Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Hand Spun Mohair Dyed With Walnut Hulls

Left to right: knitted shawl in natural dark alpaca’s and teal possum wool; antique black overdyed dark alpaca (ball); walnut dyed mohair and lastly undyed mohair.
My experiments with using walnut hulls for dyeing continue. I’ve used the whole packet now, but know of a tree up the road I might be able to hunt around to find some more, if the birds and possums haven’t absconded with everything by now.
The colour is amazing! But... I might over dye it. Not sure. I’m not sure I don’t look ill wearing this warm camel brown. This delicious, luscious, beautiful caramel. Perhaps it’s too gorgeous to fuss with?
The mohair takes up the dye much better than the silk or linen, having used a similar amount... oh, I did use the remaining dye from the last pot so perhaps it’s a bit more. Not significantly more though.
I’m thinking of making Kate Davies’s Mouat cowl. I have a dark yarn spun by the same friend, Chris Noorbergen. It’s the overdyed alpaca, dark brown with a blotchy bluish cast pictured above . Then with some undyed mohair, which is a brilliant white, it might be enough colour. Not sure. So many not sure’s.
Thanks so much tomBrenda Liano for the fleece! Xxx

Monday, April 27, 2020

Dyeing With Walnut Hulls

Here I’ve dyed two pieces of even weave linen and a small trial of herringbone twilled raw silk, all for embroidery. Using two heaped tablespoons of husks a friend gave me (bought at Kryal Castle, The Forest & The Fae).
I read up on dyeing with walnut at Woodlark blog, though instead of soaking my cloth in water and vinegar as they do, I used a bit of detergent as I would with wool dyeing. The purpose being to open up the fibres to soak in the dye. I used some vinegar to set the dye after it had been cooking for a while. Quite a while.
You can see the colour, compared to the stark white plastic box behind. One piece had previously been dyed lightly with (I think) red onion skins. But very lightly, ineffectually.
I tried to leave the cloth unagitated so as to get a mottled effect, then threw in a handful of coffee beans and let simmer for a couple of more hours.
I don’t know that these or the lack of agitation made much difference. The dye is quite even across the cloth, saving for a few crease marks. Even though, to look at the pot, a lot of residue was sitting on the top, it didn’t create a darker patch.
It’s a very beautiful taupe colour though, nothing to disappoint. My only concern being it is a cool brown and for an aged look (for a sampler) it might do well to be warmer?
Today I’m going to try some mohair handspun. I’ll add more than the two tablespoons I think and see what happens. A cool brown suits my skin so that will be perfect.
Thanks Nicole!

Update: I’ve decided to try one of the linen pieces in tea. It’s just in a baking tray, sprinkled strategically with tea leaves. Some parts have none or few leaves. 
I’ll leave it overnight then rinse and see what I have.
Also, the mohair is on, brewing as we speak. Someone told me that walnut is acidic, so washing out all residual dye is important. I may even put the mohair into a washing bag, tied so it won’t move about, and machine wash it on a gentle cycle.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Plans For A Hall Rug

I was given a couple of hessian coffee bags and the size lends itself to being a hall rug. We’ll have a hallway when we renovate. It’s a bit over 2 metres long.
I’ve collected designs on Pinterest for some time and made a Short List folder and the feeling became clear. The pictures are largely German folk paintings but remind me of Heronemous Bosch, a favourite. Maybe it’ll change more, who knows? It’s not hard to over draw.
This time, unlike the footy rug, I’ll use colours that fit with how we intend to decorate. Old colours I suppose, though these things change. The figures look a bit cheesy here, but I can imagine them subtlety done and not dominant. No hurry though, I have the other rug to finish. Oh, two other rugs.
Look here.https://www.pinterest.com.au/robynemelia/rug-hooking-inspiration-for-rugs/hall-rug-short-list/
I want to use old clothes and my fabric stash, not wool.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Baby’s Jack In The Box Wagga/Quilt

Made using an old dressing gown and some dyed blankets. Extra to rug making, I have a lot of dyed cloth here.

Just About To Steek... Bit Scared/Excited.

Alice Starmore’s ‘Thoroughbred’ using Kate Davies’s ‘ Bluebell’ as a template.
I’m up to the steeks now. It’s not designed for them as you would see (since there are no extra stitches in the middle). But it’s a bit small, or ok, the truth is, I’m a bit bigger now than when I started this in November 2015.
I had put it aside for vast periods of time, obviously.
But here we are! And I’m very excited. More excited than frightened to be fair, after watching many a tutorial and thinking and thinking about it.
The photographs don’t show the fluro nature of some of the colours. It’s at once bright and soft and I had no intention of it being so colourful but I love it. The question is, do I (after steeking ) work the bottom and neck bands before the button band. I guess so... I’ll have to think some more.

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Lock Down Stash Down Endeavor

Vintage fabric lined with a soft cotton muslin. The cord, ribbon and ric-rac comes from Mum's stash and probably originally from Grandma. I've had the felt forever. 

This was the first in this fabric and I had no more of the cord nor any pom-poms. So disappointed until I raided the Major (as opposed to minor) trim box. There are little lace motifs above the pom-poms too. 

This is the most gorgeous wool flannel and again, the gross-grain tape comes from Mum's stash. I had a time getting the ribbon through the felt whatsits and used an awl followed by a big knitting needle to force a hole.

The green with pink roses has been in my stash for over a decade (as in, not so long). I had wanted a shirt but those days are done. The tie is done Knitting Nancy style, with a windy thing, not no pins.

These two little crocheted florets were on a little bag of nothing much at an op shop. This is one I'm keeping. You buy these little blossoms because they're pretty and they sit there until a purpose presents itself.

Mostly bought new fabric, excepting for the brown on beige floral, which was a 50's dress. You can't see, but the lining is a flesh coloured cotton Mum had for her doll making.

The main cloth is decades old, from my early patchwork days. I love this one. Feels Japanese.

Made mostly from a little bag of bits I bought at the Wandin North Primary School Harvest Festival, just pre lockdown., as is the bottom bag.