Saturday, July 18, 2009

Natural Dye Course at Saterglantan

Saterglantan's Natural Dye class (June, 2009) yielded these yarns from "lottery". Our class (6 amazing women) dyed seventy (70) 1/2 skeins of wool using cochenile, madder root, indigo, lichen, buckthorn bark, birch and mountain ash leaves on natural grey and ecru yarns. We also used flowers (dyer's chamomile) and some mystery root that we may not have identified locally.

When the class was completed, we all drew a number from a "hat" and then our instructor, Mia Olsson, called "turns" for us. We got to choose our skeins from the 70 colored. I was NUMBER ONE, which meant nothing as all numbers were good. Number One was called first, so I chose the dark, dark brown skein dyed with lichen. This colorway and dye process was my favorite at that moment and I really, really wanted that skein. Gods of Randomness shined down on me! Yeah! Other than that lichen skein, my goal was to choose an assortment of yarns dyed with dyestuff that represented our whole experience.

In the dye course, we also had the opportunity to dye some yarn on our own (seen in photo)--after all of our required course work was done, and usually after supper.

I wanted to dye some zed (z) twist yarn ("red" on the left at the bottom of the photo) for a pair of tvaandstickning mittens (pattern from Walstedt's Spinnery). I wanted the colorway to be a little antiqued.

There is some 3rd dye-bath birch ("green" in the center). The blues are all indigo.

All of this dying was masterfully orchestrated by our instructor, Mia Olsson. She brought samples of plant stuff as well as instructed us on purchase-able natural dyes (commercial). Those samples of natural plant stuff--we then tromped around the Saterglantan area woods and collected enough material to make dye baths. We prepared plant dyes over open pit fires and used hot plates for temperature-controlled dye baths when we dyed the yarns.

It all was sooooo cool!

1 comment:

roberta said...

I was there at the same time, but was taking a carving class. We made a bowl and spoon. It was a wonderful experience. I also took some photos at the dying class.