Dyeing day with Melinda

Yeaterday, I spent a really interesting day with Melinda and two of her friends doing some natural dyeing. It is all very ‘hubble bubble’ and I had to dash off to pick up my Sterling Shopping order and leave Melinda with the cleaning up.. This was my first (not very good) effort, using turmeric and cochineal. Sadly, it is felted. Maybe someone out there will have an idea how to use it – collage anyone?

Soap packing

Yesterday, I packed up some of the soap I made in September on Melinda’s soap making course. They are wrapped in tissue and then pretty fabric tied with ribbon. These are destined for Jo and Brigitte to thank them for the walnuts. And the black and white one went to Margaret for her help with the picking.

Last week was really different. I want on a soap making course with Melinda Coss in her house in Larocal. Melinda is the acknowledged expert on this subject having started a business initially from a hobby in her kitchen progressing to large industrial premises where she and her staff made superbly natural soaps and toiletries for Harrods, Tesco, Safeway, Asda and Sainsbury in addition to supplying exclusive shops and hotels in the UK and in France. Melinda is currently involved in setting up soap making units in rural Tanzania & in Cape Town to encourage and enable young people to run their own businesses.


Over the years Melinda has written books on just about every craft you could imagine, but it was our common love of knitting which made the week extra interesting.

My lovely soap! I just have to wait 4 – 6 weeks now until it cures. Lots of lovely Christmas presents…. They smell divine – I can’t wait to use some.

During the week, we had lots of time to talk about making soap as businesses and other ideas focussing on development of Alba Yarns. I left with my head buzzing! This week has been busy following up leads, so watch this space for news of developments!