Friday, November 28, 2014

Darks For Black Friday

Let’s propose you want a dark background for a rug.
Look for some wool that is already on the way to being darker.  I like to use a four value range on the value scale for this type of work  ie: #4 #5 #6 #7.
It helps to save on dye if you are starting out with medium values for dyeing darks.

Here are a group of close values, use these to judge your selection.

Gather up different wool that fits a “mostly”, they might be mostly green, mostly grey, mostly brown... just choose the mostly that suits your purpose or what you have on hand. Use textures and little bits you might have leftover too. No need to worry about running out. Just make sure they fit your chosen “mostly”

 Here are the Mostly Greys for Old Stormy before dyeing

Wet your wool as usual with synthrapol or the wool wetter of your choice, shampoo without conditioner will work if you have nothing else.

Chose one dye from your selection that will get you the results you desire. Keep in mind what happens to certain colours when they are dyed with another, for instance, blue dyed over brown becomes tealish. Maybe you will want to add some black dye to deaden or some brown dye to dull according to what you need your dark areas to look like. Make that judgment as you dye. It takes about 1/2 tsp of darker dyes to make this much wool darker and keep in mind lighter dyes such as yellow will not make a dark colour for you.

A series of blue greenish wool over-dyed with black will give you a cool black. For a warmer one look for  a “mostly” that are brown.

Old Stormy

Gather 6 pieces of random grey textures and solids equaling 8 oz or 3/4 of a yd. Arrange them from light to dark and add them in that order. This will let more dye go into the lighter wool and less for the darker wool keeping the marriage close in values.
These were over-dyed with Majic Carpet Dyes. 1/4 tsp. Blue + 1/8th tsp. Black in a dye bath with plenty of room, with minimum stirring. Add 1/4 tsp of citric acid after 10 minutes.
When water clears rinse wool well and dry.

When you hook these types of backgrounds try random irregular sections of colour dispersed without planning.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Creative Prompt From The Welcome Mat

Take a minute for yourself today, see what your inner self says.

So often we are reminded to keep on track, to be focused, to get to the point.
A mind that can meander is a gift.
Wandering off the topic can bring us to a new vista to explore.
Let's exercise our wandering mind.
Think of a word, write it down. NOTE: Don't think at length about it, you need to automatically respond with the first thing that comes to mind, and continue to do so to tap into your wisdom.
Then write down the next word that comes to mind.
Book - shelf
Continue to add words until this feels complete, maybe 12 or so words.
Now look where your mind took you, hmmm looks like I need some recuperative time still.
Have fun with this.
How this helps with rug hooking:
Being able to let your mind wander is a way to connect to your innate intelligence. It is so useful when a problem arises in your rug and it is hard to make a decision. Even if you don't think you know what you want or cannot decide what you want that innate intelligence knows. This exercise is a conduit for it all to come out.
After all every part of making our rugs is a series of decisions, all creative endeavours are. Let yourself find out what you really want with your rug.
“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things” – Ray Bradbury

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Steaming- A Dye Method for Fancy Wool

Did you know we can dye our wool by using steam?

To process my wool pieces I lay out a piece of saran wrap and spot up a small piece of wool.
 The saran wrap/cling film must be larger than the wool.

I continue to add colour by pouring it on with a spoon. I have acid added to each colour.
When I've covered the wool as much as I'd like with my colours I roll up the saran.
I've used Majic Carpet  Bottle Green, Moss Green and Orange

There will be some drips as I roll and then coil my saran wrapped wool in a measuring cup.

I pop it in the microwave for a few minutes on high.

And here is what it looks like, I love the "bones" that appear from the dye settling at the bottom of the roll.

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Blue With No Name

Here is a sample of blue straight out of our Majic Carpet Jar: 1/32 tsp of dye over 1/32 yd. and below it a great formula for water on a dull day or a great quiet background.

Blue With No Name

2/32 tsp. Blue
1/64 tsp. Black 
I dyed a ¼ yd. pieces of natural wool in a regular dye bath method.
I dyed the wool without adding acid until most of the colour had taken up.
 At this point I added 1/64 tsp acid. I add more acid for darker colours, less for light.
Join the Majic Carpet Club at the WandaWay Studio to see my great tips on dyeing with all blue dyes.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Glorious News

Wow where did I go?
I was doing Grammy work.

And today my Wandaworks girls are coming and we are packing our wares and setting up our table at the Pottawatomi Spinners and Weavers Guild's Annual Show & Sale at the Owen Sound and North Grey Union Public Library. Owen Sound, Ontario. Come and see us there Sat. Nov 22 from 10:00 to 4:00, pm and Sunday Nov 23 from noon til 4:00 pm.  

We will have Majic Carpet Dyes and WandaWear in the form of hand dyed wool jackets scarves and silk ones too... and some art yarn fingerless gloves. 

Wool of course for spinning, hooking, knitting and weaving and applique and quilting. All dyed in gorgeous colourways. We will also have needle punching tools and demos.

And a whole assortment of deliciously dyed Gubbins to include in your art yarn.

And todays formula for Majic Carpet Dyes ( all the dyeing above was accomplished with them) 
2/32 tsp Orange
1/32 tsp. + 1/64 tsp. Red

1/64 tsp. Seal Brown

Over ¼ yd of natural wool in a dye bath with Majic Carpet dyes (though you can use which ever dyes you choose for possibly similar though not exact results)

Wet wool with an additive such as shampoo, Jet Dry or Synthrapol to prepare it to dye.  Heat a receptacle of water to dye in, for the smooth dyeing of ¼ yd use approx. 1 gallon of water.  Add dye formula into the dye bath, making sure it is dissolved.

 Add wool. Heat at simmer for several minutes stirring for smooth application of dye. Add in 1/32 to 1/4tsp citric acid depending how dark the colour, about 10 minutes into the process or until most of the dye is taken up. The latter is what I do. Continue heating until the water is perfectly clear or per your own directives.  Rinse well, use dryer or hang to dry.

And now I'm taking a week or so off for Grammy duty, what bliss! I'll see you soon!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Snow Is On - a dyeing video!

    Here is a quick way to dye snow from New Skills Monday on The Welcome Mat!

Here are the results:

Monday, November 17, 2014

Effective Habits for Rug Hookers and The Show is On

We were so busy here getting ready for the Pottowatomi Spinners and Weavers Show this coming week end.

 We made beautiful yarns, big crazy batts, wool for hooking or penny rugs and quilting. We have some hand dyed jersey cardiwraps, scarves and fingerless gloves! We are bringing kits of our Majic Carpet Acid Dyes for wool, silk and nylon of course and other amazing tools to use yarn with and delightful bags of gubbins to spin with.

We hope you will stop buy..... you know I love a pun!

We are up to our elbows in newly dyed goods to delight you with!
                                    You'll see some of them soon in the WandaWorks store.

On my free studio, The WandaWay our boon this week is about a 3 part career spanning series of 7 effective hooking habits. Three times in my teaching career I've visited the ideas I think help us be more eloquent story tellers and habitually successful in our hooking craft.
To see this boon please go to The Main, look in the middle section and scroll down

One of the effective habits I list is to Search The Welcome Mat,  it is the bargain of the century. You will never learn so much for so little, no matter your area of interest in rug hooking. It costs about 10¢ a day. That is as close to free as dammit is to swearing! Go here to join up. 
Another effective habit I gave was get help if you need it. I have a classroom in WandaWay Studio where I do individual, one on one tutoring for only $100, How much does 1 hour over a week at rug school cost you? That's about how much time I can spend with you there when my class is full. It is a wonderful way to get yourself going in the direction you desire. Includes a skype or facetime session!
People have told me lately they need me to build them a wool palette for their rugs.
I'm offering that service now online! It's called Build Me A Palette Please.
Also Citric Acid Crystals are now for sale at WandaWorks, we are flat packing them in 350 gr bags for cheaper shipping for Canadians!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Christmas is Coming

It's snowing here today and it turns us to thinking about warm colours and cheery fires and cozy dark nights curled up with your rug frame. Here is a warm old country red for you today. Humidify your house by dyeing!

Rufous Red

Over 1/8th yd. of natural wool in a dye bath method using Majic Carpet Dyes

2/32 tsp. Red
 1/32 Black

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

These Gorgeous Golds and Dyeing Them Over More Wool

I love showing you the wonderful variety of yellows you can dye.
I made a formula and from this got both a light and a darker yellow. I dyed only sample sizes of wool, 1/16th yd of natural wool with Majic Carpet Dyes using a dye bath method.

My yellow needs extreme heat and a low acid environment, this is why when I spot dye at 350˚F in my oven it takes up and also when I use my electric skillet, always set to 400 ˚F yellow gives me no problem. If I were you I’d not add acid until after all or most of the colour has disappeared from your dye bath. Heat up that dye bath and don't add acid until most of the colour has taken up. Steam can really get the temperature up so use a lid.

Dissolved in ½ cup of water

1/64 tsp. Yellow
1/128th tsp. Orange


To make Butter use 1 Tbsp. of Formula 1

 Buried Bullion

To make Buried Bullion add in 1/128th of Black and 1/128th tsp. Seal Brown to the remainder of Formula 1 or the whole ½ cup if you desire only Old Bullion. The 1 tbsp. added in or removed will not make a perceptible difference.
If you need a much, much brighter colour add no extra dye.

Expand these recipes for 1/16th of a yard into recipes for:
¼ yd. (multiply by 4)

1/64th tsp. x 4  = 1/16th tsp
1/128th  tsp. x 4  = 1/32 tsp.
1 toothpick  ½ inch x 4 = 2 inches of wet toothpick
1 toothpick ¼ inch x 4 = 1 inch of wet toothpick

For ½ yd (multiply by 8)
1/64th tsp. x 8  = 1/8th tsp
1/128th  tsp. x 8  = 1/16 tsp.
1 toothpick  ½ inch x 8 = 1/256th tsp
1 toothpick ¼ inch x 8 = 2 inches of wet toothpick

For 1 yd (multiply by 16)
1/64th tsp. x 16  = ¼  tsp
1/128th  tsp. x 16  =  1/8th tsp.
1 toothpick  ½ inch x 16 = 1/128th tsp

1 toothpick ¼ inch x 16 = 1/256th tsp.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Making Majic Jasper and Amber

I love my dyes and I always have even before I owned them.
 I hope you will enjoy these gorgeous fallish formulas.

2/32 tsp. Blue
1/32 tsp. Chocolate Brown

Wet Trunk Brown
1/32 Red Violet

1/8th tsp. Brilliant Green

3/32 tsp. Yellow

1/64th tsp. Blue Violet

 I used 1/8 yd of natural wool for each color. I used the electric wok and the crock pot and a dye bath method ( lots of water to cover wool and allow it some swimming room, raised to a steam producing temperature). Add formula to heating water, add wool, heat for 10 to 20 minutes until most of the colour has taken up and then add 1/32 tsp. to 1/4 tsp. of citric acid per colour. Stir and continue to heat until all the colour is absorbed.
Rinse well and dry as you wish.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Big Giant Stewpot - A Dyeing Method

I love using this method Michele Micarelli taught me.
It is useful for everything I can think of I'd hook.
I tend to use my canner and a wooden spoon and do quite a bit of wool at at time.

Great Big Stewpot 

Equipment: crockpot/kitchen kettle/big canner
wooden spoon handle (long) or chop stick

Here is the wool selection I used

According to the size of your pot select at least 1 dz assorted wools of varying colours, patterns, etc. Your objective is to have the wool float around some what freely. This is great for using up leftover pieces of wool or you can select new wool.  If your pot is big, I select bigger pieces or more wool. Your aim is to not have the wool packed in.

Decide on your main colour, write it down. Who are it's neighbours? Look
at either side of it on the colour wheel. Write these down.
If you pick red you will find violet, red violet, (red)
red orange, orange, yellow. Select dyes you have written down these will included your main colour and its neighbours to either side. If you must invite a neighbour from across the street remember they will be so dulling to the party.

Add wool to hot dye bath.
Wet spoon handle/chopstick.
Tap off excess water.
Dip directly into dye, stick into pot various places until utensil is clean.
Tap off excess water, dip into next dye stick into pot in new places.
Do this with each dye until all on your list have been used.
No stirring - Stick the dye covered spoon handle or chopstick straight to the bottom of the pot.
You might need to reload your utensil. I like to put  each dye in at 1/4 interval, like the points of a compass, I move a few degrees for each dye I apply.

Add acid after a decent interval with the same dipping method.

Here is the results of The Big Giant Stewpot

Here's the stool top I hooked with it as a background.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Over Dyeing Tips For Wool

I love being in the wool business. If you find merchandise is sitting on the shelf for awhile all you need to do is refresh it by over dyeing. Much better than selling lettuce or peaches or men.

Many of us throw caution to the wind and just throw everything in a pan and hope for the best when we over dye.
That's a great modality.

I'm much more controlling than that.
I want to see my expected outcome prevail or be bested.

It is good to have a chart that is general, not about any dye company but about 9 general colours of dye and 12 colours of wool and what happens when you mix them.

I happen to have made just such a chart.
It is free on The Mat
Or for sale in my store.

Look how pretty this part of it I'm showing you is!

It's a useful tool.

I have some great little tips on overdyeing for you too over where we practise Majic.
I think you should join The Majic Carpet Club. I give extra delicious tidbits there. And it is wonderfully, perfectly free.

Have a great day!
Get your Majic On here  Don't worry about the shipping charges - we refund excesses.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


We are Kicking some fine November arse over on The Mat.
We have two days creative prompts with a day between to ruminate that will take us all the way through.
People are doing some amazing things and are catching further ideas to build upon in the future!
Creativity is a vast ocean, gather it by drop, cup or tanker truck, it's up to you!
Join us!

Are you fractious over fractions when you dye?

Maybe this will help.
Man pretty much believes in the power of pie and feels it will help anything.

Many people have trouble with fractions and let’s face it we haven’t had to consider these in some long time. I want to give you a good mental picture to help you remember about what is bigger and smaller. We are all familiar with pie. If I had 512 of you come for supper and we had one pie, and you wanted an equal share you would get a very small piece. If I had 8 of you come over your piece would be much larger because the pie would only be divided into 8. When the number on the bottom of a fraction is large it is a small amount.

Here is a chart that helps show you the equal measures of all the fractions we commonly use in dyeing 

1 = 2/2 = 4/4 = 8/8 =16/16 = 32/32 = 64/64 = 128/128 = 256/256 = 512/512
1/2  = 2/4 = 4/8 = 8/16 = 16/32 = 32/ 64 = 64/128 = 128/256 = 256/512

1/4  = 2/8 = 4/16 = 8/32 =16/64 = 32/128 =  64/256 = 128/ 512
1/8  = 2/16 = 4/32 = 8 /64 =16/128 =  32/256 = 64/512
1/16 = 2/ 32 = 4/64 = 8/128 =16/256 = 32/512
1/32 = 2/64 = 4/128 = 8/256 = 16/512
1/64 = 2/128 = 4/256 = 8/512
1/128 = 2/256 = 4/512
1/256 = 2/512
1/512 = 2/1024

Each time we go up a measurement on this chart we darken the value of our wool by one step, if we go down this measurement chart our values will lighten by one step on the value scale. When you go across a line all the measures are equal.