With Friends Like These…

You never run short of creative focal points! Yesterday was a dyeing day again and my friend Sherry came over to dye a few items. She brought me three–yes, three!–great little gifts.

Hand dyed wool for my new felting machine…

Beautiful hand dyed wool

A cord with fancy Kumihimo braiding…

Japanese kumihimo braided cord

And she does dichroic glass work and had me choose a pendant from a whole box of absolutely gorgeous jewelry pieces!

Dichroic glass pendant

My eyes must have been glowing with creative fire when I saw all these. I know I will be using them soon…in fact, I think I already know how I will use the braid and the pendant! The needle felting is still too new for me to be sure of that, but those experiments are coming!

Then we went back to dyeing. Seemed kind of mundane after the excitement of gifts, but when I saw the fabrics folded up and ready to dye, I got excited to see what fun effects we would end up creating. I’m still in love with the tray dyeing, but the other girls did some more deliberate folding and manipulating of the fabric. We had new colors to play with and it was another delightful dyeing day.

I never have been able to work  well with gloves on…I end up with colored hands and fingernails that look like I have never washed!


Needless to say, I try to do my dyeing when there are no public appearances or nice dinners to go to! It goes away after a few days, but if I have a bunch of cleaning to do, this is always a good time to have my hands in soapy water!

In fact, I have fabrics to wash out right now. Better than scrubbing floors or dishes or bathrooms to get my clean hands! Can’t wait to see what results I get from my always spontaneous dye experiments! If it’s fantastic, you’ll see it right here. If it’s awful, it’ll be thrown in the basket for more experimentation. I’m always happy when that basket is empty!

The thought just ran through my brain…I know I always look at vendors who have hand-dyed fabrics in their booths. Is this something I should make a point to have available when I teach? If I do the beading classes with kits, should I try to feature hand-dyed fabrics? Or are there enough people doing their own hand-dyes that this would not be a big plus? I’m not terribly good at marketing, so I need to think things over for quite a while before I act. I’ll think while I wash fabrics!


4 thoughts on “With Friends Like These…

  1. Kathy,
    I hear Horse Shampoo is the same stuff we quilters use to wash our quilts. At the Quilt Store it has a fancy name, comes in a smaller container and costs alot more. At the Feed Store it comes in gallon size containers and costs a fraction of the price. I know some quilters in my guild use it to wash all of their laundry. Check it out.

    Susan Treloar
    one of the Glitz & Crap Sisters


    • Washing my quilts has never been a problem–it’s washing those dye-stained hands! But Horse Shampoo by any brand name has always been recommended for quilt washing because it is so gentle and leaves no residues in the fabric. I had forgotten about it, so thanks for the reminder!


  2. Dishwashing gloves (the yellow kind) work better then disposable latex gloves. Do you wear a dust mask or respirator when you work with the powders? You need to be careful or you could develop allergies to the dyes. And Reduran will remove stains from your hands perfectly, dharma sells it.

    Don’t mean to be a downer but using dyes is fun but safety with them is just as important. 🙂


    • You aren’t being a downer about safety precautions and I do observe them! But I always end up dipping too deep in the rinse bucket and getting my hands wet inside the gloves and then I’m uncomfortable…so I usually just don’t bother with the gloves. I’m also too cheap to order Reduran, but I think I need to on my next order. The stained hands are just a little too unattractive!


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