Friday, September 30, 2022

In Reverse


I had wound seven skeins of natural wool into balls for tomorrow's market. Then I had an order for a rainbow of yarns. Ideally, I'd have spun more wool, but I'm lacking time at the moment. So I decided to wind the balls back into skeins and dye them. I put each ball into the basket as I worked, so that it couldn't escape. 

I dyed each skein in an ice cream tub in my microwave:

And put them outside to dry:

This morning I rolled the skeins into balls again:

To create a rainbow of yarn:

Lastly, I put them back into the original packet:

It's a reverse in another sense because this is a replacement for the black yarn with white spots. In my attempt to get the black as dark as possible, I damaged the texture of the wool. I probably overdid the use of acid. That's the thing about spinning and dyeing, there are always balances, always compromises to be made. 

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Ready For Market


/The electricity stayed on yesterday, hooray, and I was able to make two hooded towels. I don't want to make a lot of towels because they don't sell as well as the puppets and cost me more in materials. I'd rather just make them to order. I have printed pictures of the some of the other towels I made, but of course I need a couple of samples to show potential customers.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Nearly There


I thought I'd take along some beadwork to the market on Saturday. Keyrings are good for a market because they're inexpensive, as well as useful and pretty! I set myself a target of 10 and have strung the beads for the tenth one, so I'm pretty sure I'll meet the target. Beaded crochet doesn't require electricity, so the power cuts are not a factor, hooray. 

Monday, September 26, 2022

Aiming For Twenty


I set myself a target of 20 puppets for a market on Saturday, but I don't think I'm going to make it. We're getting long power outages that really curtail my sewing time! And I sold two to a neighbour yesterday. I always reckon a sale is better than a potential sale - bird in the hand and all that. But I think this bunch make quite a good show, so I won't worry too much. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Preparing For Friday


I'm in the process of making puppets for an upcoming market, but I am taking time off from that today to prepare for Friday's craft group. We're going to make food covers out of sparkly net. I'm hemming them using a fancy but not too fancy stitch on my sewing machine:

Hopefully it looks like little leaves, since I think much of the decoration will be flowers made from felt, fabric, beads, whatever. A bit of tatting perhaps. I've hemmed four so far but am aiming for eight.

By the way, I've just spent a pleasant few minutes trawling through my previous posts about food covers or tea showers. Like this one for instance. I'd forgotten that I'd made so many! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Another Colourway


We had a lot of power cuts last week, which meant that I had a lot of time for spinning. So I was able to fulfill a new yarn order in double quick time. My sock-knitting customer sent me a picture of a  pair of socks and asked if I could dye the colourway. I think so.  A bluey purple, grey and a bit of light. 

Monday, September 19, 2022

In Black And White


 Remember the experiment I did the other day? The customer was very happy with the result, so I went ahead and spun a batch of yarn and dyed it in the same way. My 'black' is more charcoal than true black, but I hope it'll do the trick. 

 I also had an order for a zebra hooded towel, more black and white. I made some changes from the original zebra I made. I made the snout mostly white with some black added, rather than all black, and made the mane out of felt instead of yarn. The stripes are made of felt, not fabric, which meant I could use a straight stitch instead of zig zag, which is quicker and easier. Probably neater too. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022



A gift shop down the road sells my bath puppets on commission. I went down there last week and discovered that they had only hippos left. I'm a bit puzzled that a whole herd of them has been rejected, but there you go. I made some replacements over the weekend - lion, monkey, crocodile, frog and Fido the puppy. I took them along yesterday and did a swap. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

For Me


A couple of weeks ago, my neighbour and I went to a fabric sale. Three ladies were selling off their fabric stashes, accumulated over many years. I didn't want the fabric to just go from their stash to my stash, so I managed to sneak some time between working on orders to sew myself a blouse and long skirt. I have a couple more pieces that will have to wait until I have more time, but I certainly don't plan for them to languish for years! 

Thursday, September 8, 2022



I dyed this wool this morning for an order. It's going to be a very bright pair of socks! I used my microwave to set the dye.  I dyed the blue for the mittens in a coffee tin on the stove, but it wasn't quite big enough, so the dyeing was a bit uneven. An ice cream tub in the microwave worked better. The microwave is quicker too, which is an advantage when dyeing five different colours. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2022



I was asked if I could produce a black yarn with flecks of white.  Hmm. I'll have to give it some thought. After considering various options, I thought the best way would be to 'tie/dye' the skein.  I experimented using a skein left over from another project, rather than try on a whole batch. First I tied, quite tightly, using a thick cotton, since cotton won't take a wool dye:

And then dyed it. The colour is darker than it appears here, though not as dark as I'd like the final product to be. When the skein was dry, I took the cotton ties off:

And rolled it into a ball for knitting:

The customer says that's just what she was looking for, so that's fine. I have another order to complete and then I'll spin yarn for this order. 

Monday, September 5, 2022

Mitred Mittens

 I've been wearing these mitred square socks that I knitted in 2020 and they're really comfortable. So I thought I'd knit another pair, using wool, which should be more flexible than the cotton I used last time. But when I was following the links I'd saved on my blog, I rediscovered Melody Johnson's mittens and decided I'd knit those first.  I'm really pleased with how they turned out, though they're on the small side. I think my yarn is thinner than the yarn Melody used. 

My customer sent me a photo to show how the yarn I showed in the previous post is knitting up:

Looks good, doesn't it? 

Thursday, September 1, 2022

To Order


I spun and dyed this wool for an order. The customer wanted a sock wool, ie quite finely spun, dyed in long stretches of three colours - pink, blue and purple. I was a little disappointed that I got some colour contamination, didn't manage to get the colours absolutely distinct, but the customer is happy with the result, so that's fine.