The mad rush of creativity



When I refer to the mad rush of creativity, I’m not referring to a moment of creative inspiration that has to be followed up on. Oh, how I wish I were.  No, I’m referring to the mad rush I usually have to complete my crafts in.  Is the toddler asleep? The baby? Both at the same time? (!!)  Better get onto it then!


Now, knitting I can generally pick up and put down again, and lately it’s even been coming for car rides with me (yes, I do suspect DH thinks I’m mad). But when I have less portable projects, or something that needs to be completed in one sitting, it seems nigh on impossible to find the time.  Evenings by the time the kids are in bed, I’m generally happy to sit and knit rather than try to accomplish anything too ambitious.


Now, at the moment DH is on holiday.  But with masses of wee jobs around the house requiring doing, it seems like crafting time is more limited than ever.  Today, I made time to do some crafting though.  We are off on holiday on Saturday and I really wanted a bag to take my knitting WIPs in.


I used the tutorial for a Tiny Happy bag, and made a cute bag from stash.



Six or so months ago one of the two fabric shops in town had a closing down sale. Not their first closing down sale, but they actually did close down this time.  I was able to grab this cute quilting fabric for half price – I got a metre of the paisley fabric and fat quarters of three co-ordinating fabrics. So, I was able to make the bag with some cute co-ordinating pockets, I used the outer fabric for the inner as well, but with a strip of co-ordinating fabric as an accent.  And it was finished off with a toggle to close.  So now my knitting will travel in style.






And when that was done, the girls were still asleep (did I mention their late night on New Years’?) So, DH gave me a hand to make up the acid dyes he gave me for Christmas.  I got a lovely range of colours and had fun working on a skein of 5ply for a pair of socks, I wanted to get a rich semi-solid colour, and thought I’d take some pictures of the process to share.


First I washed the skeined yarn in dishwash liquid to get rid of any chemicals etc from the manufacturing process.  Then I took one of the colours and diluted it down as a base colour.  I put this on approximately half of the yarn, dotted around as shown. All of this was on top of my favourite big plastic bag which I use as a bench cover, easily wiped down and dried between dyeing sessions



. Then I went around the rest of the skein with the three colours I’d chosen which were tone on tone: cranberry, raspberry and boysenberry. I randomly dotted them on with squirty bottles, working through the yarn with my gloved fingers. 



 The skein was placed into a pot of lukewarm water and heated slowly to just below boiling point.  I then added approximately ¼ cup white vinegar in, making sure it went into the water, not on the wool.  The wool was left at this temperature for 30 minutes, with an occasional stir (the instructions were for more often, but that’s not realistic – the kids were up by then!).  I then turned off the element and let it cool. Otherwise it could get thermal shock and felt up if you plunge it into cold water.  Once it’s cool I rinsed it all out, squeezed gently and it is now drying and awaiting more photos.  The result was a rich, deep colour, can’t wait to see it dried! And knit up of course…


All in all, for an afternoon’s work crafting it was a huge achievement, as all too often all I get is the sewing machine threaded – or, maybe the tension set too – before a little voice starts calling to me. But I never know when I will have another chance to be so productive again.


4 Responses to “The mad rush of creativity”

  1. 1 SweetP January 2, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Well done, it looks great. Can’t wait to see what you knit with it.

  2. 2 Kelly January 2, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Well done chook. I love the bag – ’tis just lovely, and how neat that Mr Shortly helped with the dyeing 🙂

  3. 3 Viv January 2, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    I love the bag (and the socks too), looks very awesome. Those quilting fabrics are lovely colours. Can’t wait to see what else you make.

  4. 4 Hoaenz January 3, 2009 at 9:32 am

    oooo! nice! will be looking forward to seeing the wool once dried, looks like it will be yummy!

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January 2009
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