Friday, September 17, 2010

This Week's Fiber Bounty

These pieces are what I've been working on this week for our vendor booth in Rock Hill, South Carolina at the York County Quilters' quilt show in early October...

Freshly made pincushions

Hand-dyed fabric

Hand dyed wool for felting

Do I have a great job or what?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Use What I Have

I've gotten very comfortable with dyeing wool and yesterday was "fuchsia color day" using some new wool and re-purposing other wools I've had for a while and wasn't using...

The wool on the left was white before dyeing (new), the next two hanks were wool I had purchased that was not completely dyed (recycled), the next hank was yarn which wasn't my favorite that I over-dyed (see the original below), and the last hank was natural shades of brown wool before dyeing (new). With the many different shades of fuchsia and violet, it's hard to believe these all came out of the same dye bath.

Here's the original color of the dyed yarn...

Nice change, yes?

Next, I used some of the wools I had previously dyed to make these wool pincushions...

To use up some tiny wool pieces that are no longer usable in other ways, I roll them into small balls and then roll more wool around them before adding colored roving to the outside of each pincushion. Here's what the center of a pincushion looks like...

Lastly, I did some fabric over-dyeing again yesterday with fabrics I had which weren't my favorites. Here they are after Bill pressed them...

Much better.

One of my favorite containers for dyeing large pieces of fabric is the mason's tub.

It's about 6" deep and has 17 1/2" x 22" of actual dyeing space (because it has sloped sides), and can be found at home improvement stores.

I've said this before, but it's worth repeating: these tubs make wonderful storage bins or toy boxes and they are short enough to slide under a bed. My sister worked at Lego for years when my sons were young and we had literally thousands of Lego's which all fit into a couple of these tubs.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

Wool Pincushions

The pincushions came out of the washer like a bunch of grapes, as usual, and they were nicely felted. A high efficiency washer will spin them so fast that they're not "wet" when they come out, but they're damp.

I have to let them dry for days until they are completely dry all the way to the center (don't want rusty pins).

This one's my favorite in this batch...

Wool pincushions have lanolin which will keep pins and needles slick and shiny.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Wealth in Wool

It has been a fine week of dyeing wool roving. This was yesterday's batch...

And here is the week's worth of lovely wool...

Today's batch is in they dye right now and will be black variegated black.

Last night we started rolling wool to make my handmade pincushions. The first batch is in the washing machine right now and I'll have photos soon.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

More Dyed Wool

These pieces are wool roving...

I'm tieing this white wool yarn to prepare it for dyeing...

Here's today's batch of dyed roving and yarn hanging to dry.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Dyes & Bees

These wool pieces came from yesterday's purple dye pot. The small pieces are examples of what went into the dye pot, and the large ones are the same with purple dye...

Every morning before I start dyeing wool or fabric, we go outside with cups of coffee & tea to watch the sun rise. We anticipate this time of year because the bumblebees gather to sleep on the chaste tree blooms. There were about 15 bees this morning.

After the first blooms have faded in the Spring, Bill will prune the tree to get a second blooming. The bees will only hang around while there are blooms, so we have a few weeks to enjoy them still.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Double Dye or Over Dye

Okay, I know that seeing the fruits of my fabric dyeing labors every other day gets old. On the other hand, if you like the photos, here are some I over-dyed yesterday...

Dyeing over another color gives a wonderful depth of color to the finished piece.