Maybe it’s the dour dark nights of winter drawing in already but I’ve been finding myself really craving working with fibre. It’s been a struggle not to cast something new one the needles, but I have had the wheel out and some delightful yak for a bit of sampling work I hope to share soon. Somewhat dangerously, I did end up going to the virtual Indie Untangled Trunk Show, which is probably what inspired the current bit of dyeing.Read More »
One of the many, many things I like about dyeing, dyes and dyed objects is they make fantastic photography subjects. Maybe that’s because, for me, a load of coloured splodges in a suitable colour scheme are high art and that combination of things is really the essence of dyeing.
I was going through my fabrics, looking for some scrap to help frame up some embroidery, when I came across some old ice dyed fabrics I made a while ago and was struck by how nice they were. What is also very rewarding about ice dyeing is that it is very straightforward to do and, if you want to, you can just prep things somewhat arbitrarily and enjoy the ‘randomness’ of the results.
Thank you all so much for your incredibly kind comments on my blog the other day. I honestly was really touched by you all taking the time to be encouraging and sympathetic. I don’t know if it was the sheer loveliness that got me really wanting to stitch again or maybe that post was blowing off the last bit of the cobwebs for me to emerge out of the cave I’ve been hiding in. The best part is, here is all the embroidery for my lovely canvaswork piece finished with another great story of human kindness to go with it.
I’ve ventured far out of my way to visit craft shops before, some of which were rather off the beaten track, but I’m not sure any have proved quite as impossible to get to Zürcher Stadler. This isn’t so much because it is in the middle of nowhere, or because the sat-nav can’t find it, but because the road network leading to the place has a strategically placed no entry sign that seems to make it impossible to enter the estate where the shop is. I won’t say how we overcame that particular obstacle but plan your visit and route in advanced.
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For regular readers of the blog, it will come as no surprise when I say I really, really like colours. I like looking at them, playing with them, making them and stumbling upon which combinations come together to make something even more exciting than their constituent parts. It probably also comes as no surprise then, that when I saw Kassia St Clair’s ‘The Secret Lives of Colour’, I felt as though someone had written a book just for me.
It’s very hard not to love California with its great weather, beautiful coastline and abundance of really excellent craft shops. I certainly found a few good places when I visited last year. So what better way to guide a road trip south of San Francisco than trying to combine as much sea and fabric as possible?
Next skill in the list to learn, bindings. I was somewhat encouraged by my success with my first two attempts at coasters and also wanted to try some patterns a little more reminiscent of a quilt block. The added advantage of this also being that I got to play with more colours all at the same time.
A trip to California wouldn’t be complete without following some of its legendary coastlines and dropping into a yarn shop or two on the way. In the quaint, picturesque little city of Carmel-by-the-Sea, is the aptly named, Knitting by the Sea. Maybe knitware and sand aren’t a combination that instantly springs to mind, but this lovely yarn shop will soon have you convinced.
I’ve recently discovered the joys of sprinkle dyeing, where the dyeing process is reduced to 1) soak yarn at required pH, 2) dump powder dye directly on yarn, 3) fix dye as necessary. No solutions, no mixing, no syringing. I can actually clean up in less than five minutes after sprinkle dyeing, ideal for a busy schedule, dangerous as I am now drowning in very lurid sock yarns with no time to knit socks.
While roaming around Pinterest one day, I saw some interesting looking fabric that had been dyed using a technique known as ‘ice dyeing’. The name sounds a lot more glamorous and complicated than the technique actually is. All you do is dump a load of ice on your fabric, put powder dye on the ice and wait but, for such an easy technique, the patterns it produces are actually very interesting.