Some of my favorite memories from a difficult spring, early pandemic, were the weekly Skype calls between my Mom, brother Martin and I. The first two calls were nothing but laughter as we attempted to get everyone set up correctly (Mom! Move back, we can only see your eyes…) While we were physically separated, we found a way to bond during a time when we were all searching for that connection.
Then out of the blue: A silver lining; spark of sunshine.
My next door neighbor decided to move, and my Mom decided to sell her house and move next door. We would be neighbors.
My Mom had lived in the same house for 44 years. There was a lot of stuff to sort, toss, move.
The long involved moving process required us to expand our immediate family COVID pod to not only include my mother but also my brother and SIL. All hands on deck!
At the end of a long day moving houses, exhausted but excited at celebrating a new beginning, fueled on coffee, overflowing with creative ideas – Martin and I decided to make another dye video. Or how about two. Make that three.
Forget that: we’ll make a four-part series! Four videos showing the basic steps to natural dyeing, from the very beginning (creating a skein) to the very end (caking that skein).
This idea came from your questions. Thank you for asking them – it shows where I may have missed a detail or a topic I can address in the future. Trying a new craft can be intimidating. I want dyeing to feel as accessible and doable as possible. You do not need special equipment, special knowledge, special anything. All you need is curiosity and a willingness to try and try again.
The first video is all about preparing that yarn
I demonstrate how I create a skein using two simple methods: back of a chair and a niddy-noddy. this is followed by how I scour my wool, which means giving it a bath to remove any extra additives, dirt — anything that prevents the dye particles from absorbing into that wool evenly.
Two simple and helpful steps towards a successful natural dye.
Subscribe to my YouTube channel and you’ll be notified on future videos (we didn’t stop with this series!)
How to Prepare Your Wool Before Dyeing
If you have a video request for a natural dye topic or technique, comment below! We’re always brainstorming new ideas.