Colouring life

Difficult to concentrate on anything at the moment with all the conflict and trouble in Ukraine, so I rounded up everything that needed dyeing. It takes days to wind skeins of thread, dye fabric and thread, wash it, dry it, iron it, and unwind all the skeins, but it’s worth the effort.

Pile of newly-dyed fabrics and thread wound into little balls

Most of this is vintage linen/cotton, and the threads are mostly new and vintage crochet cottons. I find they work well as hand embroidery threads.

They look delicious don’t they? Like a box of chocolates

I prefer my threads wound into balls like this rather than wrapped onto thread cards. I don’t like the creases you get when you wind onto cardboard bobbins.

Difficult to get decent greens with procion but I’m happy with these

There is a lot of fabric here. There always seems to be more than I think there is, and it seems to last forever. This is a Good Thing. Some of it will find its way into the shop eventually.

Stitch doodling

It rained a lot today. I spent my lunch hour road-testing some of the threads while the frogs hopped around on the patio. I have plans for some new work, which I will start at some point. I still have a couple of ongoing things to finish first. I added this one to the shop this week:

Make a Wish

It was originally the sleeve of a coat that I was never going to finish but then it took on a life of its own. It seemed to find its own time, as these things do.

Niddy noddy

Niddy noddy is such a ridiculous word. I prefer to call it a skein winder. I used to have a lovely wooden one but it was very bulky and took up a lot of storage space. I’ve recently found a lightweight one here that comes apart and can be stored flat.

silk PLA niddy noddy from DorIdeas.co.uk

I’m not on commission, by the way, I’m just really impressed by the design and how easy it is to use – one wrap equals one yard, so it’s easy to measure skeins of thread for dyeing. I usually improvise this part of the process, winding skeins around the back of a chair etc, but I may decide to try selling some hand-dyed threads and in that case I will need to know the yardage of the skein.

silk PLA niddy noddy with textured yarns

I have more textured yarn than I need. These are good for couching onto experimental embroidery or contemporary art quilts. Sometimes I crochet a chain with these yarns and then couch that to a surface if I want a more chunky appearance.

selection of textured yarns in 10 yard mini-skeins

I will get round to doing a shop update at some point, just to see if there is any demand for a mixed pack of textured mini-skeins in these lovely woodsy muted colours. A little of these goes a long way, I find.

yarns and threads for winding

I also need to find time to dye some more embroidery threads. I often use crochet cotton as a substitute for perle threads as they are usually slightly more matt than perle and a bit smoother, which I prefer. My mother’s old knitting basket is the current repository for threads and yarns that need winding into skeins. It’s older than I am and has faded from red to pink, but it’s still going strong. It was always full of knitting in progress when I was a child and it’s good to see it still in service. I think these things remember what they were made for and like to stay useful.