Thursday, February 24, 2011


This is how cotton comes from the supplier. It has to be wound into skeins (demonstrated in a former blog post HERE), thoroughly washed in very hot water with super-detergent, rinsed, and spun out.

Here it is clean and damp, awaiting its turn in the dye vat.

But first it has to be soaked in washing soda.

There are stock dye solutions in the bottles, and the dyes are mixed in plastic cups. Don't worry, I never drink out of these!

Here is the cotton with freshly applied dye. It has to sit around for a while for the dye to set. So pretty!

Now comes the (groan) finishing process. First, a hot Synthrapol soak. Then a bath or two in hot detergent. Then several rinsings.

The goal is to have clear rinsewater like this!

After all that, things get pretty tangly!

Untangled and hung up to dry. But not finished! After drying comes a trip to the scanner, publishing to the website, balling up, and mailing off!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011


There's a new crop of cotton crochet thread and cotton yarn blooming. I wanted to share with you some of the inspirations for the colorways I chose this time around. Shown above is "lotus".

Of course, this is "red rose"...

...and "kale"

And not to let plants have all the fun, I had to include a colorful mineral, "limonite".

These yarns, and more, are available for sale on my website. Click on the banner below!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Aunt Jane's flower shawl is almost finished. Right now it's a big pile of lumpy lilac, but in another week or so it will be a thing of breathtaking beauty. It will bloom. It is getting to be a bit of a cumbersome lapful to knit on, so I needed something smaller and more portable for traveling.

Enter the perfect portable project, the dishcloth. I saw this pattern for the crocheted Crazy Cloth on Ravelry, and was absolutely intrigued because I couldn't figure out how it was made. This really bugs me! So I had to make one!

The construction is pretty clever. It starts with the loop. The beginning of each row is actually at the center corner diagonally opposite from the loop, and each row dodges out to a side corner, returns back across the middle, over to the other corner, and finally back to the center. Way cool!

The pink and blue cloth at left is made from hand dyed Peaches & Creme, and the ecru cloth at right is from undyed sport weight cotton, and edged with the same cotton dyed in autumn colors. (Trust me, the sport weight cotton works better for a crocheted dishcloth).


Thursday, February 10, 2011


Yesterday was a day to dye for! (Sorry!) Really, I haven't dyed yarn in well over a year. The recession killed off yarn sales for a while, so I lived off the inventory for 2010. But business is picking up again, so it was time to dye up some new yarns.

Dyeing is kind of like knitting- begin with something boring, and make it into something beautiful. Of course I usually work with white yarn because it has the most potential and flexibility for adding color. Occasionally, though, I get a good deal on some colored yarn. As long as it isn't really dark, it's kind of fun to overdye it and see what can be done to make it pretty. I give it a makeover!

The photos above and below show the before and after pictures. The skeins are in the same relative positions. The coral red was especially challenging, but got turned into some pretty "valentine" yarn. All the wool is lace weight except the dark purple, which is DK (light worsted). These plus more are available for sale on my website HERE.