Tag Archives: indigo dye

guest dyer for daughter of a shepherd

My dear friend Rachel Atkinson of Daughter of a Shepherd (for whom I make pouches in her beautiful Hebridean tweed) asked me early this year to participate in her Guest Dyer series and I was thrilled to be part of this lovely project, alongside friend and fellow dyer Helen of Wool Kitchen (and others coming up in future)! It was a joy to have the opportunity to dye Rachel’s Ram Jam base, whose gradient of natural shades is made from fleeces that would otherwise go to waste, including natural black from Hebridean, Zwartbles and black Texel, white from a mixture of BFL/Cheviot Cross, Texel Cross and various other mule crosses and even fleece from the naturally black and white coloured Badgerface sheep! From the raw fibre, to the scouring, spinning and skeining and even the delivery of the final yarn, every aspect of this yarn is from Yorkshire, something that Rachel, as a proud Yorkshire lass, is very proud of.

Rachel and I decided that a blue, dyed with indigo, would sit beautifully with all the sheepy shades of Ram Jam and, after some sampling and swatching, we came up with a deep, heathered blue with indigo highlights. It was a colour she immediately named Quink, which I, as an Australian, had no reference for so had to go and research! She was right- it IS the perfect name for this deep, inky shade…

A limited run of Quink will be available from Daughter of a Shepherd from 7pm this evening, Wednesday December 11. Although Ram Jam, as a woollenspun yarn, is super flexible in both gauge and application, it is particularly suited to colourwork and, paired with other natural shades of Ram Jam, would make a lovely Bouquet Scarf, Hawkshaw Pullover or Tundra Toque!

Whatever you might make with it, we really hope that you enjoy working with it!

pippu shawl

Happy New Year to you! I really hope that 2018 promises to be a good one for you and that you have some lovely plans to look forward to… my year is still taking shape but, after a wonderfully busy 2017, I’m aiming for a good balance of time at home and some adventures further afield this year! In this quiet time of planning and regrouping before the work year starts, I just have a bit of news that I wanted to pass on- a new knitting design in woollenflower yarns!

Pippu Shawl by Ambah O’Brien

Pippu Shawl by Ambah O’Brien

Pippu Shawl by Ambah O’Brien

Ambah O’Brien, who I met at this year’s Craft Sessions after following her work online for years, has used my plant-dyed Kid Mohair/ Silk and Alpaca/ Silk/ Cashmere together for her Pippu Shawl, named for the avocado pips used to dye the shades for her sample, pippu being the Japanese word for pip. Among other things, Ambah is known for designing beautiful shawls that are both wearable and interesting to knit so I was thrilled when she chose to work with my yarns and really interested to see what she came up with. For Pippu, Ambah drew inspiration from a recent trip to Japan, its gentle ripples and lace reminiscent of a Zen garden with its walkways trimmed with mosses; playing with textures and the way the dye material is taken differently by the different fibres, Pippu is a gentle design, perfect for the softest yarns in soothing colours. Knit on the bias, it begins with easy stripes, alternating a fingering-weight with a single strand of laceweight, followed by a simple lace section worked with the laceweight doubled, giving the asymmetrical triangle a floaty finish.

Ambah is releasing the Pippu Shawl on Ravelry tonight, Friday January 5 Glasgow time. I’m always thrilled to see what people make in my yarns and can’t wait to see some more Pippus out there so please do tag me on Instagram and use #pippushawl so that I can keep up with your projects!

Pippu requires 1 skein of Woollenflower Alpaca/ Silk/ Cashmere (400m/ 100gm) and 2 skeins of Woollenflower Kid Mohair/ Silk (420m/ 50gm) and some of each will be available in the shop tonight- that’s Friday January 5 at 9pm. They are now listed for preview if you’d like to have a look! Ambah worked her shawl with both yarns dyed with avocado pips to achieve a subtle variation in colour and I have dyed 5 shades of both yarn bases in the same dyebath to achieve a similar result, however there is also the option of adding more contrast to the stripes by choosing more contrasting shades… 

Buckthorn berries and logwood


Avocado pips

Indigo and goldenrod


Well, that’s it for now but I wish you all a very peaceful January, whether you’re snuggling by the nearest heat source in the northern hemisphere like me or relaxing in the summer heat down south! Either way, may you have time for the things that make you happy…

Pippu Shawl