Saturday, 13 October 2012

Hand Dyed Rayon Embroidery Threads

Below are photos of the hand dyed Colours of the 4 ply Rayon Threads I have in my shop at the moment.  They work like  stranded cotton and can be used in any thickness from fine (1 strand) to thick (4 strands)
They come in 15 metre lengths and are $5.50 NZ
Payment can be by paypal or Internet Banking in NZ
Email me at if you are interested

These last 2 photos show some embroidery I did on Silk Paper
In the top one I explored all different sorts of Chain Stitches and used a variety of threads.  I was surprised how many chain stitch variations there are
The second piece is similar but the stitch explored was Blanket or Spaced Buttonhole Stitch. 
Once again there are many variations.
These exercises are a great way to learn new stitches
The idea also is to colour the Silk Paper in, with the stitches following the colours in the paper itself.
I trust you will enjoy doing this in your own style if you decide to try this idea

Friday, 7 September 2012

More Handspun Wools & Projects

These days I have been mixing fibres on my carder and dyeing the wools to spin. Check out the
skeins I have created lately....
These fingerless gloves were knitted from my handspun yarn which is a mixture of Merino, Alpaca & Silk.  It is a lovely soft feeling yarn.  I also knitted a lovely shawl in this colourway.

This is carded wool which was dyed then spun.  People love the bright colours.  It weighs 87 gms.

This yarn is a mixture of dyed Bamboo Fibre, Alpaca & Merino.  I am tempted to knit it just too see how the colours work out.  The dyed Bamboo makes it a lovely muted colour scheme. 
It weighs 110 gm.

These fingerless gloves are fun to do and only take around 50 gm.  This is an example of how my handspun wool knits up.  This skein was a mixture of Wool, Silk & Mohair.  The gloves are not exactly the same, but have the same colourways, so that makes them interesting.  The mohair makes them really cosy

These ones are knitted from Noro Silk garden Lite.  It is more of a challenge to get matching ones as the balls have longer lengths of each colour

This is the latest yarn I have spun.  I have mixed Merino, Alpaca and Dyed Banana Fibre. 
This combination gives a lovely feel.  As you work with the Banana Fibre it becomes really soft and cuddly.  It weighs 116 gm.

A few colours of Tussah Silk I have been dyeing.  I love working with colour and experimenting with colour mixing.  These ones are more muted, earthy tones, but I am working on lovely pinks, purples, apricots, golds etc for another posting.

This is a small amount from a bag of Perendale Sliver I have dyed.  I can just imagine what it would look like when spun....  I want to try them all...!

Sunday, 24 June 2012

BJ's Colourways - An Aladdin's Cave of Colour



Having enjoyed working with all sorts of Fibrearts for most of my life, opening BJ’s Colourways & Collectibles is the fruition of a dream 30 years in the making. Invercargill is certainly a place where dreams can come true.

The business has grown way beyond the initial vision, with many products being imported then dyed for your enjoyment as you use them.  My vision is to have a variety of products not readily  available anywhere else for the adventurous embroiderer, knitter, felter and all Fibre Artists.  Because most of my products are hand dyed, I am able to dye colours for all your projects.

I like to be able to help you learn new skills, and give you ideas for using new products, so you can create something individual, even if you have followed a pattern, but have used different threads or colours.

What treasures you will discover on a visit to BJ’s Colourways at 21 Price Street, Invercargill.  We are easy to find – first on the left off the North Road, behind Nichol’s Garden World, open 9am – 5pm

Some of those treasures are many colours in unique hand dyed:    

v  Colourful Rayon Threads in several  types, including Edmar Threads for Brazilian Embroidery          

v  A large variety of Silk threads - so easy  to use.

v  Tencel Threads in various weights.

v  Cottons and Fine Wools for Embroidery

v  Rayon Gimps and Nylon Ribbons which are a tube that can have a thread inserted to make cords

v  Hand dyed Lace Motifs

v  Silk Ribbons – 2mm, 4mm, 7mm & 13 mm

v  Silk Cocoons, Silk Rods, Sari Silk Yarns, Sari Silk Fabric Strips

v  Silk Fabrics to embroider on and Rayon Velvet all hand dyed in lovely rich colours

v  Ombre and Wire Edged Ribbons are a new product

And don’t forget the hand dyed Knitting Wools, and Merino for Felting

Autumn Vine on a Wall
Patchwork Silk fabric background
Sari Silk Ribbons as vines
Organza Fabric Embroidered with Rayon Threads for leaves
Mounted on a Painted Canvas

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Handspun wool & Projects

My embroidery has been put aside this week because I have been experimenting woth hand spun yarns.  By combining fibres together such as Silk, Alpaca,Mohair, Bamboo or Banana Fibre then spinning the dyed fibre, produces some of the skeins of yarn below.
The first 2 are a mixture of wool/mohair/silk.
The third skein is wool and these three have longer colour repeats

No 3 skein is a mixture of wool/silk and bamboo, plied with a fine silk thread.  It is dyed after spinning, so the colour repeats are short
No 4 skein is a mixture of wool/alpaca & bamboo
No 5 skein is a mixture of wool/alpaca & banana fibre
No 4 & 5 skeins have longer colour repeats
I have knitted hats to show how the colours work...

Also I have knitted a shoulder shawl with yarn spun from Ashford Silk/Merino sliver.  It is lovely to work with and would like to do more of this yarn too.

I will keep you posted with my projects so that you too may be inspired

Thursday, 5 April 2012


I live in Invercargill, New Zealand and am married to Bill.  I have 2 grown children and 3 grandsons.
I operate BJ's Colourways & Collectibles, a Fibrearts supply shop at home.  I hand dye most of my products and will be sharing many of them with you. 
I have knitting wools, handspun luxury wools which have merino or wool combined with silk, alpaca or mohair.  Also are hand dyed sik fibres and yarns, many embroidery threads and fabrics.
Jan Gibb

I have been working with silk threads on this pattern by Catherine Howell.  The threads are really easy to use and give a lovely effect.  Follow my progress....

Here are some of the silk threads I have dyed.  They are a 10 ply, meaning there are 10 strands of a fine (60/2) in each strand.  I use one fine random dyed thread with a plain one to give dimension and interest to my flowers and leaves.

Some of the other silk threads... I have several weights -  8/2 (thickest), 10/2, 12/2, 20/2, 30/2, 60/2 (Finest) in allsorts of colours.