This Week in the Dye Studio: Resist & Indigo Dyed Fabric

Posted by Kristine Vejar on January 31, 2013 1 Comment


This fabric is the basis for an upcoming resist and indigo dyeing class. We will also have fabric for sale which has been resist dyed and indigo dyed in the shop. Very soon.

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This Week in the Dye Studio: Yellow Based Greens

Posted by Kristine Vejar on January 28, 2013 3 Comments


Some of the hardest colors to photograph are naturally dyed greens made of yellow and grey. In person, these grey greens shift with the light, which one of their attributes which makes them so charming. Though when trying to convey their beauty and nuances over the internet, it can pose quite a challenge. 

We make these greens with plants that provide yellow such as fustic, osage, or weld and then we add a bit of logwood purple. Each yellow has a slightly different shade; some more yellow-green, some more golden. This shade of yellow and the concentration of yellow, combines with the amount of logwood purple affects the color. As learned from last week's blog entry about the process of creating a blue, green, and brown colorway named Mermaid, when this dye is first applied to the skein, it looks either yellow or brown, not green. With heat, the color develops, and the shade of green comes forth. 

Green colorways we make which use the combination of yellow and grey include, from lightest to darkest, The French Monk's Finest, Jade, and Cypress. As many of you know who have tried to order the famous French Monk's Finest, that chartreuse color is in particular hard to create because more times than not there is just a smidge too much logwood which sends it into the realm of Jade. Of course, we don't find this out until the yarn has heated, thus setting the color, making it too late to shift it back to the more yellow side of the spectrum.

Now one could ask, well why don't you measure more carefully? Right? Well, I wish it were that simple. Both the fustic and osage we use are in liquid form. In the case of fustic, the liquid sometimes separates ever so slightly. It's not visible to the eye. But can be felt by the texture of the water when stirring. So while I try to be extra careful, it is inevitable that the yellow on Pot 1 is more concentrated than on Pot 2. And all the dyes concentration shifts from time to time due to nature. We may have been using just a pinch of logwood and were able to get the right green. Though wait a few months, get a new shipment, and that pinch may be overkill. And once again we find ourselves with a large beautiful batch of Jade. 

This week, in order to try and get French Monk, I added the clear bright yellow dye, weld. I first dyed, the batch on the right, too much logwood, so now we have a new color called Highbrow for short (the long name is Not Quite French Monk but still Highbrow). Having learned from our mistake backing off the logwood, and increasing the weld, on the left, we achieved French Monk. Voila!

While I enjoy the challenge of working with natural dyes and establishing reproducibility, I hope in the next year to have more yarn dyed with the label Limited Edition. These are colors which were created by the dash here, an accident there, in which the plants and the yarn really have their own story to tell.

 The yarn pictured above our available for sale by calling the shop. They will also be with us at the upcoming yarn show, Stitches West, in Santa Clara. 

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This Week in the Dye Studio: Mermaid

Posted by Kristine Vejar on January 18, 2013 2 Comments

I've had the glory of spending a lot of time in the dye studio this week. I am under a deadline for an upcoming show which has given me the perfect excuse to ignore tidbits like bookkeeping. 

One colorway that is particularly hard to make is Mermaid. It takes concentration and time. Those 2 ingredients have been hard to come by in the last couple years - thus, the reason why this colorway has not graced the shelves of Verb very often. This week, I decided to buckle down and focus on Mermaid.

This first photo is of one of our sinks in the dye studio. Here I am painting the skeins of yarn with two dye solutions; one made of logwood and acacia. The other made of fustic and acacia. Now the trick of dyeing this, is that both colors, in this state look nearly the same. Though, as you will see in a moment, with the addition of heat and time, one of these two browns will turn into green. Well, it will as long as I have mixed it properly. There are days, that is doesn't. That means no Mermaid.

So once I painted this skein, I placed the yarn in a large pot and heated it for an hour. As the yarn and dye heats, voila, the color changed as I hoped from brown to green. I take the yarn from the heat and let it cool and rest for a day or so, and then I dipped into the indigo vat, adding the blue color.

Here is a photo of the yarn resting in a bucket, where it will be for the next week or so before it is finally washed, dried, and then labelled for the shop.

Till next week


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My First California Winter

Posted by Huelo Dunn on January 16, 2013 0 Comments
At the store:

a message from Cleopatra

On my needles:

Chunky Cowl in Imperial Stock Ranch Pencil RovingSkein Top Draw Sock

Hope you're all staying as warm as we are! -HD

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Happy New Year!

Posted by Huelo Dunn on January 07, 2013 6 Comments

Here at Verb, we have some big plans for the new year. 

Cleopatra taking a well-deserved nap after the Christmas rush 

2012 came to a busy end for us. The best part for me was helping all our lovely customers find what they needed for their beautiful holiday creations. We also saw lots of new faces, as people came in to shop for their crafty loved ones. It was inspirational to see so many people mark the season with mindful gifts, and gestures, that were homemade and from the heart. I got in the spirit myself with some Verb-supplied Christmas presents:

Cormo+Angora+Alpaca+Khadi= <3

Pictured above is Kristine's Walk in the Woods Cowl, knit with our Farm Series Cormo Worsted and Fibershed Handspun Angora/Alpaca, and a couple yards of our hand-woven, hand-dyed, hand-everything-ed organic Khadi cotton from India. Don't you wish *you* were on my Christmas list? Stop in to check out more samples of Walk in the Woods and grab a copy of the pattern with your yarn.

Now, the holidays are over, and we have some grey weeks ahead of us. January is the perfect month for turning inward and treating yourself, not just with something special, but with a new skill, or some extra time to work on what you like doing most. We’re really excited about our class schedule this month. Cocoknits is starting one of her knit-alongs this weekend, along with a class for designing your own top-down cardigan. If you’re an adventurous beginner who’s always wanted to try knitting lace, our Intro Lace class is starting on January 19th. It’s my first opportunity to teach at Verb, and I’m looking forward to sharing some of my favorite techniques.

our beginning lace shawl

We’ve also got even more of our Verb yarn on the shelves, and some exceptional additions to our Farm Series. Have you tried on our Cormo Weekend Wrap yet?

We’ve got lots of resolutions for 2013, including reviving our blog. What would you like to see more of on the blog? Tutorials? Photos of our store samples? Class information? 

And what’s your craft resolution for 2013? Are you a knitter who wants to learn to sew? Or needle-felt? Or dye your own yarn? Tell us in the comment section! 

 Thanks for reading,


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