As I couldn't make my mind up about which colour to use for my latest show bear's paw pads, I decided to create a little hocus pocus in my kitchen ... (bear with me, this post will come clear I promise!)
My plan was to colour match the yarn planned for my newest bear's outfit, so I kept the yarn to hand, while I hunted through my cupboards for some useful equipment ... a saucepan, a couple of bowls, a sieve, a spud masher and a leftover tub of blueberries ... !
First I boiled up the blueberries in a pan of water ...
As the mixture boiled, I gently mashed the fruit to release the rich natural colour.
After leaving my mashed blueberries to simmer for a while, I strained the hot blueberry juice into a bowl.
Then added table salt to the juice bowl to help set the colour.
Next I plunged my square of white wool felt into the bowl, stirring regularly to ensure even coverage. I covered the bowl with cling film and left it to stew for about an hour.
I read somewhere that plunging naturally dyed fabric into a bowl of iced water helps set the colour when stewing is complete, so I did that too! Lastly, I rinsed the fabric to remove any little fruit particles and left it to dry flat.
And these paw pads are the finished result - a very pretty shade of blueberry lilac!
Unfortunately, when they had dried I decided the lilac blueberry paws weren't the right shade for the bear I was working on (pic below) but I'm really pleased with the outcome of my hocus pocus session and will store these paws in my felt box for use another time. Natural dyeing with fruit has been great fun and now this curious witch is keen to discover what other magical colours she can conjure up!
Oops! Nearly forgot to mention my finished bear! Here she is ... this is 'Clover,' a lovely mauve Miss!
'Clover', a centre seam bear, will make her debut (complete with velvet paw pads!) at the 'Winter Bearfest' show on in London on 22nd February. For full details, please visit www.allbear.co.uk