The Modern Natural Dyer Work-Along: January Wrap-Up

Posted by Kristine Vejar on January 31, 2016 0 Comments

Wow! Here we are at the end of January! Which also means we have completed month one of The Modern Natural Dyer Work-Along.

Here's a recap:

This month, I set out to create and complete two projects from The Modern Natural Dyer: The Northwoods Hat and Sock Hop. Both projects provide a great entry into learning how to naturally dye protein- and cellulose-based fibers.

I dyed my skein of Quince & Co. Puffin a light shade of purple using logwood. For those of you who are would prefer to wear a cowl instead of a hat, using my light purple skein of yarn, I created a new pattern for you: The Northwoods Cowl.

Here is a list of other cowl and hat patterns you might enjoy:

Cullien Cowl
Gilsland Cowl
Kelpi Cap
Rubens Cap
Sporting Beret
Drop Stitch Cowl
Dottie Hat
Crow Cowl by 
Autumn Hat

I dyed with socks a vibrant shade of pink using cochineal. I used a bath of wheat bran as I prefer it when working with knit fabrics (as opposed to a chalk bath). Once my socks had been scoured and mordanted, I pinched the fabric, and secured the pinches using button and craft thread, following the instructions for the Waves Bandana. After I finished dyeing my socks, I untied the thread - revealing a series of organic polka dots. I love how the dots are slightly irregular, illustrating the beauty and organic nature of hand-made, rather than machine-made. Adrienne modeled my socks - she is a better dancer than I am ;). Feel free to make your own Sock Shop video! I'd love to see your socks in action!

My goal was to bring you along with me as I made these projects, I blogged about the process, documented my progress on Instagram, and held Q&A on Periscope. I taught a Natural Dyeing 101 class. I released two classes on Creativebug as another avenue for those of you who are trying to learn about and how to use natural dyes.

Thank you to everyone who has documented your process on Instagram and have used #themodernnaturaldyerworkalong - I search on this hashtag and see your dyeing and it absolutely makes my day. There are photos of people receiving packages of scour, mordant, and dye, steaming pots, and dyed goods!

It has been so wonderful to see everyone using the book and natural dyeing! I know I keep saying that - but really - I spend a lot of hours in my studio in my own bubble dyeing - and I spent a lot of hours alone thinking about how this book would work - how it could work - and hoping that it would provide useful instruction in the natural dyeing process - and would help motivate people to try natural dyeing. Kind of selfishly, because I love to use natural dyes and want to chat about it with others! To share a common language. As more of us learn this language and can speak fluently, the deeper we can go to trying new techniques, exploring new dyes, and documentation parts of the process that have little to no documentation. It is a very exciting prospect. So thank you for talking to me about it! I am thoroughly impressed by those of you who really jumped in with both feet! And for those of you who are still on the fence, I hope this discourse and visual journal will help you feel more confident to jump in!

In February, the focus of The MND Work-Along will be to complete The Wanderlust Bag. When looking at the shade card, there are a lot of colors that are missing - such as green. I will discuss how to combine dyes to create more colors - and more shades of colors. I am especially excited to add sewing to our repertoire. There are two classes at Verb designed to help you complete this project:

The Modern Natural Dyer Work-Along: Wanderlust Bag
Sewing the Wanderlust Bag

Jumping ahead to March - I am teaching a dyeing class dedicated to the Sandstone Shawl. And for you indigo-lovers, I am teaching Indigo Resist Dyeing at the UC Botanical Garden as part of their annual Fiber and Dye exhibit.

Thank you again for making January such a success. I look forward to working alongside you in February!  

-- Kristine

P.S. It is never too late to start working-along! If you are feeling inspired to jump in, we are offering 15% our Northwoods Hat kit, Sock Hop kit, and the Creativebug scarf kit through the month of February.

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