under extreme heat.

Hopefully this guide has in fact demystified yarn care symbols for you, so you’re no longer intimidated by them. That means you can go ahead and knit with any type of yarn, without dreading the laundering process.

For some of our favorite infinity scarf patterns, including Melody’s 3 Step Infinity scarf, check out “42 Infinity Scarf Patterns to Knit Today” on AllFreeKnitting.

For a PDF download of the infographic, click here: Yarn Care Symbols from All Free Knitting.

Welcome! by Melody Fulone

Several months ago, I began to feel the need for a change in my creative life. Up until now, my business name was Melmaria Designs, and it wasn't working. I began selling my handicrafts in early 2011, along with patterns to make them. My blog grew over the past 6 years, but I felt unfocused and stretched. Melmaria Designs wasn't working for me anymore - I didn't like the name, and I needed to figure out what I was going to do with my business. 

After this realization, I began to work on a rebrand. What you see here, on this website, is the result of that hard work! The first to change was the business name - I decided to remain myself, Melody Fulone, working with fiber and textiles. This venture is more of an extension of myself than anything I've done so far, and I'm excited to practice authenticity in everything I make and do here. 

crochet doilies

For those of you who are new here, here's a bit of my creativity story. Around age ten or so, I began to develop a strong affinity for all things yarn. My mother taught me simple crochet stitches, and I soared. There was nothing I could not crochet! The sky was the limit! (Okay, I did have to rein myself in a little bit. There's a limit. Crochet toilet paper covers? I draw the line.)

In my late teens I began to design my own patterns, and eventually opened an Etsy shop selling my creations. I gained a lot of experience, and over time was able to narrow down what I really enjoy doing. At the same time, my skills increased, and I had a hard time sticking to just one medium. I now enjoy weaving, macrame, and embroidery, along with knitting and crocheting. 

From my first giant commission for Nando's on College Park in Chicago (go see it!).

From my first giant commission for Nando's on College Park in Chicago (go see it!).

In the spring of 2015, I received a commission to create lampshades for a Nando's Peri-Peri location. I created over a dozen jute lampshades and painted them all by hand. It was an amazing experience and one that solidified my desire to be a fiber artist.

In the summer of 2016, I was asked to display my work at a local coffee/flower/art shop. I was taken aback. Me? Display my work? But I'm not an artist...am I? My beautiful friend Liz begged to differ. It was she who helped me realize that I am indeed an artist, and I have slowly begun to change my way of thinking. She helped me put together a beautiful gallery there, and I even got to teach a weaving workshop.

apotheca fiber art display

Today I am striving to further realize my dream of being a fiber artist. I want to further explore the world of textile art and continue to hone my skills to create beautiful, innovative fiber artwork. 

mountain weaving

So, welcome to the newest step! I have a pattern subscription program, a how-to-crochet course via Skillshare, a shop for my artwork, and so much more coming. Thank you for stopping by!