Archive for Hand Dyed Thread

Gearing up for April


 I’m getting ready for the Shuttlebirds conference and Camp Wannatat with some new thread colors!  I’ve spend the last month or so winding up skeins so that I can focus on the dyeing now. This is the first batch of 2016. It’s a custom color request. I played around with the colors yesterday with some sample threads and now here it is today in sizes 10 and 20 sitting in the fixer bath.  It goes from a deep yellow through a spectrum of greens to a nice bright blue. I can’t wait to see it once it’s dry.  I’m going to call it Tropical since that’s what the woman who requested the color combination called it.
It so nice to be playing around with colors again. I’ve got a ton of wound skeins ready for color and am looking forward to playing around over the next month.

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New Dyes!

photo 3Last night was my first adventure into Procion Dyes.  I’ve been excited to try these (new to me) dyes that will give me brighter and bolder colors, but I have been trying to restrain myself until I felt like I had other things organized around the thread dyeing, (a proper dyeing space, a organized system for keeping all my threads straight both before and after they’ve been dye, a better system for labeling my threads, a way of tracking dye lots, etc…)  I can’t say that I’ve gotten everything figured out, but I had some custom requests for colors I just couldn’t do with my set of over-the-counter basic dyes so I decided it was time to pull out the Procion and soda ash and starting doing some more serious dye-chemistry.

Here’s the extent of what I played around with.  Not much, I know, but it’s a start.  The bright yellow and the dark blue were the color requests.  The blue and purple variegates were just me playing around with mixing dyes.

I bought another 7 cones of thread that arrived last week, so I’ll be focused in the next two weeks on winding those up.  After last night’s success, I’m also ordering a fuller set of colors in the new dyes.  By the time the threads are ready to go I’ll be playing around with the new colors.

I’m not going to switch over completely, I still really like the soft blends I’m getting with my original dyes, but I’ll probably be a little more hesitant about restocking the lesser used colors when I run out of them.  Over time I’ll get better with the Procions and I think I’ll be able to repeat those soft blends as well.


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Dusty Rose

photo 2Dusty Rose is now listed in the shop in sizes 20 and 10.  This is a blended color that I won’t be able to repeat exactly.  I tatted up this sample last night and still have a shuttle full of the size 20 to play around with.  Looking froward to matching it up with a new green combination I have.  Running out the door to work now so that’s all I have time for this morning.  Hope everyone has a lovely Thursday!

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Here’s a sneak peak at “Dusty Rose.”  I did a new batch of Regency and loved the color that was created in middle between the green and the deep pink so much that I decided to do a small batch of just that color.  This is what I’m going to call a “blended” color.  It’s a mix of multiple dyes that I’ll never be able to repeat in just the same way.  I just did a small batch in sizes 20 and 10 to play around with what I had.

These dusty, muted colors are my favorites.  I did a couple small sample skeins that are sitting next to me here just waiting to get wound onto a shuttle and experimented with.  This is the first time I’ve dyed size 20 with a 6-foot repeat (Yup.  The skeins are 3 feet long.)  I’m really excited to see how this super gradual color change tats with a single color variegate like this.  Curious to compare it to the size 10 as well which has always been a 6-foot repeat.


I also loved the way this new batch of the colorway Regency looked soaking in the fixer bath.  All shiny and sparkly and new.  Regency was a color combination suggested by Leesa at the last Shuttlebirds workshop.  Thanks Leesa!  It’s a great pairing that I really like.

I’m working my way through all my winding of skeins and getting geared up for more thread dyeing.  Happily taking color suggestions.

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Winding, winding and more winding.

ThreadsGot my order of 50 balls of size 80 thread and cones in sizes 10, 20 and 40.  My next few weeks are going to be spent winding and winding thread.  So far I’ve finished the size 20, a chunk of the size 10 and about a third of the size 80.  The swift is cruising along and spinning at full speed, stopping only to allow me to cut out the knots whenever they come up.


The threads on the left in this picture are some size 30 Coats and Clark that I’m also going to get wound up and ready to dye.

Expect some new colors next month!



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New Threads Listed!

IMG_4164It’s been about two months since Shuttlebirds and since I last posted here, but tonight I finally took the time to sit down and get most of my threads listed on Etsy.  I say most, because there’s a still some others that I only had a few of each color combination and I just didn’t get around to.  Maybe I’ll get them listed in the future, but for now I’m happy with the 32 color and size combinations I have listed in the shop.


Now that I’ve got my listing process figured out (only took two months…) I’m looking forward to dyeing some more threads and getting them listed as soon as they’ve dried and been twisted into skeins.  Might still take meanwhile.  Just to add to the busy-ness of life, we will be moving at the beginning of next month so we’ve been rather distracted with packing up the house.  We’ve been trying to take it slowly and carefully and I think we’ve actually been doing a pretty calm job of it.  Starting a few weeks ago we’ve been each packing up at least one box a day and it’s actually it seem doable.  This weekend we decided that we’ve probably got to pick up the pace and do more than just one box a day, but I think we’re still going to be able to keep the stress down for another week or two.  I know the last week is going to be crazy, but we’re not moving far and we should have a couple days for the actual move, so if we can get the packing done we should be in good shape.

Hopefully lots of threads sell and they don’t have to be moved to the new place!  🙂

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Rainbow Threads

It has been a busy weekend.  Not only did I get all these threads dyed, but I also finished winding all of my cones of thread.  It’s pretty amazing to think that only a few months ago I bought 4kg of thread and now it’s all wound up into skeins and ready to go.  Actually I think over the course of the last few months I have dyed about half of it.  I’m hoping to dye most of the rest this weekend to take to the Shuttlebirds tatting workshop in Spokane.  I’ll also be bringing them to KCamp Wannatat the following weekend.  I’m really looking forward to that as well.  It’s our first time at the new location.  I’m sad that it won’t be at Bobbie’s familiar (and closer…) house, but I’m happy they’ve found a way to formalize it to keep Wannatat going and also have found a place that allows for a bigger group.  More tatters getting together is always a good thing.

I’ll be leaving for Spokane on Thursday.  The next few days are going to be an amazing rush of packing, thread dyeing, lots of twisting of skeins and labeling.  The biggest thing, however, will be cramming a week of work into 3 and a half days.   I’ll try to keep posting pictures, but don’t be surprised if I’m not very verbose to go along with them.  If I have a chance, I’m going to try to get the word press app to work on my phone and iPad so I can post from Shuttlebirds.  If I can’t get that working you can follow me on Twitter,

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photo 2

The bane of my existence these days has been the tiny little burrs I find while winding thread.  This last week I’ve been winding and winding and winding some more.  I’m hoping to actually get around to some actual dyeing of thread sometime this weekend.  In the meantime, I wind lots of thread and end up cutting out lots of these little burrs so that my skeins can be as perfect as possible.  They’re probably not actually perfect, but they’re as perfect as possible, so I’ll be happy with that.

I should have taken a picture of my new awesome swift and the way I’ve set it up with a digital counter to track the skeins as I make them.  I feel like this week I’m finally getting organized with the thread dyeing and I’m very excited about that.

Lots to do before Shuttlebirds.  I still need to take the pictures for the instructions for one of my classes, but otherwise I’ve got all my instructions in to Patti, so I’m feeling slightly more relaxed about the teaching stuff.  If I get around to taking the time to get all my samples together into one place and ready to go then I’ll really be able to relax.  Once everything for the teaching is done I’ll get to spend my time getting things ready for vending.  Since no one is “counting” on me for anything there I can take it a little more easy and just get done what I can get done without stressing out.

Four weeks till Shuttlebirds!  Can’t wait!

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New Doily! New Threads! So Much NEW!

DoilyI have been super busy this last month with my new job, with taxes for my accounting clients and with lots and lots of new thread dyeing.  Here is the first few rounds of a new doily from Priscilla Tatting Book #1.  I’ve been really focused on the first book since I’ve decided to publish my patterns in the same order that they are in the original books.   There’s another couple rounds left on this doily, but this was all that I could get out of the little mini-skien that I dyed in this batch, so the rest will be white.  I make mini-skeins for myself out of the leftovers from winding the 50 yard skeins that are for sale.  This one I’ve named Wisteria and it’s available in my Etsy shop.  It’s exactly the soft color change I’m going for with my HDT and I had a good time tatting with it.  Over the weekend I finally went through and got all my new threads listed.  Well, all of them except for the few that were still drying.

Doily 2

I have plans to do some more dyeing tonight, but we’ll see how my time goes.  Things have been so busy that I’ve basically just made a list and am getting to whatever I get to, but not trying to actually predict anything.

Let’s see… What else is new?  Mostly it’s the thread dyeing, but the other big thing is getting ready for Shuttlebirds.  Yesterday I finished up the instructions for the carnation hair clips, so I just have one left to do and then I’m ready for my classes.  Patti wants the instructions by the 28th so I should have it wrapped up by then.  The thread dyeing is a large part of getting ready for Shuttlebirds too, since I’m planning on selling there too.

Close Skein

I’m teaching this weekend at the Lacemakers of Puget Sound meeting too, so I’ve got to take some time to get ready for that.  I’m going to be teaching split rings and beaded split rings.  I’ll be teaching projects that I’ve taught before so the patterns are ready, I just need to get around to getting them printed out and double check that my teaching kit is in good order.   Nothing that will take long, but I’ve just got to sit down and do it!

That’s been a lot of my life lately.  Things that I’m super excited about and things that are mostly not too complicated to do.  Just need to get around to doing them.


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Dye Chips

Dyed RedI am slowly working through my dyes to make small samples so that I can have some examples of how the color takes to the thread when I’m picking out what colors I want to use during a dyeing session.  Sort of like paint chips, but with dyed thread.

When I say slowly, I mean that I’ve only got these three in various reds done.  Unfortunately I’ve confused two of them already and can’t remember which one is which.   Dyeing lesson #28.  When making samples, don’t do three baths of the same color all at once.  This weekend I’m planing on picking one blue, one green, one red and one purple and then labeling them as soon as they’re dry.


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