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Category Archives: Crochet

Coffee Dyed

Handmade cotton doilies Cotton doily Doily Coffee Doily Coffee dyed doilies Solar dyed cotton doily using coffee grounds Solar dyed with coffee Coffee dyed cotton doily Coffee dyed cotton Coffee dyed


Purple Plum














Crab Apple

Natural colour crab apple dye pink



Iron Mordant



Eco dyed, natural colour, no mordant




No mordant

Botanical Dye Project – Cotton. Part 2.

Cotton, alum mordant

Blueberry, crab apple, purple plum, coffee and cinnamon.

Cotton, eco dyed, alum mordanted. Purple plum, cinnamon, coffee, blueberryFree form cotton crochet.

Cotton, alum mordant

Top to bottom: Coffee, cinnamon, purple plum, crab apple, blueberry.

Cotton, alum mordant

Cinnamon, purple plum, blueberryCinnamon, purple plum, crab apple.

My Man’s Vest

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This vest is for my husband because we are moving farther North in September.

The wool came in the batch from my friend.

There were 3 spools of it, an odd mix of colours, but I though that the “bacon” and cream would go well together. I’ve saved the apple green for a vest for me that’s still in the making.

I couldn’t find a pattern I liked so I made it up as I went along. It’s not particularly fitted but I don’t think men’s vests are supposed to be. I’ve never been good at writing down as I’m crocheting. Sometimes that means that the right and left fronts of a sweater or vest don’t quite match but I’m sure I’ll get there on the precision one day.

The stitch is a fake basket weave, not crocheted behind and before the post but simply in the front or back loop alternating every 2 stitches. It’s crocheted in half-double stitches. I think that’s what they’re called. In between a single and a double. Anyways, I was using what I had and wasn’t sure I would get a complete garment but I did so I’m happy!


Vintage Crochet Sweater

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I finished up this sweater and thought I would share it with you.

I don’t usually like the way my crochet work turns out – funny fit, just plain rotten, you know.

This, however, was different.

A friend gave me an assortment of yarns including this vintage find.

At first I thought it was some sort of wool :)

Not up on my German!

It is a cotton/viscose blend.

The pattern is from Antique

I did something a little different with the sleeves because I wanted them 3/4 length and I never like the way the sleeves turn out in most of these patterns. I built them from the finished edge up into the armhole, fitting as I went and they turned out well. 


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Here’s some fooling around with tumeric.

Recipe and free pattern for the dish scrubby to follow.

Black Bean Dye Continued

To continue the Black Bean Dye escapade…

I thought I should boil it, I had read lots about boiling or steaming to darken the color and help it hold. Don’t have a steamer so couldn’t do that. I do have some of my rusty bits for mordanting but seeing as I don’t have a “mordant pot” yet I thought, better not contaminate the cookware.

I had read that with plant fibres like cotton tannins help to hold the colour so I put the dish cloth, bean water and a tea bag into a little pot on the stove. It never did quite get to boiling because after a half hour when I checked it the whole mess was ugly brown!!!!

Oh no!!!

I had remembered the same thing happening to the Hot Black Beans when heated. But there was still ever so slightly a purpley hue so I thought I might as well leave it overnight and see what happens.

This morning I rinsed out the cloth and let it dry. Amazingly enough, the color is lovely.

I can’t wait to try black bean dye on my silks, properly mordanted.

Black Bean Dye

I have all my fabrics, I know what I want to do but I can’t seem to get everything together, or have the energy, or have the time.

This is getting a little frustrating!

So I did something.

I am still mordantless and I don’t have a dye specific pot yet so I really shouldn’t have, but it was so lovely looking…

My husband Josh has found some truly marvellous recipes for beans that we’ve both been enjoying.

Except when the beans boil all over the stovetop.

This was, however, rather serendipitous in one instance as you shall see.

While making his splendid Hot Black Beans – good hot or cold actually – the beans, of course, boiled all over the stove. And what a glorious boiling it was. Black bean water everywhere! And what a glorious colour it was!!! It was a lovely dark shade of purpely brown. As I am new to dyeing I had no idea if it would work or if it would hold but it was a lovely idea to store.

Then tonight I got very fed up with my ratty old dish cloth and so crocheted a new one.

I had saved a bowl of black bean water from his last boiling.

It was sitting on the counter.

In went the new white cotton dish cloth and 5% acid {white vinegar – thank you Wendy from Threadborne}.

This is what it looks like now.

PS No new birds today :(

Freeform Crochet Scarf out of Vintage Cotton

Long hours in front of the computer or scrunched up scribbling during the research process often made my brain feel like squish. So I had to take a break now and then to actually do something and give my brain a rest.

I had been working on a bit of freeform crochet for a creative outlet.

My motherinlaw gave me some lovely vintage Phildar cotton from France. The colour is absolutely fantastic. I wanted to make a version of a scarf I had seen in Slovenia, a country well known for their beautiful lace. The only problem is that I can`t ever seem to make a pattern come out right and I really didn`t want to ruin this wonderful gift.

In looking around for other options I chanced upon freeform crochet. How can you go wrong when there really are no rules and no pattern? It was perfect.

The cotton is so thin that my hands would ache after working on it for awhile so it took me about 6 months to complete it. But finally I did and am very pleased with the end result.