Friday, April 27, 2012


If you are in the Lake of the Ozarks area this Saturday, stop by the Lake Area Fiber Arts Festival in Osage Beach and visit us. I will have a sampling of most of my bases with me and I can take custom orders at the show.

And now on to the post below. I've been working on it off and on all week. It's one of those thought process/peek-behind-the-curtain posts. Expanding my product line beyond yarn and fiber has been on my mind a lot the last 6 months or so. I'm experimenting to see what works for me and what works for the shop.

The first thing I do when I stumble in to the kitchen each morning is to turn on the dye pots, because they take FOR-EV-ER to heat up. The second thing I do is check on the dyeing from the day before. In this case, it's Monday and I'm checking on the silk ribbon and silk hankies I dyed Wednesday of last week. I spent Thursday and Friday sick last week (this week, too) so no dyeing got done those days. .

The hankies turned out pretty good. They will be ironed later this week and put up in the Sulky Cat shop soon.
The silk fairy ribbon (aka crepe ribbon) turned out awesome, except for the orange one that I accidentally spilled blue dye on. No wait, that kind of looks awesome, too. I will order more undyed fairy ribbon soon for either the Dyeabolical or Sulky Cat shop.

 I'm satisfied with the wool/silk scarf I dyed. Satisfied enough to buy more scarf blanks, at least, so I will add a few of those to my order for the Sulky Cat shop.

 The silk embroidery ribbon looks great, except it is an tangled mess of epic proportions. It will cost me more in labor to untangle it than what I sell it for. I think I will temporarily abandon trying to dye this kind of ribbon and stick with my current method of acquiring hand dyed silk embroidery. That is, buy it wholesale from someone who specializes in hand painting tiny ribbons and offer it for sale in my shop along with a few other commercial supplies. 
1/2" bias silk ribbon...It's my first time trying to dye it while it is still on the spool. Other ribbon dyers swear that you just have to dunk the spool in to the dye for a few hours and let it wick up the dye. I think those other ribbon dyers must be either magical or liars. Or maybe magical liars. I have one spool that turned out very nice, if you ignore the fact the cardboard disintegrated and the spool, but it required a lot more time and poking than I was hoping or. It is now a tangled mess that will cost more to untangle than I can sell it for. The rest of the spools I tested are a disaster-a brightly colored on the outside, stark white on the inside. I can salvage it if I unwind the spools and paint each yard by hand. That will happen when I don't have anything else to do.

It is enough to discourage me from doing any silk embroidery ribbon or bias ribbon for awhile. This is my second time dyeing bias silk ribbon for sale. The first time I hand painted 2 yard lengths. They were pretty, but I had to sell them for so much per piece because of the labor costs that I ended up not selling very many. This second time is enough to discourage me from the ribbon dyeing for awhile.

In the meantime, on Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday of last week I cast on for a tank top pattern that is 5" too short for me and needs lengtheing, in the largest possible size, that requires 1 more hank than I have available, that is in the wrong gauge and is alternately too wide and too narrow depending on where you measure, and that needs to be done by tomorrow so I can wear it. I have to pack the car, set up for a show, pack orders, go to the post office, get pretty, my hands hurt, and I keep finding reasons not to knit (like blogging). Yet, I still hold out hope that 24 hours from now I will be wearing a tank top knit with my own 2 hands. I know all of you knitters out there know exactly what I'm talking about.


1 comment:

  1. Love the silk hankies, but I have a shawl to knit now;-P If you were me (and, thankfully, you are not) you will have back-up tanks. No way could I knit that much in 24 hours. And, best of luck at the festival!


Thank you for your comment! If you included your email address in your profile, then I will respond to you soon.