Natural dyes

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.

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So many hats

We never get sick of making hats and we never tire of looking at them. Now the weather is cooler the hats are coming out again. We see so many hats but each one has a style and personality so it is always fun to see them. In our opinion there can never be too many hats. You need them for different moods, weather conditions and jsut to cheer you up. We have differnt beanie fests which come up at this time of the year too so we like to make hats for those and some of the group make hats for charity as well. We like to support those groups who ask for hats for people who need them. This week’s hats were no exception. It was good to look at them and each one had a different appeal.

Pomegranate dye

pomegranate dyeCathy dyed some English Leiceister fleece with pomegranate seeds and skins. The fleece was white but after being in the pot for hours it became, well, sheep coloured. A creamy, yellowish colour like wheat. Pomegranates are high in tannic acid so you do not need a mordant. The net bag got eaten through though ,which was a first for her  when using natural dyes. It wasn’t a problem…big sieves work well.

She carded it and is now mixing that to make wool batts which include a bit of sage green merino tops and some gold thread. All of that looks good together and we look forward to seeing how it spins up.

The yarn on the right has been dyed with onion skins and then there is some yellow merino tops and white alpaca mixed in.

Show and tell

Marina : 2 balls of spun yarn in muted pastel shades of blue, 1 yellow/cream mix, 2 beanies in a spiral rib orange/cream, 1 ribbed in a blue mixture.

Cathy :2 carded batts yellow with muted green & gold thread carded through. Pomegranate natural dye.

Sheila: showed us the finished jumper she was working on last week in a photo on her phone:Granddaughter wearing the jumper.

Hilary :2 berets in very bright multi-coloured greens, 1 skein of spun Ashford wool/silk mix.

John : the weaver has started a new project weave a heritage pattern for a table runner.

Peter ,John’s apprentice, is working on his ruck sack.

Maria : a sample of a colourful crazy crotchet square.