Show and tell

show and tell 11th FebruaryShow and tell this week was testimony to how energising our dyeing workshop had been and why it is worthwhile having dyeing days.

Cathy: Purple dyed fleece, pink dyed rose fibre and butterscotch fleece dyed with avocado pips, onion skins and lichen from Sonya.

Sonya: Green mermaid coloured fleece, rubine cake dyed over grey spun wool.

Karin: ย Plied cake. Opalescent dyed wool skein dyed on white.

Hilary: Oatmeal and green dyed wool and cake of orange and pink dyed in cake.

Margaret: yellow tiny teddy crocheted in once piece.

Wendy: Dyed pink , turquoise and opalescent spun wool

Anne: Dyed sunburst colour fleece and a pair of woodland colours knitted socks.

Marina: green and pink dyed alpaca fleece.

Jan: Turquoise and mauve dyed wool using icing food colouring.

Sheila : red, white yellow and blue dyed skein, grey dyed in balls. White wool dyed in rainbow colours. Her tip is the longer it sits the more the colours run.

Marjorie : knitted beret in pinky lavender and blue/green.

rubine dyed over grey

Have we got hats!

We love making hats. They can be a good way to use up oddments or smaller amounts of spun yarn. They can encourage us to think creatively and then we can always think about style and colour. This week we had some really good hats.

Alexis had some flat topped knitted hats which she had made from her own dyed and spun wool. Lovely colours and a different sort of design for a hat which was a bit more stylish than a beret or beanie. The felt trims were a nice addition but the colours! The lavender one had such a lovely mix of other colours in it which were picking up the light.

Cathy made a fluffy , puffy child’s beanie from the acrylic yarn leftovers he had. Some acrylic art yarn gives an interesting effect. She mixed them, with some fawn linen yarn . Making a pompom from acrylic , fluffy yarn wasn’t so easy.

Christine had made 3 green hats from her spun wool. It’s a lovely green and the pastel buttons just go so nicely on these hats to break the colour and then add a cheerful visual lift.

Woollie Wonders


Sometimes it isย  good to look back at all the creativity , colour and class and just celebrate. This is a section of some of the things we have made recently.

An eye for colour

dyed wool battWho, but Alexis, would know the dyed wool batt next to her electronic spinner is going to turn into a yarn which fits the Pantone 2018 profile? It is no accident Alexis has this keen sense of colour nor can you merely pass it off as talent. It is skill. It is knowledge. It is experience. If Alexis is good with colours and can produce attractive results it is because she has applied herself to knowing all about colour. Not all of her wool is naturally dyed like the pictures here, but she is an expert in natural dyes and uses them a lot. She can match colour and project easily.

dyed wool

natural dyesShe has a journal where she has collated her dyeing with natural colour so she can see exactly what she is going to produce and has a record of it to refer to. Marjorie is another one in the group who keeps careful notes about her dyeing and it’s the reason these two know a lot about dyeing. Jan knows a lot about colour because she has always worked and experimented with it. Alexis has moved away from as many chemicals as she can these days and has a sound knowledge of natural mordants and ways of improving colour without harming yourself or the environment. Her knowledge is helping us all to move onto safer and more sustainable ground because personal health and looking after the environment are important , aren’t they? Alexis will sometimes use rusty nails and bolts to help the uptake of colour but she happily subscribes to natural mordants.

She recommends the following books as valuable sources of information for natural dyes:

Dyes from natural sourcesย – Anne Dyer ( ๐Ÿ˜€ )

Shetland Dye Bookย ย – Jenni Simmons

Traditional Scottish Dyes – Jean Fraser

Alexis also works with local plants for colour and is particularly fond of eucalyptus:

Eucalyptus Dyesย 

Alexis is always a good person to ask about colour and how to match colour because she knows and she knows because she has learned all about it.