Dyed in the Wool (With Kool-Aid!)

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I have a problem.

For some reason, hand-dyed, varigated spinning fiber – especially in a soft, fluffy merino or blend – just gets me. Every single time.

The problem, of course, is that that stuff is expensive. And I spin pretty fast.

Luckily, my problem has an easy solution – buy natural roving and dye it. (Or yarn! Any kind of wool works). My favorite method of dyeing is using kool-aid. It’s cheap, smells good, and makes gorgeously deep and subtle colors. You also don’t need any special pots or equipment for it, unlike most chemical dyes, because it’s food safe – a blessing for my small kitchen.

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Today I’m going to talk about dyeing on the stovetop, which is great for making fairly uniform colors, or different shades of the same color. You can also dye with kool-aid in the microwave, which is best if you want very different colors on the same wool.

The process is pretty simple.  Continue reading Dyed in the Wool (With Kool-Aid!)

Tambour Embroidery: Part 1

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Tambour embroidery is a fairly obscure craft that I picked up last year. It’s a hybrid of crochet and embroidery that makes chain stitches worked with a combination hook/needle. It’s perfectly suited for beading, because of the way that it creates a looped chain that slots around the beads. Most couture embroidery and beading – the kind you see on those gorgeously elaborate red carpet gowns – are done using tambour. When it’s worked on tulle or gauze, it makes stunning lace. And (my favorite use) it’s a fantastic way to work detailed line-embroidery in plain thread really really fast. I’m impatient, so I appreciate that.

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Tambour embroidery is well worth learning, whether you’ve embroidered before or not. I use it more than needle embroidery these days, unless I want to work a variety of different stitches. Today I’m just going to talk about how to get set up, and give you some resources in case you want to get started right away. In future posts, I’ll share more about how to actually work the embroidery. Continue reading Tambour Embroidery: Part 1