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Tidying, Rediscovering, and Inspiration

Tidying, Rediscovering, and Inspiration

I’ve been having a big tidy up this week, so haven’t had much time to make anything. And not having space to make anything is one reason for the tidy up! It’s amazing how just not putting things away properly can soon build up to one giant mess. One of the few positives to tidying up is re-discovering things. The first thing I was happy to find is a chiffon scarf I must have bought over 20 years ago. I don’t think it’s silk, but it really is nice. It looks like it was made from a larger piece:

The second small scarf I found was a silvery grey silk one which was my mum’s. I’ve thought about making a nuno piece out of it:

I bought a few large silk scarves around November last year. They’ve got sequins sewn on, and I thought I’d try one for a nuno scarf. They’re not the kind of thing I’d usually buy, but they were knocked down from £20, to £2!:

And, if you’re like me, a big part of tidying up invoves playing about with stuff you’re meant to be tidying! For some reason I kept a load of little paper hearts from the hole-punch I use on tags:

And then I found a lens from a small kaleidoscope (I used to buy them for photography!), so had to have a play. This is a soft wispy piece I made at the well being centre recently:

And this is some Kevlar fibre/thread:

One thing I did find got me thinking about Ruth’s first Quarter Challenge. Tyvek envelopes. I’ve only played around with them once, fairly recently, and just held a couple of pieces over the gas rings on the stove:

I don’t know what I’ll do with the unmelted ones yet, but they have potential!

If you have any tips for keeping tidy, feel free to leave them!

Dyeing Some Silk for Classes

Dyeing Some Silk for Classes

The first 2 weekends in December I am teaching a nuno felt scarf class. I need dyed scarves for that, so that was Sundays Job.

I buy my silk by the bolt so I measured out 6 feet and then ripped them into 12 inch widths. I did 16 in total. I like to use the low water immersion technique from Paula Burch’s  All About Hand Dying  site.

First I scrunch or twist or fold up the scarves and stuff them into jars as tightly as possible. I did two scarves together in the jars so there will be 2 of everything.  They won’t be exactly the same but fairly close.

jar-1 jar-2 jar-3

Next you add dye. I use 2 colours adding them one after the other.



As usual I forgot to take as many pictures as I intended. After the dye has sat for anywhere form 10 min to an hour I add the PH up that sets the dye and then leave it for at least an hour. I worked on my felt Christmas cards while I was waiting for an hour to pass. I can”t show you that until after they are received.

Next is to tip them out and rinse was and rinse again.

This is the result. They are still wrinkled . I haven’t had time to steam them flat yet.

finished-scarves-1 finished-scarves-2 finished-scarves-3

I think I got a good variety for people to choose form. I have a few left from the last class that I will take too. It’s fun to play with the colour combinations. Even the stir sticks are pretty. What’s your favourite way to dye silk?


December Giveaway

December Giveaway

Since we’ve been talking a lot about color this year, I thought it would be fun to do a giveaway of two silk scarves and three Jacquard Green Label dyes.

I’ve used these dyes on both silk and wool.  They are premixed liquids so there is no messy preparation.  They are great for playing with different effects like watercolor, salt and alcohol effects, tie dyeing, silk painting and more. Included in the giveaway is the permanent dyeset fixative so it’s not necessary to to steam either.  Although steaming usually gives richer colors.  There are three primary colors (yellow, scarlet and cyan) in  2 oz. (60 ml)  bottles (they last much longer than you’d expect) and you can mix to your heart’s content.  The fixative is 8 oz. (250 ml).  You can learn more about these products at

Just remember that any utensils or containers you use can not be used for food afterwards.  I usually use saran wrap with this method.  You can learn more about these techniques here:




One scarf is Habotai 8 mm hand rolled 11″ x 60″;  the other is chiffon 8 mm the same length. The habotai is shiny and the chiffon is matte.


Here are a couple of scarves I have used the dyes on.  This is the habotai I used a watercolor and salt effects on.  The salt effect is not very obvious, this was my first attempt.


The other is what I call my 4th of July scarf.  I used the watercolor effect, then nuno felted it after it was rinsed and dry.  This was plain chiffon and not hemmed.  If you look closely, you can see where the red and blue mixed to make purple.  It was a lot less subtle than I expected.


In order to enter the drawing, please leave a comment below.  The winner will be announced next week on December 11 after a random computer generated pick.

Good luck!


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