Why I love to dye with plants!

First of all it’s so much fun! I always like to fill my days with fun and natural dyeing ticks a lot of boxes for me. Bear with me when I list ‘a few’ of them!

I am a knitter who loves her yarn and a bit of a yarn snob also. I like to know where the yarn I knit with comes from, who has dyed it and how, all the time hoping it came from happy sheep. I wish I could have my own yarn, but I have no resources and little knowledge to make that happen. So I am playing around and trying a lot of different yarn bases and seeing how they take colour.

Speaking of colour; I am a colour lover and creating it myself is even better.

I am a bit of a history geek and natural dyeing has long roots.

The first findings of use of natural dyes come from thousands of years BC, which is amazing! I love learning about the traditions and different cultures dye processes. There is a lot chemistry involved in natural dyeing, this is where I wish I could go back to high school and actually listen my chemistry teacher. But I cant so I’m spending a lot of time reading about each dye plant I use, why they give certain colours, are they colourfast and so on.

I have always loved foraging. I grew up in Finland and picking berries and mushrooms is a part of my personality. Dyeing with gathered dye stuff is when I’m happiest. I love the whole process of finding the plants, picking them, preparing them and seeing what colours come out. Living in London is great for a forager. There are plenty of parks, riversides and forests to find things to dye with. I never leave my house without a bag and a pair of scissors, just in case.

So there are few reasons for why I love natural dying. I have found an amazing community of knitters online, all who have been so generous to share their knowledge with me and encouraged me to write about my experiments. This has filled me with so much happiness that I’ve taken he plunge to do this. I can in no means say that I am an expert! I read a lot of dye books and have been to many dye courses, but I want to learn more. And I want to teach what I’ve learnt to others. Another reason why I love natural dyeing so much, there is always so much more to learn!


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