I’m very excited to be working on setting up some natural dye classes here in Scotland… Quite literally combining plants and fibre, it’s one of my favourite thing to teach and I’m really looking forward to sharing that with other fibre folk again… it’s always such an exhilarating experience to open up a whole new world of colour and understanding plants.
I’m currently looking at different venues here in Glasgow and will keep you posted on those… but I am incredibly excited to let you know that I’ll be running a day-long introductory class on natural dyes at this year’s Shetland Wool Week! I’ve always dreamt of returning to Shetland after my dear friend Amy and I travelled there in 2010 after the UK Knitcamp so, when the lovely Wool Week organisers, Selina, Misa and Donna, suggested that I come up to teach a class, I literally squealed with excitement. I’m not usually one to squeal but this is an amazing thing for me!
I’ll be demonstrating the many (25 in this case) shades that you can achieve from a single dye bath, and incorporating into this practical session all the technical aspects of dyeing: mordanting (which I find is the biggest impediment to people trying natural dyeing at home), fibre preparation (I’ll be focusing on yarn, especially Shetland!), how to extract colour from your dyestuff and apply it to your fibres and how you can play around with colour by using post-bath treatments. And, because I’m most interested in dyeing with local, readily-available materials, we’ll also be taking a gentle walk around to explore the colour potential of the surrounding neighbourhood, often in the most unexpected places. It’s a really comprehensive way to learn the essentials and participants take home comprehensive notes on the dyeing process and a shade card. I hope it will bring into being some new natural dyers!
You can see the entire (and incredibly wide-ranging) program for this year’s event over at the Wool Week site (and keep up to date with any other classes I’m running by checking my classes page or signing up for blog updates)- and, who knows, perhaps I’ll see you there!