Sunday, February 28, 2010

Free accomodation

Today I knitted myself this hat. I really like the cable band, and it's close-fitting and warm. The wool is merino, with some mohair bands in the top piece.

This is not the free accommodation.

I want to go overseas in a few months for maybe 3 months, over the New Zealand winter. I need someone to housesit my 2 dogs and 1 cat in exchange for free accommodation.

Is there anyone out there in blogworld who is interested? I live less than 2 hour's drive from a number ski fields and about 10 minutes to the nearest beach. I live just north of Christchurch in the South Island - see more here

Sunday, February 21, 2010


As a dyer, I'm a colour person - I love colour. However, that doesn't mean that I can't appreciate white. Above are my white agapanthus - I also have the more usual "blue" ones.

The very annoying (but pretty) convolvulus, that goes crazy here in summer....
Japanese anemones ....
..tuberous begonias..
...I've totally forgotten what these big lilies are'll come back to me. They have to grow in pots here. The flowers are a good 6" across.

And of course....white poodles. Here's Cressy enjoying the early morning sun. And in case you're wondering, I've never been tempted to colour the dogs. Poodles have to put up with a lot of stupid tinkering by people, so why insult them further? They're a wonderful breed of dog.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The 20 minute Bag

I haven't fixed the shibori quilt yet, though I'm planning to attack it today. It became too hot yesterday to be upstairs sewing, so I watched the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.

Yesterday morning, I was out and about, looking for suitable garments to dye and discharge. To get "in the zone", I wore my shibori top (scroll down). As I got myself ready to go out, I decided the usual pink handbag I take to work just wasn't working. I looked at the matching fabric - see 2 posts down - and thought "I wonder if I can make a bag in the 20 minutes I have before I leave?"

OK, designer it ain't - but it DID only take 20 minutes to run up. It's just a double layer of fabric with pellon inside, and it even has an internal pocket.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

In 2 minds....

Okay, this is what I ended up doing with my burgundy shibori. I selected the best 15" square from each fat quarter, and sewed them together (tha bit is fine). Then I dyed some green fabric in a shade (Leaf Green) that was the opposite to Burgundy on the colour wheel. That's also fine. I wanted to give the quilt some zing, seeing as it was so monochromatic.

However, I can't decide whether I like the result. So here's the choices:
  • leave it with the contrasting 6" green border
  • cut this down to say 2" tops and add a Burgundy outer border.
What do you think, blog readers?

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Self control? What for?

Of course, I had to some more shibori today. I liked the effect of folding fabric into triangles so I did this with the surplus dye from the top (see below). I put Turquoise on the triangle tips, and faux Indigo on the rest of it.
Here's the result which I really like. Now I have to think what to do with it.....
The main project was to dye a plain white cotton tunic-type top. Here it is all bound up - I tied the sleeves first, with little puff-balls on the shoulders; then the yoke which is tied with soft stretchy cotton tape. Then I ironed accordion pleats on the body, and rolled them up.
In the dye, it looks like some horrible alien insect!
..but I really love the end result! This is the back.

Shibori in Blue Violet

I enjoyed doing the burgundy shibori so much that I did a couple more half-metre pieces in the evening, in ProChem's Blue Violet, which has lovely pinkish undertones. The piece on the left was accordian folded along the short side, then spiralled; while the one on the right was accorian folded along the long edge, with the pleats changing direction in the middle and creating the pretty webbed area - you may need to ckick on the photos to enlarge them to see this more clearly.

Now, what shall I dye today?

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Shibori part 2

And here they are. Numbers 1, 2 and 3 above....
..4, 5 and 6 ...
..7, 8 and 9....
..10, 11, 12.

All different. Some were folded, some were ironed, some were scrunched or bunched. A couple were rolled around dowels. Some are definitely more striking than others, but most I would do again.

These were dyed with Jacquard's Burgundy which has a lovely light brown shadow to it that makes for interesting shapes. You can click on the photos to see them in more detail.

As usual with dyeing, you can't really appreciate the patterns you've made until you're ironing the fabric.

I had so much fun that I'm going back to do some more.


I am finding my present job sucks out my energy and shrivels my soul. Today, despite the call of the garden and other "shoulds", I decided to nourish my spirit and do some shibori. I tore 3 metres (yards) of fabric into a dozen fat quarters, and soaked 6 of them in warm soda ash (dye fixative) while I folded and tied the other 6. I have numbered all the pieces, and made notes so I can compare the results.

The designs were all out of my head - I wasn't following patterns in a book. This was quite a complicated one that i dubbed "The Scorpion". First, I tied knots around 3 small peach stones. Then I folded and tied the rest of the fabric. It came out looking like this:
Below are the 6 dry pieces after folding and tieing. Then I removed the wet fabric from the soda ash and put the tied pieces in the bucket to soak while I worked on the wet pieces.
See the numbers attached by safety pins?
Here are the wet pieces. All 12 are different. I've just poured burgundy dye on, and I'll wait a couple of hours for it to batch before I remove all the tied bundles, untie them, rinse and then wash them.

It took me around 2 hours to fold and tie the 12 fat quarters - shibori is a slow craft, not a "fast food" type of activity.