In the Dye Studio: AVFKW Gather Yarn

Posted by Kristine Vejar on October 18, 2018 0 Comments

We are pleased to announce our newest yarn, Gather, made of 75% California Rambouillet and 25% Arizona Alpaca.

I am here today to tell you the story of how Gather came to be because I love to explore the intricacies of how things come to be, and how they are made. I mean, I love yarn, so yeah, that could be enough, right there and then, but there is so much more, why not share it? Especially because it is full of knots! And why are knots exciting, I don't know - ask any number of twisted knitters who enjoy untangling skeins of yarn.

I like things that fit nicely into neat boxes. Is that my Midwestern upbringing? Perhaps a genetic disposition - following in line with the women in my families disposition of cataloguing and organizing anything; cookbooks to bank statements (for fun). I look around the internet and see others' lives of well-organized,  structured intentions, design, their products executed beautifully, and want to cry wishing that I could do the same. Well, my story of making yarn is anything but neat and tidy. It's actually quite messy. And at some point, isn't it just better to embrace the chaos? Maybe? With the hope in the future, things will get ironed out. That with each experience we learn more, and we adapt, grow, and design.

Perhaps one day my mind's eye will land here on planet Earth. If so, here is what it would look like: a collection of yarns made from local wool, local dyes, and milled locally. To have a yarn which supports local farms, has a low carbon footprint, and is a yarn people want to knit with.

Instead let's look at our current reality:

Horizon, our first farm yarn is made from organic Merino wool raised by Sally Fox, about 90 miles away. Flock is sometimes made of Sally's wool. And sometimes it is made of wool grown about 100 miles away from here in Boonville. All of this wool is shipped to Green Mountain Spinnery in Vermont where it is milled organically into yarn, and then shipped back to us to be sold in either its natural state or naturally-dyed in our studio, and then placed on the sale floor where you buy it, and then make it into beautiful blankets, sweaters, scarves, and so forth. We buy wool locally to support local farmers, so they can keep farming, but also wanting to keep our carbon footprint low...except the wool is traveling across the country. And back. But. Sally grows organic cotton on the same land which supports her sheep. And there she is sequestering a great amount of carbon due to the deep roots of the cotton. So does that make up for the transportation? And we love Green Mountain Spinnery, and want to continue to support that. Oy! So in this case, we can check off the box of sourcing locally-grown wool and supporting our local farmers, we can definitely check the box of people liking to knit with it (thank goodness!), but the carbon footprint....eeeeh, kinda sorta but not ideal.

I am always poking around exploring possibilities of other mills who could make out yarn, and who are closer to us. My friend Mary, who is the owner of Twirl yarn, suggested I meet with the Rob and Donna who own Mystic Pines Mill in Northern Arizona. Last June, I was headed to Flagstaff to give a keynote speech at their wool festival. I flew in a couple days early so I could visit the mill.

Rob and Donna gave Adrienne and I a tour of the mill. As we walked around the property, Rob explained that when they decided to live in this rural, high-desert area, it was cost-prohibitive to drill a well. So they decided to install a large water tank in the ground, to build their house on top of it, and to make their house a large water catchment. Off of their roof, they collect the water which heats their house, is used in their bathrooms, etc. From there, the water goes into another storage tank, and is then used at the mill to wash wool. I was (and still am) so impressed with the way they cohabitate with the environment. Part of our tour included visiting their alpaca, I always love hearing their sweet cooing purrs. Walking into the mill, it was filled with vintage equipment Rob has collected and sourced from around the US. We had a lovely time and begin thinking about how to incorporate Mystic Pines into our work at Verb.

About 4 months later, we purchased a very large amount of Rambouillet wool from Lani Estill and had it sent to Mystic Pines for milling into yarn. Our intention was to create a new batch of our farm yarn, Range. However, there was a hiccup in the marketplace, and we decided to forgo creating this yarn again, and discontinued it instead. We also at this time had the idea to create a new version of our yarns Even Tinier Annapurna and Annapurna. Currently, these yarns are made from imported materials and milled in Canada. The samples we received of these yarns are beautiful, though, the hand is very different, and I have a hard time believing the customer who is drawn to knit with Annapurna would want to knit with this new yarn instead. Ok, back to the drawing board.

One day, I was sitting here in the studio - and it dawned on me - what if we were to create a yarn combining the Rambouillet wool with Rob and Donna's alpaca. I sent over an email to them, and sure enough they were into the idea. So we set out on creating 4 natural colors. And today, we can now offer you our newest yarn, Gather.

So back to my mind's eye. How does this yarn fit within my framework of goals. The wool comes from the border of California and Nevada. I like Lani's wool because it has a beautiful hand, it is available in large quantities, it is consistent, and affordable. Also, Lani is committed to farming carbon. Lani's wool is more affordable because she raises wool on a very large scale. She sends about 10,000 pounds of wool to be processed in the South. So darn, here we are, we have California wool, are supporting a California rancher, but are sending the wool across the country. Though at least the alpaca comes from the mill, is washed and processed at the mill, and then comes here. So that's good!

Once I had Gather in my hot little hands, I couldn't wait to cast-on. A gauge swatch is the first thing I made. Starting with a size 3 needle, I knit about 4 inches, and then moved to a size 4 needle, I kept going all the way to a size 7 needle and still the fabric looked great! The Rambouillet wool creates a round yarn, with lots of bounce, and the alpaca adds softness, the range of natural colors, and a blooming halo. This yarn is incredibly versatile and can be knit at 6.5 stitches per inch for a denser fabric and up to 5 stitches per inch for a fabric with drape and flow.

Once my gauge swatch was knit, blocked, and catalogued, I moved onto looking for knitting patterns. I always try to focus on those who are currently designing for our Pro-Verbial Yarn, Fiber, & Shawl Club - so when I came across Caitlin Hunter's Glacier Park Cowl design, it seemed like a perfect fit. I used two skeins: one in lighthouse, and one in smoke. The pattern was easy to knit, and I love the finished cowl. It only took about a week of evening-time knitting to complete making it a great option as a gift for a loved one.

So this is your update as to one person's reality of processing US-based yarn in 2018. Thank you for going on this journey with all of us at Verb! You can find Gather on our website and in our Oakland shop.

-- Kristine

P.S. We are releasing our first every Fall Look-book November 1st - stay tuned for new patterns!



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Best of 9 - 2015 Edition - The Modern Natural Dyer, The Shop's New Look, and Farm Work

Posted by Kristine Vejar on December 30, 2015 0 Comments

You may have seen people playing a fun game currently circulating on the internet. Visit this website, enter your Instagram name, and it will pull the 9 most popular photos you posted to Instagram in 2015. Kind of fun, right?

I was excited to pull ours as Verb can feel like a whirlwind - and it is interesting for me to be able to step back and to see what the things are you like to see. Here are our results. Let's do a recap. 

In October, I published my first book, The Modern Natural Dyer. I signed the contract to write my book in August 2013. Writing my book has been such a tremendous journey, with a great period of anxiety and anticipation during the period of finishing the manuscript and waiting for it to be published. It has been such a relief - and so very exciting to have my book printed and now available to the public. Plus! It seems like people are using it and like it. I spent so much time, alone, writing, hoping that the book would work. That it could be a tool and people would really be able to use it, but I really didn't know if that would be the case. Though now the book is out, and people are already diving in and using it, and it works! Hurray! I am so grateful for your support.

The book has been going so well - that in November, my publisher sold out! (Hence the photo of Callie, my dachshund, with her face covered in yarn, which she did herself by the way). I could have never dreamt of such a thing. Natural dyeing is such an incredible form of art and craft with endless possibilities. I am so happy that others are interested in learning about it - and in creating their own natural dyeing practice. The Modern Natural Dyer is a culmination of work I began in India in 1999, and my current natural dyeing practice. Its completion marks the end of a nearly 15 year cycle of work. It is very freeing to think what might come next. 

In addition to releasing the book in October, we celebrated 5 years in our current space on San Pablo Avenue. While waiting for the book to be printed and for its release, we decided to remodel the shop. In an attempt to really open the space, create a blank canvas for our yarn and fabric, we built new shelves and painted them white. We expanded the dye studio. Verb's classroom used to be in the front corner of the shop, this is now part of the dye studio, and the classroom moved towards the back of the shop. Now, the dye studio has more space to conduct research and to design projects. The classroom is more integrated into the shop-side of Verb. Customers now have a place to sit and plan projects. There are still some tweeks to be made, though overall, the change has been really helpful while trying to run Verb efficiently and effectively. 

In 2015, we spent a lot of time on northern California farms, continuing to work towards our goal of supporting farmers by sourcing locally grown raw materials. Back in 2002, I saw the natural course of my life leading to a PhD program. As I interviewed for the different schools, I couldn't help but think I wanted to use my hands, and that all of the programs I was considering were heavily academic, and book-related intensives. I throughly believe to achieve a holistic understanding of a material and process, it takes a hands-on approach. Actually being on the farm, and working as part of the farm team, helps to understand the materials I take and make into yarn, in a physical way. The physical sense of the labor it takes to make these beautiful, whole materials we use to make clothing from. Hopefully, in 2016, I will write more about that topic. 

We helped shear over 1000 pounds of wool in Mendocino County - which is where we captured the photo of the newly shorn ewe jumping for joy. This wool is in storage right now as we decide on the mill it will be sent to and design the yarn which it will be made into. We also spent a lot of time with our friend and organic farmer, Sally Fox. In the Spring, we helped shear approximately 500 pounds of wool. We sent this wool, in its multitude of colors, to Vermont, and made our 4th batch of Horizon.

In the Summer, we travelled to Sally's farm to help plant her cotton breeding nursery. Cotton has been literally next to me my entire life, to think of how many t-shirts I have worm, and is a plant and material that I have completely taken for granted. Throughout this 15 year course of textile-intensive research, I have read about cotton and have learned how to spin it. I have learned about its water intensive characteristics and about the farming practice of using pesticides used to grow it. But I know very little about the different species, what each has to offer, and the various methods of farming. Sally has taught me so much about this amazing plant. When I listen to her speak about it, and growing it, it is almost like listening to someone speak a foreign language. Or like being a kid, overhearing adults talk, being able to pick out familiar words, but not quite understanding how to they fit together, and what the larger meaning is. I find this fascinating and compelling, and want to learn more. We returned to Sally's farm in October, to see the now grown, the first cotton bolls forming, among a sea of cotton flowers. In the photo, you can see, the deep, rich, caramel-colored cotton boll. We walked through the field, as she gave us the history of each plot, where the seed came from originally, who were its parents, and if she will cross it with another plant in the nursery to create a new seed. In the distance, low, grey clouds loomed, because finally, the rain is coming.  

Making our way to the last photo in this collaged-sequence, a rainbow of naturally-dyed yarn. This year, among Sally's cotton, we grew one row - 900 feet - of dye plants, as an experiment. Between the dye we grew at Sally's, the dye we have been raising in the backyard at Verb, and the indigo Rebecca Burgess raised, which we have used to create indigo fermentation vats, we were able to create the entire rainbow of color from 100% locally grown dye. AND we were able to use this dye on 100% locally grown wool. Some of it organic wool. It has taken us FIVE years to be able to do this, with a large helping of sweat and tears. 

As we head into 2016, though I have many ideas for projects I would like to start, I am currently working on not starting any new projects for the next few months. Instead, I am wrapping up projects that are almost near completion (like a new yarn that will be released in the next few weeks). I am taking time to reflect on the journey I have been on and to support The Modern Natural Dyer. I really want to help people establish a natural dyeing practice and to help them find the joy I have found in using natural dyes. One thing is for certain, I have learned a lot about time, and the time it takes to grow roots. Five years used to seem like a long time to work on something, and now - it is clearly a reasonable amount of time it takes for a seed to germinate. 

At Verb, this has been our best year yet. Thank you so much for being part of our community! I can't wait to make more things with you - and to continue investing in farmers and textiles in 2016. 

Happy New Year!

- Kristine (and the Verb crew) 

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Flock / 1st Edition : From Sheep to Shelf

Posted by Kristine Vejar on July 31, 2015 2 Comments

I learned to spin in 2002 - and instantly became obsessed with the idea of combining fiber types when making yarn. My first goal was to learn about the properties of each type of wool. Feeling confident that I knew the main differences between an Icelandic fleece and a Targhee fleece, I found myself looking at the various strengths - or weaknesses - and looking to pair fibers.

We have decided to create a line of yarn called Flock - which indicates that we have combined either fleece from various farms and / or fleece from various types of sheep or types of animals. Today, we are releasing our 1st edition of Flock, our newest California wool yarn.

Flock / 1sr Edition is constructed of one strand of spun wool - this is referred to as a single. This has always been one of my favorite kinds of yarn to spin and to knit. I adore the rustic quality.

This yarn has quite a tale to tell - starting back in 2012. Sue Reuser, a renowned Cormo sheep farmer, living just outside Chico, had a stroke. Sue had been raising Cormo for many years. She paid great attention to her sheep, only breeding those with the best attributes of strong body, wool, and mind. She raised Cormo sheep in a multitude of colors. Her award winning fleeces were highly sought after by spinners. While she had a positive recovery, Sue decided that her time had come to sell her farm and her sheep. I had quite a few fleeces from Sue which I was hand-spinning (ahem, coveting). I decided to purchase a large quantity of white fleeces from her with the idea of milling them into yarn for Verb.

Then, in 2013, I began to work with Matt Gilbert, a local shearer, and the person who is working to start Mendocino Wool Mill. Through Matt, I was able to purchase Targhee from a Mendocino County wool grower. In 2014, Matt connected me with a farmer, named Leigh, who loves animals - and has quite a collection - including the Corriedale used in this yarn. Sarah went on quite an adventure to get this wool. When shearing season comes around, we like to say that things becomes very alive - in other words - chaotic (though now with more perspective, and having continued to work with nature and the earth this Summer, I think anytime when working this closely with nature, life tends to be rather edgy - more on that soon).

I had planned to go with Matt to shear Leigh’s sheep. Matt shears, and we skirt (remove all the poopy bits / wool that is too short to be milled into yarn). One thing led to another, and when the shearing date came, it landed on a day in which I was going to be out of town. So Sarah bravely volunteered her time to travel to Cloverdale and skirt with Matt.

Leigh’s sheep are more like pets than livestock. She doesn’t like to shear her sheep because she thinks it is stressful for them. Yes, the sheep do bleat while waiting to be shorn. That said, the sheep, once they have received their annual haircut, jump out of the pen, and go right back to grazing. If I were to project onto the sheep what I think they could be feeling - I would have to say, in 100 degree weather, hardly a tree in sight, the sheep feel better without 12 pounds of wool. Needless to say, Leigh had not shorn her sheep in over a year and a half, so their wool was quite long. Leigh’s barn is not set up for organizing the sheep into a line for shearing, so it was quite an adventure to catch the sheep to lead them to the shearing station. Sarah and Matt persisted. When you look at Flock, that beautiful line of grey running through the yarn is from Leigh’s pretty, naturally colored sheep

In 2014, I was very occupied writing my upcoming book, The Modern Natural Dyer, dreaming about the yarn I could make when the book was completed. Writing a book was so exciting, yet I had no idea how many things had to be put on hold to fulfill that monumental project. So, once the final manuscript was submitted to my publisher, with photos. I began to wade through this large amount of wool I had amassed, and began to contemplate what to do with it.

Looming in the wings, I had promised Verb’s yarn club, Pro-Verbial, I would mill a yarn for them, and I needed to come through on my promise. That was my first priority. Because the designs created for Pro-Verbial (subscriptions opened today for Year 6!) are focused upon shawls and wraps, I knew I wanted to mill something a bit finer; lace-weight, fingering-weight, or sport-weight. I analyzed using only one of the wools for this yarn. But then began to think how beautiful it would be to combine these various wools into one yarn. The Cormo is exquisitely soft, though can be prone to pills since the fleece is so fine, the targhee picks up dye nicely, is a great middle-of-the-road fleece, soft but not so fine that it is hard to mill, and the corriedale, which can be a bit toothy at times, which the cormo would help balance, was shades of beautiful brown and grey.

We have had a great experience working with Green Mountain Spinnery, so we decided to send it to them to have the yarn milled. Though first before the wool could be sent to Green Mountain Spinnery, it had to be packaged. The only wool we have worked with from farm to finished yarn - is Sally’s wool for our line of yarn named Horizon. At Sally’s we had put the wool into cardboard containers, strapped these to pallets, and shipped them from Sally’s farm. This is the first time we needed to figure out how to get 350 pounds of wool packed. We began to brainstorm. And remembered meeting a man, named Joe Pozzi, at Fibershed’s first Fine Wool Symposium. He was on the panel there. And his flock is over one thousand heads. Most of his wool is used for wool felt, batting for comforters, and the like, as it has a bit too much tooth for knitting sweaters. We decided to give him a call to learn what he does with his wool. And guess what? He did! He has a motorized wool baler. Usually the wool baler is out, sometimes for months with the shearing team, though it just so happened that it was dropped off at his western Sonoma county barn. He graciously invited us to bring our wool and have it baled. His baler is from New Zealand.

Side Note: Upon researching balers we came across a collection of amazing videos.

This first one - about 2 minutes in - watch two women get to work on creating a wool bale by hand. Tough stuff! 

Then, we came to learn about a competition in New Zealand called the Golden Shears. Here's a video of women in a shearing competition with Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cindi Lauper playing in the background.

Back to this story --> So now we had our wool packed hard into a very large tyvek envelope. Joe, using a pair of very sharp hooks fit over his hands - which are usually used to move straw bales - rolled the bale into Adrienne's pickup truck.

We were so excited - cruising down the road - where we made a pit stop at the beach before heading home. Just me, Adrienne, Cleo, Callie, and our bale of wool.

So now it was time to ship the bale. And we quickly ran into a know, we are really used to weighing pretty small quantities of yarn - or dye - in the shop - things more in the range of 1 pound, maybe 10 pounds. Well, something we did not think about was how on earth we were going to weigh this bale in order to ship it! Moreover, how were we going to get the bale out of Adrienne's truck, onto a scale, and then back onto Adrienne's truck.

We drove over to West Oakland, near the Port, amidst the semi-trucks hauling containers, we drove onto the scale. From researching on the internet of what Adrienne's truck might weight, and what we guessed the weight as from our invoices for the wool, we were able to schedule the pick-up for the wool for the next day. The truck showed up - and we rolled the bale into the trailer. We waved goodbye - hoping that it would make it safely to Vermont. Then, Adrienne jumped back into her truck to have it weighed so we could double check our numbers. Now, we have the weight of her truck on file!

About 2 months later, we received our new yarn. It was as beautiful as imagined. As always Green Mountain Spinnery did a lovely job. We began the process of scouring, mordanting, and dyeing the yarn.

One of the most compelling parts of this yarn, is the way the natural, brown-silver wool appears every so often, almost like a grey vein running through white granite. As a natural dyer, I adore overdyeing natural colored fleece because of the depth and nuances it adds to the naturally dyed color. This yarn is 300 yards to 50 grams, making a lightweight yarn which can be knit into a variety of things from wraps to lightweight sweaters.

It has been so exciting to see this yarn come to life! I hope you will try it out and let me know what you think! You can find Flock here.

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Holiday Stitch Exchange: Tasa's Sister Cowl

Posted by AVFKW Staff on December 04, 2014 0 Comments

Today's post is about a little cowl I made for my sister for the upcoming holidays! (Hopefully she's not reading this post.) Where she lives, the winters are much colder than the ones we enjoy here in the Bay Area. So when I make things for her I try to take that into account and make something that is beautiful, fashionable, and practical. This cowl is made from one skein of Shibui Silk Cloud and one skein of Shibui Maai, held together, and I'm looking forward to giving it to her.

Maai is Shibui's new chainette yarn, and I am in love with the feel and texture of it. I recently learned that Shibui yarns are designed to be knit together into different fabrics, so it's no wonder that the Maai and the Silk Cloud compliment each other so well. The tiny strand of silk and mohair in Silk Cloud creates a beautiful halo around the springy chainette without weighing it down or overpowering it.  


Finished Measurements:
23" circumference

Shibui Silk Cloud (60% mohair, 40% silk; 330 yds / 25 g) Ash or color of your choice, 1 skein
Shibui Maai (70% baby alpaca and 30% fine merino; 175 yds / 50 g) Ash or color of your choice, 1 skein

One US 6 (4mm) 16" circular needle

24 stitches & 34 rows / 4" square in 2x2 rib pattern

Stitch marker, tapestry needle

K - knit
P - purl 


Holding yarns together, cast on 132 st in tubular cast on. I used Ysolda's tutorial here to learn this new-to-me cast on. 

Join to work in round, being careful not to twist. Place marker.

Beginning ribbing section:

Round 1: [K2, P2] to end.

Repeat Round 1 for 14 more rounds (15 rounds total). 

Middle ribbing pattern:

*Round 2: [P2, K2] to end.

Repeat Round 2 for 2 more rounds (3 rounds total).

Round 3: [K2, P2] to end.

Repeat Round 3 for 9 more rounds (10 rounds total).

Repeat from * 2 more times.

Round 4: [P2, K2] to end.

Repeat Round 4 for 2 more rounds (3 rounds total).

Ending ribbing section:

Round 5: [K2, P2] to end.

Repeat Round 5 for 14 more rounds (15 rounds total). 

Bind off using an i-cord bind-off.

Today only -- receive 15% off the supplies to make The Sister Cowl! You can stop by the shop today (open 11-6pm), call (510-595-verb), or email (info@averbforkeepingwarm). We are happy to ship! 

Happy knitting!



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Holiday Stitch Exchange: Top 10 Natural Dyeing Gifts

Posted by Kristine Vejar on December 04, 2014 0 Comments

As many of you may know, I would happily spend my days completely and utterly focused upon the practice of natural dyeing. There are so many iterations natural dyes and dyeing can take - such as using natural extracts, foraging within your local natural environment for dyes, and indigo dyeing. Within just these three types of dyes and dyeing, there are thousands of ways in which to create color and explore pattern. I have pulled together a list of my top 10 gifts that I think are great for novice and expert dyers alike. There are even some items which are great for those of you who may be interested in natural dyeing - but would rather participate through reading, knitting, or weaving, than doing the actual dyeing. So here we go!

If you are the foraging type, and would like to explore the world directly in front of you for color, here are some great options. Starting on the left, The Seasonal Color Wheel by Berkeley-based artist and natural dye educator, Sasha Duerr. Known for her Dinner to Dye For, where diners eat locally grown food, and whist cooking, dye is extracted from the food in which is then used to dye fabric, Sasha awakens people to the idea that dye can be found as close by as your kitchen. This color wheel focuses upon plants, many in the forms of vegetables and fruits, when they are in season, and the colors in which they may produce dependent upon the mordant (fixative) used. The book Eco Colour by artist India Flint has completely altered the course of natural dyeing. In this book, Flint teaches and discusses using plant material to print upon cloth. She provides a plethora of photography documenting her results which is quite engaging and inspiring. Harvesting Color by fibershed founder Rebecca Burgess is an all-time favorite. In this book, Rebecca transverses the U.S. documenting flora, and the colors produced, found along the way. The photography, by Paige Green, gives clear indication of the plants, and makes them easy to identify.

To create naturally-dyed goods, there are two basic steps: mordanting and dyeing. The mordant is the fixative, that which fixes the dye to the fiber, and is referred to as the mordanting process. Once complete the dyeing begins. The Complete Guide to Natural Dyeing, by Eva Lambert and Tracy Kendall, provides a wonderful introduction to natural dyeing - including both foraged and commonly found imported natural dyes - like madder and cochineal. It provides instrucitons for both mordanting and dyeing. It also includes instructions for indigo dyeing. This book would a great accompaniment to Verb's introductory natural dyeing kit which includes aluminum potassium sulfate as the mordant (fixative), and three dyes: madder (red), weld (yellow), and logwood (purple). Through various combinations of those three dyes nearly every color of the spectrum can be created. We also have pre-mordanted silk scarves. These scarves are a great option for those of you who want to skip straight to the dyeing portion of the process. if you would prefer to skip the dyeing altogether, and to the knitting or weaving portion of the process, there are always Verb's line of naturally dyed yarn. Pictured here is Verb's superwash Merino, fingering weight line of yarn, called Creating, dyed with locally foraged Dyer's Polypore. You can read about the dyeing process here.

Last but certainly not least, there is dyeing with indigo! Through the combination of science and art, there is the magical experience of dyeing with indigo! This process is different than the types of dyeing discussed above. To dye with indigo, the oxygen must be removed from the dyepot, and the dyepot must have an alkalinity of 10.5 -11. We have a starter indigo dyeing kit - which includes indigo, the agent needed to take the oxygen out of the dyepot (known as a vat), pH strips, and a recipe. Undyed cotton bandanas, pictured in the upper left-hand corner are the perfect project to use with indigo, and a great addition to the indigo kit, they are easy to handle and can be twisted and tied in endless ways to make countless patterns. On Sunday, December 14th, I am teaching an indigo dyeing class titled Indigo Furoshiki Workshop. Students will learn how to prepare an indigo vat, and using the bandana as a template, learn to create a number of different patterns through twisting, stitching, and clamping the fabric. These techniques are known as shibori or resist-dyeing. Bandanas can be used as wrapping clothes (known in Japanese as furoshiki) and can be used in place of wrapping paper. Here, you can see it used to hold balls of yarn and a knitting project. So it can be reused once the holidays are over! And for those of you who admire indigo and would like to read about it's extensive history, and how it has been used around the world, Indigo: Egyptian Mummies to Blue Jeans, by Jenny Balfour-Paul is excellent - and beautiful. 

Here's a recap -

Top 10 Gifts for Natural Dyers and Natural Dyeing Enthusiasts
1. The Seasonal Color Wheel by Sasha Duerr
2. Eco-Color by India Flint
3. Harvesting Color by Rebecca Burgess
4. The Complete Guide to Natural Dyeing by Eva Lambertt and Tracy Kendall
5. Verb's Introduction to Natural Dyeing Kit: Aluminum Potassium Sulfate, Madder, Weld, and Logwood
6. Pre-mordanted Silk Scarves
7. A Verb for Keeping Warm naturally dyed yarn: Creating (enter coupon code: topdyeinggifts)
8. Verb's Intro to Indigo Kit: Indigo, Reducing Agent, pH, and indigo recipe
9. Cotton bandana
10. Indigo: Egyptian Mummies to Blue Jeans by Jenny Balfour-Paul

Today only, all of the above listed gifts are 15% off.

To purchase these gifts, and receive the discount either stop by the shop today (open 11-7pm), call (510-595-verb), or email (info@averbforkeepingwarm). We are happy to ship.

I hope this has inspired you to try natural dyeing! Or to pass on this practice to someone who may.


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