Category Archives: Dyeworks

New Stuff

Christine, your comment about crazy stash acquisition made me smile… since going off the Wagon Challenge at the end of ’05, I’ve been a bit crazy myself. I haven’t always fully confessed, but needless to say, I haven’t stuck to that ‘goal oriented’ plan I had 😳 My latest temptation was the SB&B Easter Sale, and I’m waiting on a couple of The Cat’s Whiskers charts, Enchanted Mermaid, a Drawn Thread chart and some mesh bags. I think that’s it!


Anyway, all guilt aside – first off today, a new fabric I dyed up recently. I adore this. It’s a fat quarter of 28-count Lugana, and I dyed it with Mirabilia’s Midsummers Night Dream in mind. I have just plugged it into the fabric viewer, and it does look lovely with that design, but there’s a number of other Mirabilias it looks great for too – oddly enough, Enchanted Mermaid is one of them. I never envisaged a purple for that design.

I have a bunch of other white fabric just waiting for inspiration to strike – 2 FQs of Quaker (my personal favourite), 3 FQs of Cashel, and 2 more of Lugana. I also have a piece of Belfast I dyed but hate the results of, so I’m going to try over-dyeing that to see what I can acheive. Hopefully, if I get a bunch of satisfactory fabrics out of this lot, my desire for stash expansion will subside a little!

Next is my newest start – yet another Mirabilia – Mermaids of the Deep Blue. I seem to be going through a very definite Mirabilia phase at the moment πŸ™‚ I’d estimate there’s about 20 hours put into this so far, though I didn’t record times so far. There’s two weekends away worth of work in it, put it that way. I’m stitching this on hand-dyed Babbling Brook Jobelan – my first large piece on Jobelan, and I like it more than I thought I would, actually.


Edit: this post originally linked to some hand-dyed floss which I had for sale, but which is no longer available πŸ™‚

Now Go Forth and Dye!

No, I’m not being rude. I just finally finished the tutorial for dyeing your own floss, that’s all :giggle: See here. I would love to hear about (and see) any results you might have if you follow this tutorial. Let me know if you have any questions or difficulty understanding my instructions. I tried to make it short, because the process really isn’t as difficult as it sounds, but I had to keep adding in extra bits of information, so it did get quite long.

I really, really ought to get a proper website organized for myself, I know, rather than using my blog for everything. I am supposedly qualified to do that, after all! I think I need to fill out one of those 101 goals in 1001 days which are popping up all over blogland, and make that a major goal!

Tutorial In Progress

Astute readers may have noticed that I managed to get halfway through my floss-dyeing tutorial before going on a little feeling-sorry-for-myself binge. (For you others, see the links at top-right of this blog :giggle: ). Fear not, the second (and most important) part is in progress. It is. It will be here in the next mumble-mumble days or so. And so will the opportunity to purchase some of my floss… for there is bunches and bunches of it just waiting for me to skein it up just for you πŸ˜‰ Soon. Very soon.

Creative Monday

I redeemed my most-excellent-Mum status yesterday :giggle: ?! You know, it struck me that this creative streak I’ve been on lately is actually my equivalent of that ‘nesting’ thing other women get. I always thought it was a myth, or I’d been completely overlooked when they handed out the nesting gene. During neither of my pregnancies have I been overly interested in home improvements (aka “doing the baby’s room”) or excessive housework :yuk: But I realise now that at about this point last time I was going through a bit of a ‘make-stuff’ phase as well. Amongst other things, I made a squishy frog toy for Finn, and hand-stitched a felt counting-book, which he still adores. I’d better start thinking of something along those lines to make for Small.


Finn has been wearing his ‘monkey shirt’ with pride today… it rapidly acquired yoghurt stains, but never mind that! He had complete artistic direction over that one – green with a monkey, please Mum! The orange one was more of an afterthought – I thought I’d have another try at the low-water immersion technique, but I never seem to get this exactly how I like it… I’m more of a control freak than this allows! The giraffe design was, um, nicked from the Internet somewhere (shhh), but the monkey is all mine πŸ™‚


And yes, there was also more floss dyeing πŸ˜‰ And here’s part 2 of “Ask and ye shall receive”. I’m working on an 18-step colour spectrum from which you will at some point soon be able to purchase (with pastel shades to follow). The following 6 skeins have been evicted from the line-up. Not because they’re bad colours, but because they were too close to others I already had. So… six of you lucky ducks get to grab a freebie. All you need to do is comment below – mention which colour you’d like (so that commenters below you know what’s been taken) then email me your address and I’ll have it in the mail asap. Easy!

Vital info: Skeins are 6 meters in length, as I’m keeping a portion for my records. To avoid confusion, let’s call them (left to right): magenta, purple, blue, green, orange, red (which is actually more of a dark orange). The purple does have some slight smudges of blue in places… let’s call that a Finn original!

PS. Forgot to add, it was pointed out to me by two someones that the Caron heart can be found here. Enjoy!

Fast Finish


Thanks for the lovely compliments, everyone. I am so pleased that you like my pretties as much as I do. In regard to sales… well, I’m not going to deny that the thought has crossed my mind. Essentially, I’m not planning to make a bona-fide business out of this, at least in the short term. First there is the concern I have that the hand-dyed market is probably at saturation point. Plus, with a three year old on hand, and another baby due shortly, it’s just not terribly practical. That said, however, I know that I’m going to be dyeing an awful lot more than I could possibly use, because I’m enjoying it so much. So who am I to turn down making a few dollars from the excess?! I’ll let you know more when the time comes. Certainly at the very least I am always good for trades πŸ˜‰

Anyway, as requested by Debi yesterday, here’s a quick little HD using some of what I’ve dyed. I love this, and the fact that it took probably only two solid stitching hours makes me love it more! This is a free chart, which on my file system is entitled ‘Caron Freebie Heart’, but I couldn’t locate it anywhere on Caron’s website, so I can’t point you there, I’m afraid.

I did manage some more dyeing last night – mostly duplicates of what I’ve already done, for a couple of trades, but also a couple of darker skeins, which are quite striking. Tomorrow is a public holiday here, and a much more pleasant temperature than today, so if I get some more done I’ll post them then. Finn is becoming impatient for his monkey and giraffe shirts though, and today featured one of my poorer displays of parenting, so I might be printing instead πŸ™‚

Colour, Colour, Everywhere

How can you not love a rainbow? You know, I’ve actually been planning to redesign my blog template for ages now, and in my head I had some images just like this one. I didn’t imagine it would be my own dyed flosses though. Whoo πŸ™‚

The images today are scans, not photographs. By the time I had these all dry and skeined up, I had lost the decent light outside, so scans it was. The colour of the floss is more accurate, but there’s no decent depth of field. Sorry!

lights01 neutrals01
And in case you think I’m completely stuck on the brights, here’s a few more for you – some lighter shades of three of the above colours, with more subtle variation (different dilutions of light and dark shades). Also some neutrals. I really love the neutrals, but they’re so much more difficult to mix with any reliability. I’ve so far only been mixing from primary dyes, but I did pick up a pre-mixed brown the other day which I have yet to try, and I also plan to mix up some black to attempt some darker shades. Also in the works are some multi-coloured flosses – so far all of these are value-variations: different dilutions of the same colour applied to a single floss.

Oh… in other stashy news, my missing parcel has turned up right where it always was – back at SB&B. There was a miscommunication or two (it was a pretty convoluted order due to complex Secret Stitcher stuff), and it was filed rather than sent. D’oh. Nevermind, at least it has turned up, and it’s on its way to me now, for sure!

Hope you’re all having as fun a weekend as I am πŸ™‚

My Apologies…

…to anyone in the north-eastern suburbs of Melbourne trying to find either B5200 or Blanc DMC floss this weekend – I’m afraid I’ve scooped the entire supply to support my ‘habit’ :giggle:

You see what is become of me? I’m paying $AU for my floss. Scary. I really can’t wait until I can sort out where to get the bulk cones from. I’ll update you on my venture tomorrow, promise. If I can drag myself away from my makeshift lab for a while, that is. I also have the beginnings of a ‘How-To’ post in the works, since tips have been requested by a few of you, here and on the BBs.

Must. Sleep.

(As proven by need to re-edit this post due to half finished sentence!)

I Rock!


Q: What is this?
If you guessed…
A: My first hand-dyed vareigated floss ever, you’re right! Yay me! πŸ˜†

I was doing some dyeing yesterday – I’ve been meaning to do a couple more t-shirts for Finn for a while, and finally found the time, space and energy to do it. No photos yet of the two shirts I dyed – I plan to print some jungle animals onto those at the weekend, so I’ll show you afterwards (erm… if they’re good, anyway!). But then I pulled out a couple of stitchers’ eighths of Cashel and tried out a new technique for fabric, the results of which I am very happy with:
greendye bluedye

Then… inspiration! Actually, I’ve wanted to try doing some floss for ages, and this time I suddenly remembered that I had a bunch of white floss from a trade a while ago. So I pulled a couple of skeins, and you see what happened. I am thrilled with how they’ve turned out, and I think I’ve found my new obsession :giggle: See, I love dyeing fabric, but evenweaves and linens aren’t exactly inexpensive, so I don’t get to do as much experimenting as I’d like to. Floss, on the other hand… it doesn’t really matter if I stuff up a few in the process. Well, OK, maybe not at $AU prices, but I’m currently looking into buying in some bulk cones of white from o/s, it should be much more economical. Wheeeee!

I’ve just dipped some more floss, so I’ll let you know tomorrow how that turns out. In the meanwhile, if anybody is interested, the green piece of fabric shown above, while lovely, is not quite the shade I was after, and I don’t have an immediate use for it. I’ll happily trade for something on my wishlist. The vital stats: it’s a 19″x14″ piece of hand-dyed Cashel linen (28-count). Email me πŸ™‚

PS: The green fabric didn’t sit around long, it’s been snapped up already!

Dying To Dye?

I was restoring some mysterious invisible threads on the Mirabilia BB t’other day, and came across a post I wrote regarding hand-dyeing fabrics. I thought I’d replicate the info over here, because I don’t trust ezboard not to lose it again, and besides, Cathy asked about this a while back, and I’ve been meaning to post about it here.

You’ve seen Waiting For Ships stitched on one of my hand-dyes, though it doesn’t photograph especially well. I have some more pics over here of some (most of these are small, ornament sized pieces, good for cheaper experimentation). There are a couple more that I’ve done that I didn’t remember to photograph or scan before sending them off to various new homes, whoops.

Before I started dyeing, I scoured the internet for information. Here are some of the links I find useful:

Plus a couple of books that I have which are both very useful:

‘Color by Accident’ by Ann Johnston
‘Fabric dyeing for beginners’ by Vimala McClure

Dharma trading is very informative if you dig around the site, and you can purchase your Procion Dyes there too (I’m lucky enough to have a local resource not too far from me here in Melbourne).

If you’re interested in dyeing your own fabric, the best suggestion I can make is: experiment, experiment, experiment. I don’t really have any hard and fast rules I follow, though I’m gradually developing my technique as I practice. Oh, and experiment on cheaper fabric (obviously this depends on your financial situation) . The results you achieve differ between fabrics, but dyeing cheap fabric will get you a pretty good feel for the techniques. Colour wheels are a great way to get a feel for the results of mixing different amounts of dye… not always what you expect! I only bought the primary colours and black, and do my own colour-mixing; you can also buy many pre-mixed dyes if you prefer.