Wild and Wooly

I will be heading to my first fiber festival this weekend! I have been on yarn tours, popped into many yarn shops around the world, and even dreamed about Rhinebeck, but I have never landed at an actual fest. So, I will start small with this weekend’s Wild and Wooly Fiber Expo at the Cuyahoga Fair Grounds in Middleburg Heights (11am-5pm) in cohoots with Tiffany Perry the new and wonderful owner of The Artful Yarn in Chagrin Falls, OH. I am bringing some of my yarn for sale and to show you what my take on plant dyed yarn is all about. Like the best things in life, there is a bit of a love/ hate relationship with plant dyes. But I find myself always coming up with new tactics, “best practices” ideas and favorite bases and plants.

The past few months I have tried out some interesting yarn bases, all made of fibers that I believe give a nod toward sustainability. Above, the first photo is recycled wool and Tencel. Tencel is a cellulosic fiber obtained from wood pulp. The yarn has a slight sheen with nice drape, good for school mascots (which is what my test knitter knitted with it) but more likely a great shawl, wrap or capelet. I am also bringing some 100% US produced Organic merino wool, second photo. These would be great for hats, wooly mittens and house slippers (all very nice gifts). Finally, I am bringing along my colorways “Sunrise Over Lake Erie” and “Midnight at the Lake” (third photo) in a wool/hemp blend. These too will be great for anything for which you want that extra snuggly feel. The hemp creates a nice and soft bloom. These were a challenge to dye, but I figured it out and they look great.

Interested in trying plant dyeing yourself? I have a few kits available with the wool/hemp blank and some “mostly madder” dye and starter directions. I am always available to answer your plant dye questions. But beware, it is a trial-and-error process, greatly aided by dyers and internet wisdom (and sometimes impeded). I look forward to seeing you there. Stop by and say “Hi”, I will be at The Artful Yarn tables from 11am-1pm. Knit Naturally!

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