The natural color near the farm is getting a bit slim. I took the dogs for a walk on Friday and took my camera along looking for bits of color. In just a couple days, so many of the leaves had come off the trees and everything was looking quite gray and neutral. This pretty red apple was hanging on.
On days like these, I am happy that I have filled my home up with lots of color - both bright and happy and more muted and earthy. Color makes me feel good and I think it is one way to get through the dark months in the northern hemisphere when there isn't much color left outdoors.
There is a beautiful new book on color and natural dyeing available now from STC Craft. Edited by Melanie Falick (who happens to have a new blog), The Modern Natural Dyer is written by Kristine Vejar, owner of A Verb For Keeping Warm, a yarn store and dye studio in Berkeley, California.
I have done a bit of natural dyeing in my lifetime and it was great fun. There's something about taking stuff you find in nature and coloring yarn to knit with or fabric to sew with. The Modern Natural Dyer is beautifully designed and photographed by Sara Remington.
This book is so well done. Although there are other books out there on natural dyeing, I do not think there is one as beautiful as this one.
And it is not all fluff. There are 25 pages of hard-core instruction. And good instruction it is. With many things that I did not know and new techniques (to me).
Kristine gives instruction for dyeing with both whole natural bits and powdered extracts (like cochineal and logwood).
There are also instructions for dyeing with indigo. I seriously need to give this a go next summer.
The Modern Natural Dyer gives 2 fantastic color charts with recipes to make the colors shown on both protein and cellulose fibers.
I think my favorite project from this book is the "Flowers At My Fingertips Sewing Kit". I can imagine doing this with my friends - collecting the flowers, "printing" with the flowers and then sewing the kit. Really nice.
And there are great instructions and photos on clamping and dyeing fabric with indigo.
You all are lucky that I have one copy of The Modern Natural Dyer for one of my lucky readers. Here's how to enter......
Answer the following question in the comments:
Tell me about your experience for dyeing or knitting with natural dyes. If you don't have any experience, just share something you want with all of us about nature, color, yarn or fabric.
Good luck everyone. Contest ends Wednesday November 11th at 11:59 p.m.
Please, as always, leave an easy way to get a hold of you - Rav id, blogger id, or email. Thanks to STC for supplying my review copy and the winner's book. Good luck everyone!