Saturday, June 1, 2013

Crazed about scarves!

My blogger buddy Sherrie of "Sherrie loves color!" recently blogged about a new scarf she made - you can see it here - and it reminded me that I have been wanting to try making one ever since I saw another of her posts last fall... they are so beautiful, whimsical, very chic!  So, I finally broke down and bought the Sulky solvy stabilizer which she uses in her process, and dug out lots of decorative yarns, pretty scraps of silky fabrics, etc.  I followed her directions, and here is my first scarf:
Some of the fabrics in this scarf are at least 20 years old, but they worked very well in combination with the various yarns I put with them.  I love how it looks, but as I mentioned in an e-mail to Sherrie, the scarf is a little stiff.  I'm guessing I didn't remove all the stabilizer after I finished stitching the piece together.  It's been hand washed twice, but I might try a third time, followed by a textile softener I use when laundering my scarves.  
Meanwhile, I have a slightly different version I'm thinking of trying, although it might not work.  But in preparation, I decided to use up some of my dyes and some cheesecloth:
I want to change the subject briefly here... ever since I started dyeing back in 1998, I have heard from a large number of reputable sources that Procion MX dyes could only be stored for about a month before they would lose their capacity to bond to fiber, and any projects using older dyes than that would end up very faded.  So for the longest time, I would throw away unused dyes that had been sitting for over a month.  I know that professional tie-dyers tend to want their shirts to be uber-vibrant, and I get that.  But since I also do a lot of fabric dyeing for various projects, I gradually began to experiment, just to see how well the dyes did after being stored for longer periods.  The examples above are from dyes that have been stored in the garage for various lengths of time, but of all the dyes, 2 have been stored for over 14 months, and one for over 6!  So if you dye, and have been concerned about using the dyes before they lose their strength, try storing in a cool place away from the light... I know that Dharma Trading's Lemon Yellow and Bright Green fade faster than some of the others, but generally, I wouldn't be concerned unless you absolutely must have a very bright color!  
Back to the scarves... I am considering using the cheesecloth instead of the stabilizer to hold the snippets of cloth and yarn together while I stitch the scarf... only concern I have is because the cheesecloth is so loose-woven, it might become tangled in the machine while I'm stitching.  I'm going to give it some thought before I procceed, and maybe do a very small swatch to see how it acts.  I'll post again when I come up with my next one, and let you know how it turns out.  Meanwhile, thanks again, Sherrie, for all your wonderful inspiration!  

1 comment:

Sherrie Spangler said...

I LOVE your scarf, and the cheesecloth idea sounds intriguing. I've used scraps of cheesecloth in mine but never used it as the stabilizer. As for the stiffness, I squeeze my scarves under running water for a few minutes before swishing them around in a sink of water. That might help. Carry on!