Monday, February 22, 2010

It’s a Woolen Springtime

It’s in the air, I just know it is … Spring, that is.   I’m getting that “Spring Cleaning” kind of feeling now too.  Even though it’s only February, March and spring weather is right around the corner and I feel like repainting all the rooms of my house.  Oh, wait, that’s a lot of work!
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just flip a switch and your wall colors would turn a different color? 
Can someone invent that please?
It’s not really feasible for me to paint all my rooms, but I can easily change the colors of WOOL!
100_3500 Dyeing wool was my Saturday afternoon project.
These wool springtime colors just make me happy.  Aren’t they soooo  pretty? 
I have a project in my head which will use ALL of these colors. 
My supply of wool colors has been running low and I’ve found myself doing the “dye as you need it” method.  It’s so nice to be able to go and pick out exactly what color you need right when you need it rather than have to take the time to dye the color.  So for that reason, I like to have a supply of assorted basic colors on hand.  I can always quickly overdye these colors if I need them a bit darker or more mottled, so I’m saving time in the long run by taking an afternoon to dye a lot of wool.
I dyed up a bunch of assorted colors of greens too so that I can have my pick of leaf colors. 
Which reminds me,  I get quite a few emails which ask me where to find the wools.   I know I’ve mentioned it here, in my blog, but I guess since there are new readers coming in all the time, I’ll do a little review.
I used to get most of my wools from recycled clothing, like wool skirts found at thrift/Goodwill stores.  That’s the ideal way to do it because it’s  inexpensive as long as you’re willing to prepare the wool properly after you purchase it. 
As much fun as it is to go to different thrift stores, looking for the hidden treasures, I just don’t have the time anymore to do that … and besides, 100% wools are getting more and more difficult to find at thrift stores now because so many people are collecting it. 
So I do purchase new, off the bolt wool fabric. 
Off the bolt wool fabrics can be found at your local quilt stores, and please, please support your local quilt shops before going off to any other online shop.  They will really appreciate your business.
If you don’t have a local quilt shop, there are a few woolen mills that I highly recommend for wool.   Dorr wools and Woolrich wools are the two that I’m most familiar with and their wools are so beautiful that you’re sure to be addicted and will never want to go back to woolfelt again.  Oh, that might be a bad thing, because it is expensive but it’s worth it, I promise.
I know our local Joann fabrics has a small selection of wool suiting fabric, but it’s made in China quality. 
There are quite a few Ebay sellers that sell their hand-dyed wools.  Some of them are fellow bloggers too.
If any of you fellow wool lovers out there know of a wool source that sells quality wools, please give your suggestions in the comments.  
Ok, I’m off to babysit the grandson today at his house and I need to pack up my stitching things to take along with me.  I get a lot done during his naptime.
Oh .. here’s just a little sneak peak at my current project.  I’ll try to finish it up in the next few days so watch for the update on that.  It’s a spring penny rug tablerunner and here’s just a small sample of what it looks like ….
100_3501 Yes, it’s a dark picture!  I want it to be a big surprise so I’m not giving too much away.  I’m so thrilled with how it’s coming along that I just can’t stitch fast enough to get it completed!
Happy Day everyone!


Buttonchief7 said...

Since I'm busy with daycare in our home that's 10 miles from the big town I've got 3 friends who are my wool pickers. And they know which day all things go for ten cents. I create things all year long for just one open house at a friend's so the supplies can overwhelm and they have to stop bringing things. Wish they could be shared with you. Peggy

Cat Haven Crafts said...

Thank you for this great information. I have a wool source close to where I live called the Woolen Needle. They also have many of their own wool patterns for sale. I visit there every two months or so, especially for unique colors in their "ends" bins. Here is their website if any of you are interested - Also, I still search the thrift/Goodwill stores because I hate paying alot for black background wools! :)

Barb said...

Oh, I just love those pastel colors--I can't wait for SPRING! I think those are the colors I will have to use to begin wool work with! I can't wait to see what you use them in! Thanks for sharing! Great information!

kimland said... nice to see some warm colors, I am thinking spring/summer.

Lisa said...

Looks yummy!! I cannot wait to see your new designs!!
Hugs, Lisa

Nancy said...

Cathy, these are so pretty!

I am clearing out my Google Reader and caught up. Your snow stories remind me of my last year in PA. 1996? Husband in Japan, me with a 5 year old, 5, yes, 5 feet of snow outside all my doors. It took 4 days to get us plowed out. They used a backhoe after 3 days, which I found very strange.

So, that began my willingness to move to Florida! (you know if you are a northeast gal, Florida is where OLD people go!) And, so began the best years in the sunny south.

How did I get to Vermont? Geesh! I did NOT sanction THIS move. We have had little snow so far this year. But, there is still March, April and May to catch up. Gray here for months now.

Loving the Spring wool.

janice said...

Beautiful spring colors. I've been following your blog for a couple months and have learned some great info. I was wondering what kind of dye do you use?

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Love your little stash of hand dyed pastels Cathy!! And thanks for the wool source info.

Mrs Raymond said...

Hi, could or have you already shown how to dye your own wool? That would be a great tutorial next time you do it. Thanks, Charlene