‘Tis the season to show off trees! I’m no exception, so here is my contribution.
A few years ago I had the idea of creating a portable Christmas decoration to sell in my shop. I wanted something small, cute and as eco-friendly as possible. The solution? Needle felted mini trees.
I think they’re rather fun, even if I do say so myself. The colours are bright and who doesn’t like miniatures?
Each tree has a wire frame to ensure stability. I needle felt the the larger components (tree trunk, copse and base) around the wire and the rest is made separately and stitched onto the main part.
It’s quite fun to felt the baubles, I used to take small amounts of differently coloured wool with me to doctor appointments and such and, whilst waiting, I could get 4-5 balls created. It was also a great conversation starter.
To finish things off nicely, I glue the whole ensemble onto a sturdy piece of locally sourced wool disc and, as they say, Bob’s you uncle.
They’ve been quite the success this year, I’m down to the last one at the time of writing!
Another holiday idea was to create a wreath that could be used over and over again. Have I mentioned I like reusable, eco-friendly things? 🙂
I had some needle felting foam that I regretted buying. It wasn’t the best quality foam and I found out I hated using them, so they’d been languishing in my stash for a couple of years. I didn’t want to throw it away. One day it dawned on me: I could cut and use them for something else.
I love these wreathes and each year I look forward to hanging mine in my front door. They’re not huge because I had to take the foam’s original size into consideration but isn’t it cute?
It wouldn’t be a post written by me without some sewing fun. I felt brave and bought some jersey knit fabric to make a Stasia dress by Sew Liberated. You might know a lot of sewers avoid jersey due to its stretchy nature. My previous experience hadn’t been the best but this time I was determined to succeed.
Fun fact: despite my determination, for some reason I didn’t make a mock version of the dress beforehand. I just moved on ahead directly to cutting the good fabric!
The consequence of this is that my sleeves ended up a bit shorter than I’d wanted, so I think I’m going to cut them and create a ¾ sleeve instead.
Can you tell I’m so happy with the result? The black dots and stripes on the fabric are just so cute to me. My poor mother still wonders how I ended up going from wearing just black to being obsessed with mustard yellow, but here we are.
That’s it for today. Can you believe it’s already December? This is my last post for the year, so I wish you a great New Year, filled with fibre and other fun stuff. See you in 2022.
Imagine this: you’ve planned that project in your head. You’ve gone through all the steps and know what needs doing. You have all the materials, and you’re getting ready to work on it. It’s going to be epic!
Except… something goes terribly wrong and the end result is nothing like what you expected.
I’m sure we’ve all been there. Craft long enough and, be it due to bad luck or simple statistics, something will go wrong.
The problem: The yarn above is a colourway of mine called Love Heart Meow. At first glance, it looks exactly as it should, except something went wrong during the dyeing process and the end result is “muddy.” You can’t really tell in the photo, but in real life I can definitely see it and it’s driving me mad.
The solution: I’m going to overdye it. I find that when things don’t go as planned, a blue overdye can save things around. Who knows, maybe I’ll create a new colourway?
(Shameless plugin moment: I’m getting back to blogging in my own website and I’ll be sharing the over dyeing process over there very soon! I’ll of course still be working on new content for our lovely blog here.)
A while back I was doing an exchange with a dyer friend of mine and decided to send her some hand dyed silk cocoons. Silk comes at a price for the poor silk worm, so I was very keen to “make it count” (yes, I’m the soppy type).
I carefully dyed each cocoon, making it so that the exterior and the interior were slightly different and adding variation in shade/colour. I was rather chuffed with the result.
Of course, I then proceeded to ruin things beautifully. I don’t know what happened in my brain but I decided to set the colours with more acid… by dunking the cocoons in hot water.
If you’ve ever dyed these precious things, you’ll know they need to be steam set if you want them to retain their shape. Hot water is most emphatically not the right thing to do, as I remembered even as I was dunking them in the H2O.
The problem: I had a hot mess in my hands, the cocoons all melted into each other, were soft and (to me, at the time) completely useless.
The temporary solution: Remove from water and back away from the project! Make some tea. Curse out loud. Come back later.
The real solution: After keeping whole thing away from sight a while, I looked at it again. It was a mess, but I could make it into something different. The colours were pretty. Then it hit me…
Tah-dah, wall art to the rescue. The colours are actually brighter in real life.
I sewed the Cocoon Combo to some black felt, added some beads and shiny embroidered stars in gold and silver. The shape of the thing was asking for an oval embroidery hoop, so I bought one in a suitable size and Bob’s your uncle.
It looks like something done on purpose, doesn’t it? It’ll be our secret.
Now, this wouldn’t be a post by yours truly if I didn’t add a little sewing, would it?
While perusing one of my usual fabric supply sites I stumbled upon the most fun cat fabric. As with most things in the crafty brain, I had the “button” sorted but not the “suit,” so to speak. I had to come up with something to create with that fabric!
I decided on the Metamorphic Dress by Sew Liberated because it looked comfy and, best of all, asked for two complementary fabrics (the cat fabric had a “friend” that I thought made the cats look even cuter. Aaand, I’ll stop using metaphors now.)
I love this dress. It works great on its own or as a top layer, making it good for more seasons. It’s meant to be reversible, but this one isn’t (there are reasons but I shan’t go into them).
One great thing about being short is, I never need as much fabric to make something as the pattern says I do. After careful calculations, I knew exactly how much to buy and order it I did.
The bad thing is, if you don’t have extra and make a mistake… well.
I was on the phone with my other half and got distracted. Instead of cutting the top layer a specific way, I did it wrongly. I immediately noticed the disaster, but it was too late. My soul hurt. I didn’t want to order more fabric because of this!
The problem: No extra fabric and the huge unwillingness to buy more. I was doomed.
The temporary solution: The same as with the cocoons! Back away from the project. Make some tea. Curse out loud. Come back later.
The real solution: I had a little extra of the gingham fabric. Patchwork to the saving.
I had only made a mistake with one half of the fabric, so that became the back. I cut that piece in two and added a strip of the under layer fabric to the middle. It almost looks like it’s a proper feature, at least to my eyes.
I’ll have to confess I felt rather smug after this. My solution worked, I didn’t have to buy extra fabric and my dress is perfectly wearable.
My smugness was somewhat abated after my mum saw the dress and said it looked like a maid’s apron, but that’s another story…
That’s it, three examples of things that didn’t go as planned but had a solution. If you let your brain think about it for a while in the background, I bet you’ll come up with alternative endings for your “mistakes.” Like the cliché goes, mistakes can be opportunities to do better later. Beats giving up, right?
Finally, the random photo of the day:
My lovely osteopath Jane went on holiday to the Shetland Islands and I asked her to send me some sheep pics. She obliged and I thought I’d share them with you.
A couple of weeks ago, I ordered a pair of English wool combs. They were sold out at the time but the people in the shop were kind enough to allow me to backorder. Now all I had to do was wait a few days and let the spiky goodness arrive at my doorstep!
Finally, they were here.
It occurs to me that these would make great Wolverine claws for Halloween, were I in the mood to risk self-injury… Seriously, despite knowing these are pointy, sharp objects, it still surprised me to find out exactly how sharp they were in a slight moment of distraction. Note to self: don’t daydream when handling wool combs.
If you’re not sure what wool combs are for, these brilliant tools are used to process fleeces for spinning. They work by separating, aligning and combing the wool locks, whilst also getting rid of any vegetable matter (VM). The end result is a fluffy and lovely cloud that you’re supposed to carefully diz off the combs, ending up with a longish sort of roving.
Ideally, you’ll place the locks facing the same direction, which in my case was cut side nearest the tines, ends on the outside.
These are lovely locks from a Texel cross lamb’s first shear’s fleece. I washed it myself. They’re so soft and all I want to do is bury my face in them.. (which I definitely have. Don’t judge.)
Next, you carefully start teasing the tips of the locks apart with the other comb, which will transfer a bit of fibre to said comb at each pass. As you keep doing this, the longer staples of wool will move and the shortest bits will remain on the clamped comb. You’re meant to discard these short bits, but I keep them to make dryer balls.
You can see above that the fibre left behind retains some VM. I don’t mind it because it’s clean, and won’t be seen once the dryer balls are covered in commercially processed wool top. Waste not, want not.
You will do this transferring of fibre from one comb to the other until you’re happy with how the wool looks. The one below was on the third pass.
There was still a tiny bit of VM but I don’t mind.
Since I wasn’t planning on spinning this wool, I didn’t diz it off the comb, I simply pulled it all off together very gently, so it all came off at the same time.
After 30 minutes I had a few clouds.
I’ll be gathering a lot of this fluff into a bag and, once I have enough, I’ll card it on my drum carder and make batts to sell to spinners and felters. Lamb wool really is like a cloud and I’m loving playing with it.
To end this post in my usual tradition, here’s a completely unrelated photo I took a few days ago that I find amusing. This was on a building I happened to pass by here in Edinburgh.
Lately, I’ve been keen on the idea of creating some staple wardrobe pieces to replace some older garments (*cough cough, Pandemic Body is larger*) and maybe have a go at creating a Capsule Wardrobe. If you’re not familiar with the concept, it’s when you have only a limited number of garments that you can mix and match to create new styles. The operative word here is “limited,” since the idea is to only have clothes you’ll wear and not clutter your wardrobe.
Enter the Arthur Pants by Sew Liberated. They are a wide, lose-fitting sort of trousers, very comfortable. I wanted to have pieces I could wear at home but still look good in outdoors. I’m a fiend for grabbing my pyjama bottoms when at home, but this hinders how quickly I can just nip out to the Post Office!
Whenever I sew a garment, I always like to create a mock-up to see about fit. If you sew, you’ll know pattern sizes don’t always conform to your own body and tweaks might be necessary. A mock-up helps me familiarise with the techniques the pattern requires, and I can see if I like how I look before cutting into the nice fabric.
After creating the mock-up, I went on Instagram to ask for opinions. As you can see, not everyone was keen on the style! That’s exactly the type of honesty I was looking for. You see, I wasn’t too sure about the width myself, and having someone else confirm this for me really helped.
I tweaked the mock-up to make it smaller and, happy with the results, saw that I needed to change the sizing on the pattern to fit my needs.
I usually keep the original pattern with all the measurements and simply copy my size to use. This means I’ll be able to sew this for someone else in the future without having to reprint. The pattern piece on the left is the original one, the transparent ones are what I’ll be using. I had to shorten the legs (by folding) because this was meant for 5’7″ people, which is definitely not me – on the wonderful side, the pattern called for at least 3 meters of fabric and I only needed 2, with enough to spare.
Time to cut the fabric. Here you’ll see Marshmallow being “helpful.” It’s definitely true that if you leave a piece of paper in a stadium floor, eventually a cat will sit on it.
I was already familiar with what I needed to do, so the sewing should be smooth sailing. I hoped.
I did make a couple of mistakes, but nothing very serious. At some point, the pieces of fabric did start to look like trousers indeed.
Finally, I needed buttons. I narrowed it down to two styles and my other half made the final decision: the left one.
Of course the buttonhole foot on my machine worked splendidly when I tested it, only to turn demonic with the proper fabric. Luckily nothing got damaged or I’d have had a breakdown. I was almost done…
Voilá, a pair of comfortable trousers! I’m so happy with them, I’ve already started another pair in yellow linen.
So there you go, my first ever journey into making trousers, adding a zipper and pockets. Nothing exploded, my mental health is seemingly intact, so I guess all is well.
Finally, just for Ann, I have a photo of some cheese scones I ate a few days ago, because we had a chat about the difference between English and American scones 🙂 Yes, they were delicious.
Have you sewed anything lately? Share what you made in the comments section, I’m always keen to talk shop. Have a great week.
Usually, when we share work with others, we tend to show the things that we’re proud of, or very happy with. Seldom do we talk about what didn’t go well. Today I’m doing just that (again! Remember my waistcoat? It’s still lingering in my Unfinished pile). Get ready for a couple of mistakes and some possible solutions, maybe…
One: The mannequin
A few months ago, I stumbled upon a website that creates a personalised sewing pattern to make a mannequin after your own body measurements. Since the one I had at the time wasn’t true to my figure, I went ahead and splurged on this.
I sewed the thing and followed the instructions. I was very excited! A true-to-form mannequin would mean I could make sure my patterns would fit me perfectly. In theory, at least. Well… I stuffed it. Literally and figuratively! I had to add stuffing to the thing, and discovered there’s an art to adding fluff and moulding a 3D object in order for it to conform to what you want. Let’s just say my efforts were less than stellar. Attest for yourself!
Not to put a too fine point over the issue, but I’m really not that er, wavy? I think I made a couple of sewing mistakes (note the lower belly, there’s definitely a stitch or two that’s bunched up), but my capital crime was definitely not stuffing the mannequin as instructed, which was to add little bits of fluff at a time. I should know better. Also, there’s another *ahem* area that definitely didn’t get stuffed as needed, don’t ask me why. That pair would not get a job in a Las Vegas show…
I can either remove all the stuffing and do it all over again, or I can admit defeat and start another mannequin and also correct the sewing mistakes. Removing the stuffing will be an interesting feat, I have this nightmarish idea that it’ll all bounce back in my face and I’ll drown in fluff.
Which one do you vote for: redoing it or re-stuffing it?
Two: The knitted jumper
Remember the cardigan I knit a while back, and hand dyed afterwards? (Sorry for the lack of link, I couldn’t find it). I had liked the pattern so much, I made a few more, then decided to adapt it to create a jumper (that’s a “sweater” for you American folk, although I promise I don’t intend to do much sweating in it! Then again, I don’t intend to do much jumping either.)
Well… I’m a huge proponent of test swatching everything beforehand to make sure it fit, but I’d knit this before in another format, how much different could this new version be? Turns out, quite a bit.
Even though we know the mannequin didn’t quite come out as expected, the measurements are quite correct. See all that extra “fabric” in the chest area? It’s like that on both sides. Argh.
I can’t really take this apart and re-knit it. Let me rephrase that: because I don’t want to lose the will to live, I’m not going to take this apart and re-knit it. What I can do, however, is take the excess volume away by either steeking (a technique that involves cutting the yarn and putting it back together, it’s very nerve racking!) or I can go the easier way and, using the sewing machine, simply sew it tighter on both sides.
Steeking would afford me the opportunity to learn a new-to-me technique, but it could go horribly wrong and I’d end up with no jumper and a lot of grief. Sewing it would definitely work, but you’d see a line on the upper sides that might look a bit terrible. Which would you choose?
Three: the shawl
Finally, my favourite. This shawl was hand knit during a couple of weeks and I love it. This was a commission, so it’ll be heading off to its new home soon.
If you think beading a shawl is hard work, you’re absolutely right! The edging you see here, with those cute little scallops, was also a very time-consuming affair. The end result is glorious, though.
The problem and the solution
The problem I had with it was, I dropped a stitch and didn’t notice until I was all done binding off, washing and blocking it! Facepalm moment. I immediately put a stitch marker to stop it unravelling and promptly went to work to fix this mistake.
I put the stitch marker over the stitches the dropped one should have connected with so I didn’t lose my place. I then took out my crochet hook and went to work.
After I got the stitches together correctly, I added a tiny string of the same yarn to close it off. I’m sure there are “better” ways to do this out there, but this worked for me. Once I was done, I don’t think you can see where the dropped stitch was. Correct me if I’m wrong.
Here is this beauty in all its glory, ready to become an heirloom in another country very soon.
There you have it, the ups and downs of a maker. I hope you enjoyed going through these with me, and thank you in advance for your suggestions on what to do with the first two.
As ever, here’s a photo of a cute feline to finish the post. Marshmallow was looking all regal and dainty whilst enjoying the sun, but of course once I pointed the camera this happened…
Enjoy your weekend, and “see” you in my next blog post!
I haven’t properly picked up my felting needles in quite some time. I can’t tell you why, but my mind just hasn’t been “in the right place” to make anything particularly unique.
Things changed when I got commissioned to make a mushroom sculpture. It was just simple yet challenging enough for me to see if this would finally open those creative doors. The client wanted something similar to what I’d made before, so all I had to do was look at an old photo and start felting. I’m not copying something that needs to look exactly like something else, but it’s also not mindless felting. Perfect.
This is the old mushroom she saw in my online shop and wanted another of (sorry the resolution isn’t the best):
I really enjoy looking at past work because I’m often surprised at the fact this is mine. Do you get that feeling with things you created a long time ago? I am particularly chuffed when I get that “oh, that’s pretty” feeling before it registers it came from my brain.
Now, for the new sculpture. I gave my client a few fabrics to choose from, but she went for the same as the first one. Not surprising, as she really liked the original item and was very motivated to have a mushroom like it.
I started with wire wrapped in wool to make the stem. The top was created with leftover wool felted into shape, then I sewed the fabric to the top and some tea-stained gauze to the bottom.
The base looks very messy, so I’ll be adding some wool to cover it.
Then comes the fun part: assembly!
I chose some hand dyed mohair locks, plus some natural Wensleydale ones and put it all together. After that, I sewed the beads and stones here and there. Here’s the finished item:
The finished object is just different enough for me not to feel I made a complete copy, and the familiarity helped make the felting process easy enough for my Lockdown Brain to not feel too flustered.
Finally, not related at all, but here’s a photo of a lovely Edinburgh sunset for your enjoyment.
So, who’s ready for 2020 to go away? I sure am (although I’m not expecting things to be much different in the first half of 2021… thank goodness for crafting!)
On my last post, I wrote about dyeing a cardigan after knitting it. This time I decided to do the same with a triangular shawl. It’s a simple pattern, one I use mostly when I feel like doing some very mindless knitting and still end up with something useful to wear.
For the past few months, I’ve been craving the colour green. For those who know me and my 95% black-and-gray wardrobe, this is definitely a weird and unusual occurrence, which I’m blaming on Pandemic Brain. I don’t own a single piece of green clothing, so this shawl seemed like a good way to remedy that.
The wool I had bought for this a project so many months (years?) ago was, no surprise there, gray. The lighter areas are almost white and I felt this would make the colour absorption more interesting.
I chose a mixture of two dyes, one green and the other one more teal blue. I find the two colours together gave me the right amount of hue depth. Pro tip: sometimes dyes look “flat” on the fibre if used alone; for added depth, add around 25% of a lighter hue (so your dye stock is 75/25) and you should see it “pop” a bit more.
I know the photo shows it as more blue than green, but that’s just my camera.
This dye bath wasn’t very acidic, to allow the fibre more time to absorb the pigment. I also added the dye to the pan before the shawl, and made sure to start with cool water that I then heated slowly (this wool wasn’t superwash treated, so I had to be extra careful).
Once the water was warm enough and the dye had enough time to penetrate the fibre, I added more citric acid and let the whole thing simmer for 15 more minutes, until the water was clear.
As usual, I let the water cool down completely before removing the shawl. Can you see how the darker base colour of the fibre allowed for variegation of the project? I really like that.
And here is the somewhat finished shawl (I haven’t woven in the ends yet). Do we like?
Allow me to finish this year’s last blog post with a little furry homage. Here is Squish, my first ever pet, who lived to be 19. He passed away this March after leading a very full and spoiled life, and I’m very happy I had him in my life! Wasn’t he the most handsome boy?
Happy holidays, whatever/if you celebrate, and let’s all hope 2021 is less weird! Wishing you all creativity, love, and joy. See you next year 🙂
The last time I wrote, I talked about dyeing yarn. As an indie dyer, my job is to create colourful yarn that someone else will turn into something beautiful. That’s pretty much the norm.
Now, what if I turned that regular idea around and dyed the finished item instead? What would happen? Let’s find out!
I had some very lovely 4-ply yarn at hand, plus some mohair lace that was just coarse enough to be uncomfortable if used alone. Paired together they would make the perfect DK weight yarn for a cardigan I wanted to knit.
Fast forward 2 or 3 days, and here’s the finished cardigan, minus the buttons.
Let the experiment begin! I wanted a red base. I had to add that to the dye bath first. It looks very much like a murder scene, so let me tone it down by inserting a cute photo of my cat Marshmallow next to it.
Since I wanted the red to be soaked up slowly and evenly, I started with cool water and no acid for binding. This will ensure the colour is seeped up gradually and has time to get to the whole garment. I then added the wet cardigan, turned on the heat to medium-low and kept an eye on it.
After 15 minutes, the water was warm and I could see that the red was all over the cardigan. Time to add citric acid gradually. Then turn up the heat, simmer for 10 more minutes, turn it off and wait for the water to clear up and cool completely.
A good sign that you’ve used the right amount of dye and acid is that the water clears up completely once cooled. This is also a great sign of minimal bleeding in future washes, the bane of any dyer.
(If your water isn’t clear, try adding more acid and simmering for another 15 minutes. Let the water cool completely and see if things aren’t better.)
I really liked this colour, but a rule of thumb is, if it looks perfect under water, it’s too light when dry. I also wanted a bit more dimension to the red, so some dark grey was needed.
I didn’t want this new colour to soak up evenly, so I didn’t remove the cardigan from the bath water as I added the new dye, and I kept the same acidic, fast-absorption water from before.
And here she is afterwards in all her glory!
I know the “scruffy look” might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I love it. It looks like a long-worn cardi, something my nan might have passed on to me. The vintage buttons complete the look.
Now, the important question: is the end result the same as dyeing the yarn in the skein? The answer is a resounding No. Depending on how tight you knit, you might end up with a lot of areas that the dye won’t get to because the stitches act as a resist. You can see lighter areas in the photo below, something I fully expected, even though I’m a fairly lose knitter. I actually like this feature because it’s very different from what you normally see.
I had never done anything like this before, and you might be horrified to know that after this, I’ve knit a shawl and now have a second cardigan on the needles, and both will receive the same after-completion dye treatment…
I wore it for the first time yesterday (at the time of writing) and it kept me warm all afternoon indoors.
I hope you enjoyed this experiment. Let me know if you’ve ever tried anything like this before, and what the outcome was! If not, what dyeing shenanigans have you been up to or would like to try?
A few days ago, Ruth had the courtesy of sending me an email reminder about my upcoming blog post (this one). I mentioned I was sparse on ideas, so she suggested I talk about my dyeing process.
This ended up being serendipitous, as yesterday I received a custom order request for a new colourway I launched as part of my new collection. Voilá, I’ve got a blog post!
Now, this isn’t meant as a How To on yarn dyeing, so I shan’t go into too much detail (although, if you’re interested, I’d be happy to write a more in-depth post in the future – let me know in the comments). I will, however, mention a few basic things you definitely need to dye yarn/fibre safely if, like me, you’re using acid dyes:
The hardware you use shall be for dyeing only. So don’t use that fancy pot if you’re even thinking of making Sunday roast in it ever again.
Always, always wear a respirator mask when handling dyes, especially when in powder form. Dye particles travel far – I’m all for fluorescent green wool but not in one’s lungs.
Gloves are a must. You don’t want bright pink fingers for a week (ask me how I know), and you also want to avoid absorbing pigment through your skin.
No food or drink near the dyeing station, and you’ll need to clean everything before and after if dyeing in the kitchen.
Ok, so let’s get to the good stuff.
This is the yarn I need to reproduce. It’s called Mossy Moggy (moggies being what we call non-breed specific cats in the UK, do you call them the same in the US?). I needed 3 skeins.
If you want to be able to reproduce colourways in the future, you need good note taking habits. I have a dedicated folder where I keep all my cauldron inventions. If you think you’ll remember how you created something months later, trust me, you won’t.
This is my dye sheet. I leave the space on the upper left corner blank so I can attach a photo of the finished item to jog my memory.
Now on to the dyeing itself. Since I mentioned how important it is to wear a mask, allow me to show you myself in my best Breaking Bad impersonation.
You’ve no idea how hard it was to procure this mask and filters. I needed a new one during the pandemic and everything was sold out. For the life of me, I never thought particulates masks would sell out, but I guess some people want to be extra careful.
There’s plenty of ways to hand dye fibre, and endless techniques. Each will yield different results, and it’s a lot of fun to play around. In this particular case, I’m doing low immersion dyeing: this means I’ll be using just enough water to cover the fibre, on a stovetop.
I’m using a Gastronorm pan, which might look familiar to you if you’ve ever been to a buffet in a restaurant. These are super handy, large enough for up to 6 skeins, sturdy, and fit my electric stove perfectly (over two hobs). There’s several standardised sizes to choose from, this being the largest one.
Mossy Moggy is created by dyeing part of the yarn first, without pre-soaking it first. As it sinks, the first colour gets absorbed gradually and allows for differences in depth. Then I add another colour to the top that has remained undyed, and after it’s all exhausted (meaning all the dye has been taken in by the fibre), it’s time to add sprinkles.
Sprinkling yarn is a favourite activity of mine. Wearing gloves (and donning my respirator), I scatter some dye powder over the yarn here and there. Less is more. The water here is fairly acidic (I use citric acid, you can also use vinegar to get the dye molecules to bind with the fibre) so the sprinkles stay relatively put. I love seeing those little dots of colour.
As I write this, the yarn is cooling down in the pan. I always let the water get cool before I remove the fibre, it allows for more vibrant colours. If I manage to remember to come back to this post before it’s scheduled to publish, I’ll add a photo of the drying skeins.
One interesting thing to remember if you’ve never dyed: colours always look one to two shades deeper whilst wet. If you’re trying to reproduce a certain colour and think it’s spot on in the pot, it’s probably too light.
Once these beauties are done they’ll be heading over to California. I’ll be very excited to see them reach their destination and even more if my client tags me on social media once she starts knitting with them!
Let me know if you have any questions, and if you’d like a more in-depth post on dyeing in the future (and what you’d like to read about the subject). Have a great week.
If you’ve been following my waistcoat sewing adventures, you’ll know I was fairly optimistic I’d have a finished (or, more advanced) garment to show you by now.
The thing is… I’ve hit a snag. After finding out the shoulder area needed more work, and realising the pattern I’d bought was more or less useless, I got discouraged. The major mental roadblock was finding out I’ll probably need to remove all the tailor interlining I’d hand sewn in order to fix the shoulder problem; also knowing my pattern-making skills are still in their infancy and therefore can’t be trusted, isn’t helping.
Of course, I’m nothing if not a great procrastinator, and therefore do have something new to show you.
In my free time (ok, when I’m stressed) I managed to follow a commercial pattern and make a new rabbit, as well as her garments.
She’s got a lovely dress as well as some cute boots, plus a very proper-looking jacket!
The jacket was the most complicated make (I also found a couple of tiny instruction mistakes) but the most fun. She looks cozy, doesn’t she?
I had some leftover material and decided to create a smaller version of the bunny. I’m still undecided on gender. This is important as it will define the wardrobe. What do you think, boy rabbit or girl rabbit?
I had my bunny family sitting on a shelf in my studio. They looked alright there, but… incomplete.
Suddenly I remembered I had a pattern for an armchair, part of the rabbit collection. It looked both complicated enough to be entertaining and simple enough to be finished in a short amount of time. I had to make two.
Well… the pattern had a couple of mistakes (this is starting to become a thing with me, isn’t it?) so I did have to take some time away from it after realising I’d cut the fabric too short in some places. After some consideration, a solution presented itself and I managed to finish one armchair.
I did it in patchwork fashion for a trendy look. I’d never done this type of fabric assembly before, so if there’s anyone reading who understands how it works, feel free to point out any mistakes I might have made.
All in all, I think it came out quite decent, and my rabbit looks comfy and elegant sitting on it.
Now… there’s a tiny bit of felting to be had in this story. See the chair’s rounded arms? The pattern tells me to use some wool batting, roll it up and hand sew in place. I had a better idea: I receive a weekly food box that has an insulating padding made of recycled bottles, and I thought, “this would be a great way to reuse it!” Will it felt, though? I brought out my needles, had a go, and success!
This will be going in the other armchair that I haven’t finished yet. Wish me luck, I hope this second one comes out looking similar, or I’ll have to create a story in my head as to why one rabbit is more deserving of comfort than the other…
So… maybe next post I’ll have a waistcoat? Don’t hold your breath, but fingers crossed.
What have you been up to lately? Any miniature furniture sewing? Tell me all in the comments section.