art · Creativity · dye · Fun · Photos · Sewing

Eco Dyeing Gratification

I have 5 skeins of wool and alpaca yarn on the stove prepping to dye. I’m hoping to get them dyed and dried next week before Danny and I fly off to Central America for a couple of weeks to attend a wedding and visit family. I’m also hoping to finally finish up my Cinnamon Girl cardigan by then. Of course, the cardigan will be staying home, because I won’t have any need at all for a sweater in the tropical climate. I’m just really looking forward to the lovely feeling of accomplishment that comes with binding off a long-term knitting project.

I’m on the second sleeve. The end is in sight!

Monday evening I cut and sewed a sleeveless top using the linen fabric that I eco dyed during the Mapping Color workshop. I was inspired by Kristine’s top, which she had on display at A Verb for Keeping Warm, so I decided to use Verb’s Summer Tunic pattern.

Here’s her sample top…

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And here’s mine. Whatcha think?

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I tell you, I really love this pattern. I made the full length tunic (with pockets, of course) in a light weight cotton denim last year, and I wear it pretty frequently, so I knew that I’d love wearing this top. I already had the pattern traced out on pattern paper and just needed to trim off the bottom half of the pattern pieces.

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It’s super comfortable and sews up really fast. I was able to crank this out in a couple of hours. I also love that it’s a local design by Verb. I foresee making many more of these tops for myself in the future.

Oh! I finally unwrapped my wool bundle, another project piece from the Mapping Color workshop. Jen is veeery happy. The eucalyptus leaves printed vividly. You can really see the veins and stems of the leaves pop.

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They almost look three-dimensional, don’t they?

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The copper pipe that I bundled it with created a sort of ink blot design along the center fold and a brown border at the edges, which I didn’t plan but still kinda like.

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A lovely, warm fall accessory.

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This hasn’t been mentioned on my blog yet, but I’ve been growing indigo plants behind our apartment building for the past couple of months. (I’m fairly certain that our neighbors think that we’re growing drugs or something. Ha.) After Danny and I volunteered with Fibershed to plant indigo in Point Reyes, we took a dozen baby plants home and I potted them. I haven’t mentioned it before, because I don’t exactly have a green thumb, and I was pretty sure they weren’t going to last long under my care. But, miraculously, they haven’t died yet. So, yay!

In fact, this week I was able to harvest some branches, which are now hanging up to dry in our living room.

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I’m pretty excited. I’ve found an indigo vat recipe that utilizes dried indigo leaves, and I think I’ll have enough leaves to make a very small batch of dye. My hope is to order some indigo online soon to make a fermented indigo vat that I’ll be able to maintain long-term, but I need to figure out some logistics first. Like where the vat bucket will be stored, how to keep it warm, where to do the messy dyeing process, etc.

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Enjoy the weekend everyone!

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