Friday, 3 October 2014

Five on Friday - Distracted by Dye

1. Dyeing

One of our many charity shops in town is having a "yarn event". I didn't even realise, as I only popped in quickly before meeting Mr Gonecycling, and he doesn't tolerate delays due to when I saw the huge wire bin full of massive cones of wools and threads, I just had to dive in there and retrieve what I could without thinking too long.

Which explains why I now have large amounts of cotton thread that need dealing with in some way. Dyeing, that is the answer. Use it myself, take it to class, sell in the etsy shop? The possibilities are endless. Ahem. So I set to and started to wind it off into skeins. Which then sat on the end of the table until Wednesday.

On Wednesday morning I spent an hour trying to wash them. (There must be an easier way - how do you do this, people? How do you wash skeins of thread without them getting in a huge tangle??) 

Then in the evening, after class, I dug out the as-yet-untried tub of swimming pool grade sodium carbonate, and soaked the threads overnight. On Thursday, I wrung out the skeins and drained off the soda, mixed the dyes and splodged it all over (getting technical now). And then had to run around looking for more things to dye, as I still had nearly a litre of soda sitting there looking like it could be useful. This always happens when I dye...

Then Thursday after class, I spent an hour or so rinsing and rinsing the threads, and wondering how the heck to dry them all - so here we are finally, this morning, with my rainbow threads drying on a piece of string in the garden. 

The miscellaneous soda-soaked fabrics are now in a kitchen tub looking a very dubious shade of purpley blue, and the tray is full of threads again - this time with blues and greens. And I still have 800ml of soda. Sigh.

I don't think I'll be setting up my own hand-dye business any time soon...

2. Hiding

Mr G had a good idea the other day. Well, he often has good ideas and luckily gets paid for them, but this one was just for me. Fed up with me complaining about not having my own space, and either having to shut my work away in a cupboard or leave it out for all and sundry to see, and being interrupted all the time because I work right next to the kitchen, he suggested I use some sort of screen. Like this:

Genius. It folds up and sits next to the cupboard (or quietly behind an armchair when the cupboard is open and I don't feel the need to be screened off). And you can still see through to the garden, without looking over my shoulder to see what I'm up to.

And it doubles up as a screen across the bottom of the stairs, to direct people into the kitchen rather than across my yoga mat - should I feel the need to do some bendy things without being interrupted. What a star.

3. Sampling

I continue to stitch teaching samples for class, and to be honest, I like them as they are - hardly any stitch, so not what I had in mind for them at all. Do I need to start again?!

4. Painting

As well as dive into the charity shop to liberate the wool, I popped into the decorating shop next door for some F&B tester pots - completely on a whim. I had heard good things about one of the greens, and I'd also read (those 59 seconds again, see last week's post) that green is a fantastic colour for creativity. The room I work in is pink - is this where I've been going wrong?! But I'm not sure about painting the dining room green as I've also read somewhere else that it should never be used for a room you eat in, something about casting a pall over your food. Thoughts?

5. Procrastinating 

What I should ACTUALLY be doing is finishing these samples - which I started in August, sitting outside my tent in Brittany. Hmm, finishing things - what's that like?!

And if anyone could answer my burning questions (how to wash yarn skeins, and whether to paint the dining room green) I'd really appreciate your thoughts! I always reply to every comment if you leave an email address, so the replies won't show here but in your inbox :) 

Thank you for reading! Back on Monday with a different sort of post, courtesy of Hilary.


  1. Bearing in mind it's thread, your skeins look remarkably untangled to me! No tips I'm afraid!

  2. Finishing things is overrated. I love the colours you've got in your skeins of yarn. I can never be bothered with all the faff of dyeing.

  3. I tie my skeins in four places so that they don't tangle. I love the colours you've got here!

  4. I don't know how to wash threads, although I've often wondered how people do it, not that that's any help to you at all. Don't know about green in the dining room either but I too have heard you shouldn't - but then rules are made to be broken! I love your new samples :-)

  5. Love the colours of the skeins you dyed. I agree with Kylie about the tying before dying. As to green for the dining room. Hmmm. That would be a huge no personally and on dull dark wintry days it would be depressing to me. I once painted a hallway and kitchen/diner a lovely sunshiney kind of yellow - it was the happiest room in the house and the hallway always seemed really welcoming.

    1. Thank you for reading! I'm also unsure; the deep pink is very warming in the evenings and on a damp day. One whole wall us a view of the garden - that's green enough, isn't it?! We had yellow before the pink, which was lovely for a long time then I just got tired of it. Maybe I'll keep the pink!

  6. Beautiful dyeing, I haven't entered that realm yet! Teresa's green is actually seahore blue in my opinion, wonderful color, it's in my bathroom. It would work anywhere. Didn't get the chance to admire your beautifu owls & the students work, just lovely. I call my bondawebbed bits 'reconstructed cloth' Isn't that grand?!


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