Originally all our dyes were plant based and people had the skills and expertise to know how to make natural dyes which produced vibrant colours for clothing and furnishing. There is artist in Wales, Catherine Lewis, and you can see how she is contributing to the revival of using native plant dyes which are Welsh:
The Japanese are also reviving their historical knowledge of plant dyes and one of the prime movers behind that is Sachio Yoshioka. The colours he obtains are very striking. The process is careful and methodical and creates a slow living approach because you cannot hurry good plant dyes.
Every week we are treated to a feast of colours. It doesn’t matter whether they are hand dyed colours, commercial colours, colourways, colour combinations or natural colours, they are all exciting and have their impact. Every time you look at something you are wondering what the person is going to make with it or what you would make with it. You then see what happens and in the meantime you have been inspired to life your colour palette and ideas. The hidden agenda of subtle creativity is there for us just by looking. It’s the first hand experience of immersing ourselves in colour which makes us want to create and stimulates our ideas.
We are never blue when we are spinning but it is always amazing to see the number of variations on blue that we have. We can buy blue to spin or dye our own. We never tire of blue, probably because we spin by the ocean and constantly have that view to inspire us. Working with fibre is healing and relaxing. You just want to get that lovely colour and spin.
Health benefits of yarncrafting
Mental Health Benefits of Slow Yarn
Janette’s grandchildren are lucky. She makes them really nice blankets which are warm, a decent size, cosy and very cuddly. She knits them up really quickly after she has spun the wool. We loved the colours in this one because they represented the ocean we look at as we sit and spin. These are more the winter ocean colours. The blanket is spun from merino tops in colourways created by Bev Coulter and Kath Loman. Janette said these blankets work well as shawls too.