Monthly Archives: September 2011

Salvaging and/or ruining my clothes with RIT dye



If you’ve been admiring the pretties and shinies Steph has been making, zir chain maille is now available in our etsy store. Check it out! They are our featured items this week.

The boi and I had a bunch of clothes that were either old and becoming that color Eddie Izzard refers to as “pants left in wash,” or unusable because they were white and we have a black cat and no good can come of this combination.

RIT dye is cheap and easy to use, and you can do it on your stove top if you have a big enough pot. just follow the instructions on the back of the box. DO NOT DO WHAT I DID and decide the color needs to be darker after the clothes are in the dye bath and blop some more dye in on top of everything, not even if you make a little dent in where the clothes are and stir it around a lot really fast. This DOES NOT WORK and you will get big dark spots on your collar like me. Also, wear an apron.

Most of it came out nicely though. I used the “wine” colored dye. Here is when the Legalize Gay underoos first went in the dye bath.

After we added the eye of newt and toe of bat, the color darkened considerably.

After stirring for about 45 min, I rinsed the dyed clothes in the sink and set them to dry by the lemon-tree-inna-bucket.


1 skirt

3 t shirts

1 foofy pirate shirt

1 pair political panties



1 blotchy polo, to be cut up for other projects

the shirt I was wearing while dying this stuff

1 wooden spoon, to be earmarked for art projects only from now on.


The Ball IS Chain!


Hey Everyone,

I just learned how to make cute little keychain balls out of chainmaille rings and wanted to share it with you!

First, link 5 sets of double links together (hint: it’s easiest to follow and do if you use 2 colors, but feel free to experiment!)

Then, add 2 more sets of double links to the center.

Next, connect the outside links to each other, like so:

Now… Do it all over again! This will leave you with 2 halves that you can begin to connect.

Keep going around the ball, adding colored links between the silver links. Each silver set should have 5 colored sets going through it. It can get really tight really fast in the weave. So if you need to leave an occassional double link as a single to close the ball, do it and then try to go back and add the second link later (see below).

Finally, you can pick a colored set of links and start adding on the keychain connection. This can either be a single color or alternating. I used a split ring right at the top to connect it to the larger keyring.


Thanks for tuning in,


Show and Tell!


We actually have finished projects to show this week! First, here are a couple of things I made using my little loom. They were presents for my mom and sister. This purse is sooo soft and fuzzy!

Too hot for scarves now, but it’ll feel like fall soon enough.


Here are some pictures we did for the Tikkum Olam project at the JCC. They’ll be part of a collective grid of 12X12 inch pictures responding to the worlds’ crises and disasters.  Stephan did one about the all the fires we’ve had in Arizona this year. Ze was really excited about lighting the canvas on fire.

I did one regarding the bee die-off. Bees, I love them.



If you live in Tucson and want to come see all the Tikkun Olam artwork, here’s a link to the info about the reception that’s taking place on September 18:

Recycled broomstick skirt yarn tutorial


Hello hello,

Do you have any of those great swishy broomstick crinkle skirts that manage to get holes in them after a few zillion wearings? I have a growing stack of them- the fabric is too pretty to throw away, but they’re torn up beyond mending.

I was inspired by this gorgeous recycled sari yarn, on sale here by awesome ETSY seller Crochetmushroom, to make my own weaving material from my old well-loved skirts. I love the idea of taking clothing that was once useful and beautiful and bringing new life to it.

Here’s how I did it:

1. Get one of your old broomstick skirts out, or purchase one from a thrift store. Here’s the one I’ve been demolishing. It was longer than this before I started cutting it up. This one is 100% cotton.

2.  Start cutting a strip from the bottom hem in the width that you’d like your string to be. If the material is woven in such a way that it can be torn easily, then rip away! If not, keep cutting with your scissors, around and around the bottom of your skirt and working your way up.

If you’re tearing, the strip may become wider than you’d like. If so, just take your scissors and narrow it back down again, then keep tearing.

3. When you reach a point when the fabric strip breaks off, just start a new strip. Tie the two strips together so you have one long strand.

4. Make a ball of the strips. Start by winding the strip around two fingers as shown. Then you can start wrapping the strip around itself to make a nice ball.

5. Use your new recycled material to craft whatever you’d like! I am using mine on my homemade backstrap loom to make a scarf.

Much thanks to Stephan for photoshopping these pics into something passable. I have just about had it with the ornery and obsolete digital camera we’ve been working with. Do you have a digital camera that takes great pictures? If so, I’d love to hear about it.

Have fun tearing it up!