Vegetable dyeing

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On Monday I experimented with natural dyeing. I used avocado skins and pips, white onion skins, beetroot and turmeric. I was really surprised by the beetroot, it came out a weird shade of grey, I’m not sure where I went wrong. I might have had to cook the beetroot first. I’m not sure. However the rest of the colours are amazing! I love how the dyes are slightly inconsistent so you get a faint tie dye effect. I can’t wait to see these all sewn up!

I decided I wanted to experiment a bit more with natural dyeing so I purchased this book, it looks great and has so many helpful tutorials.


Wonderful West Dean

Last week I went to West Dean to go on their Tapestry Weaving and Dyeing short course. It was a dream! The place is amazing, I had no idea what to expect so when I turned up in the rolling mist (so creepy) on the Sunday evening I got slightly freaked out. The house is so huge and you are greeted with many many stuffed lions, birds and other various animals. I felt like I was in Harry Potter. Everything was so grand and it felt like I had just started school. A weaving school!

On the Sunday evening we had a small welcome followed by a lovely dinner. West Dean provide you with all your meals when you attend a short course. The food was amazing, so much choice and the puddings were the best. After dinner we then went to the weaving studio where our teacher for the week Philip Sanderson introduced himself and his work. He also talked about what we will be doing over the next few days. We warped up our first loom all ready for the morning.

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For the next 4 days we would weave. We started by learning how to put on the warp using all sorts of knots. We then got started on our first sample. Philip was the greatest teacher, he went through each step so clearly. Even though most of the class had weaved before it was so refreshing to learn new skills and the ‘proper’ way of weaving.

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Two of the mornings we dyed 2 hanks of yarn. The other women on the class were pretty set on dyeing their hanks all one colour and the colours they chose were very Autumnal. I decided I wanted to experiment a little with dip dyeing and binding my other hank so some of the dye would resist. I love how they turne out. You can see the results on the 2 cones above.

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West Dean is amazing, the grounds and the gardens are so pretty. I really loved staying here, even if I did freak myself out a fair bit, convincing myself of ghosts and all sorts I would definitely recommend it to anyone. I better start saving for my next trip!

Preparing for Christmas

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I’m very excited about this! I got a bit addicted to quilting some fabric (this is from a Shibori class a few months ago) and making them into pouches. Yesterday I spent the whole day dyeing fabric with avocados and onions which will be turned into pouches a bit like this. I will be selling them at the Christmas craft fairs in a few weeks!

Love Yawn

I was recently asked if I would come up with a craft tutorial for Yawn, they make wonderful nightwear and they are the best pyjamas I have ever had. I was delighted to be asked and you can see more over on their blog here. I love how this could be a perfect little home made stocking filler!

Yawn_11 I am wearing the lovely and soft Lovebirds Pyjama Set above. Perfect for lounging around in on a Sunday doing some weaving.