25 Jan 2018

My yarn dying workshop experience

In December, my BFF Becky and I went on a yarn dying course! We're both huge knitting fans, and had been eyeing up gorgeous (and expensive) hand dyed yarns for years. We decided as a Christmas present to each other, we'd go on a course together to learn! After a lot of research, we discovered a place near Andover, North Hampshire called Beaker Button. It's run by a lovely lady called Jen who is passionate about all things yarn-based. Her beautiful shop was a cave of inspiration and gorgeous colours. 

The class was £40, and there were only the two of us. We got 3 skeins of sock yarn each and learnt 3 different dye techniques - kettle dying, hand painting, and dip-dying. We learn to hot-dye, and how to do it at home. 


Jen was a brilliant teacher - so knowledgeable and confident in her well-practiced skills. She was hands-off enough that we got to mess around, choosing and mixing dyes and playing with colour schemes. However she was also always watching us (usually me!) like a hawk to remind me not to let colours touch, where I'd missed and to remind me to put bright colours in for change! She had a great eye for colours too. 


She then taught us how to wrap, heat and prepare our newly dyed yarns for knitting. We learnt lots of little bits for how to do it and took home some dye to play ourselves. I was amazed that using the same three colours: grey, teal and yellow, I got so many different looks (plus I pinched some purple from Becky for my dip dyed one)

L-R: Kettle dye, hand painted, dip dyed


I knitted mine up into an asymmetric scarf, perfect for spring! Look at the colour pooling! It was really fun to knit up, and see how the colours fell (geek!) This is it blocking out after I finished it.


If you have a knitter in your life, I'd really recommend taking them to this class. I feel really confident now and am going to have a go at making my own kettle-dyed yarn for a jumper - I love that gentle, variegated effect.
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17 Jan 2018

Stationery addict - my new office

New year, new job! When I'm not blogging or knitting, I have a real job! I'm a Psychologist in a hospital and in my new role I have my own desk! I was recently contacted by a stationery company called Mustard about their range of bright, fun things and they kindly sent me a few bits and bobs to look after me




My particular favourite thing is the tiny pencil case (£8) on an elastic - it's absolutely genius! Now I can keep my diary shut and I always have pens for writing in my diary. It also has a tiny lucky cat zip pull


The range of sticky notes is INSANE! I love a sticky - I have them dotted everywhere. It started out  a helpful habit, but now I have so many with "important" notes dotted around that I have gone note blind! Like my other habit of highlighting everything so nothing ends up standing out! 


I love these marbly ones (£6) - they're all different lengths and my geeky thought is the sticky area is really large so they stick really well. I also got rainbow ones (£6) which have a stand so they look gorgeous on my desk. I don't really want to use them. The marble block (£8) isn't sticky, but so helpful for taking a quick number or phone message down. 

At lunch, I also have some new treats. My HydrateM8 bottle broke really quicky so I luckily got this new fruit infusing water bottle in a watermelon print (£15). It has some little markers on the side with encouragement to drink, my favourite saying "looking good!" I popped some frozen berries into the middle infuser and left it with water in overnight for some yummy juice!


and my favourite thing ever - a t-rex lunchbox in dayglo brights (£8.99)!


So far I'm settling in well. The staff seem really lovely and I'm excited to move. I still haven't - sigh. The sale fell through again but hopefully will be coming together soon. 
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