Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Dyeing the Blues

Tiggy Rawling ran an absolutely brilliant weekend workshop at Wimbourne's Walford Mill and I was one of six lucky participants.

We were exploring both shibori techniques and indigo dyeing, and thankifully the weather was just warm enough to make this feasible. We were accomodated in a huge gazebo behind the craft gallery, thus enjoying fresh air and providing entertainment to visitors to the mill and to the excellent bistro there (which served me delicious crab salads for my lunch on both days).

On the right, above, are two pole-wrapped pieces while the lefthand sample is the traditional woodgrain pattern.

On the right above is the Japanese Larch pattern, worked freehand rather than to pre-marked patterns.

This piece of cotton velvet was concertina-pleated and then held firmly with a twist in the dye vat. This photo shows it during the process of oxidisation - the gorgeous greens disappear and gradually turn blue, can be seen below.

I loved using indigo, and plan to make up a vat at home later this week so I can do some more dyeing.

A bit of patchwork


I made this quiltlet (about A2 sized) for our village curate, who wanted something like as part of a story to be told at a christening. I enjoyed it and really must do more patchwork soon.
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Friday, 12 June 2009

Insomnia sorted!

No, I've not been having trouble sleeping, I've been knitting a sock pattern by that name, created by the wonderful Glampyre


This was a fun pattern, and in the course of making these socks I learned to cable without a cable needle (when I lost mine on a car journey - wasn't driving, of course) and to keep a close eye out for dropped stitches when I slipped the wrong bit... Other than dealing with the backwards knitting this necessitated, I found it speeded up the process considerably, though not to the point that I completed them in two nights, as their author did.


Worked in a Fyberspates deliciously soft and cosy space-dyed sock yarn, they will be brilliant for keeping my toes toasty when the weather cools.


The colour changes in the yarn do tend to obscure the lovely cables and twists in this pattern, so I plan to make it again in a plainer yarn in the not too distant future.


I also learned a new-to-me cast off/bind off method as my normal technique was far too tight. So, in one project I learned the figure-of-eight cast-on for circular knitting, how to work a short row heel, and a different way of finishing my knitting. I also gained a great pair of socks!
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