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DIYdiy projects

DIY Knit Hat from The Modern Natural Dyer

by Grace Bonney

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I follow weavers, textile artists and dye specialists on Instagram the way some people follow bands. I’ve been following Bay-Area dyer, teacher, artist — and now author — Kristine Vejar for a while now, after discovering her shop, A Verb for Keeping Warm, earlier in the year. I’m constantly amazed by the way she is able to turn natural materials (often foraged during walks) into beautiful dyes for clothing and home goods. So I was thrilled to hear that she has a new book out, The Modern Natural Dyer: A Comprehensive Guide to Dyeing Silk, Wool, Linen and Cotton at Home.

Kristine’s book breaks down natural dyeing from both a scientific and creative perspective, making the process (which has always seemed intimidating to me) feel as approachable as it is beautiful. I love the projects in the book because, in addition to learning basic dye formulas and techniques, the DIY ideas are a nice balance of classic and contemporary. From cool, blousy shirts (that would look at-home in any hip boutique) to table linens and pillows, The Modern Natural Dyer is a great way to dive into the world of dyeing.

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Today, Kristine is sharing a cozy, knit pom pom hat tutorial with us (with a how-to for the hat and the dyeing) and is offering a special giveaway for one lucky reader! Just leave a comment below with what you’d like to learn/make from the book (custom-dyed sheets? Indigo napkins?) and Kristine will pick her favorite comment to win a copy of her book AND one of Kristine’s new kits that contains all the materials you need to make this hat! The hat kit comes in three colors: red (madder), yellow (weld) and purple (logwood), so you’ll choose your own color. The deadline for comments is this Sunday at 5 pm EST! xo, grace

[UPDATE: The contest is now closed- congrats, Amy W.!]

Photography by Sara Remington

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Excerpted from The Modern Natural Dyer: A Comprehensive Guide to Dyeing Silk, Wool, Linen, and Cotton at Home By Kristine Vejar (Published by STC Craft | An Imprint of Abrams). Photography by Sara Remington.

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Northwoods Hat, excerpted from The Modern Natural Dyer

Skills Learned: dyeing with extracts on protein-Based goods, working with the protein shade card

For the first project using extracts, I wanted to create something fun, easy, and versatile — a simple knitted hat. Made from chunky weight yarn, this hat knits up in a flash. Due to the speed with which this hat can be completed, it is a great project to work through many of the colors and shades found on the Shade Card (see the book!) — try it in shades of purple (logwood purple), red (madder), yellow (weld), or pink (quebracho red). A hat to go with every outfit! Or great gifts for your loved ones.

Size
: one size fits most

Finished measurements
17 1⁄2″ (44.5 cm) circumference;
8 3⁄4″ (22 cm) tall
Note: Hat will stretch to fit up to a 22″ (56 cm) head circumference.

Gauge
13 sts (stitches) and 16 rnds (rounds) = 4″ (10 cm) in stockinette stitch (st st)
12 sts and 16 rnds = 4″ (10 cm) in 1×1 rib, without stretching

See Dyeing 101 below for information on scouring (below) and mordanting (below)

Goods
Quince & Co Puffin (100% ameri- can wool; 112 yards [102 meters / 100 grams]): 1 hank #101 egret, scoured and mordanted

Dyeing Materials and Tools
1 scant teaspoon (2.5g) logwood purple extract
1⁄4 cup (60ml) hot water
6 to 7 cups (1.4 to 1.7l) water
3- to 5-quart (2.8 to 4.7l) stainless-steel pot with lid
Measuring cup
Measuring spoons
Stirrer, such as whisk or spoon
Tongs
Timer
Thermometer
Rubber gloves

Knitting Tools
One 16″ (40 cm) circular needle size us 101⁄2 (6.5 mm) or size needed to obtain gauge
One set of four double-pointed needles (dpns) size us 101⁄2 (6.5 mm) or size needed to obtain gauge
Stitch marker
Darning needle

Dyeing Directions
1. Add 1⁄4 cup (60ml) hot water to a measuring cup. Add the extract in the amount to reach the shade of your choice; the recipe in the directions yields a dark purple color. Stir with a small whisk or spoon until dissolved.

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2. Combine the dissolved dye mixture and 6 to 7 cups (1.4 to 1.7l) water in a pot. Add the scoured and mordanted yarn.

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3. Place the pot on a burner. Slowly, over 30 minutes, bring the dyebath to 190°f (88°C) — just under a simmer — turning the yarn every 10 minutes. Hold at that temperature for an additional hour, continuing to turn the yarn every 10 minutes.

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4. Turn off the heat. Let the yarn rest until cool.

5. Wash the goods and allow to dry.

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Knitting Directions

Stitch Pattern
1×1 rib
(even number of sts; 1-rnd repeat)
All Rnds: *k1 (knit 1), p1 (purl 1); repeat from * to end.

Hat

Using circular needle, Co (cast on) 64 sts. Join for working in the rnd, being careful not to twist sts; pm for beginning of rnd.
Begin 1×1 rib; work even until piece measures 4″ (10 cm) from the beginning.
Change to St st (knit every rnd); work even until piece measures 51⁄2″ (14 cm), from the beginning.

Shape Crown

Note: Change to dpns when necessary for number of sts on needle.
Set-up rnd: *k6, k2tog (knit 2 stitches together), pm (place marker); repeat from * to end—56 sts remain. knit 1 rnd.
Decrease rnd: *knit to 2 sts before marker, k2tog, sm (slip marker); repeat from * to end—48 sts remain. Repeat Decrease rnd every other rnd 5 more times — 8 sts remain.
Cut yarn, leaving a 12″ (30.5 cm) tail; thread tail through remaining sts, pull tight, and fasten off. Weave in ends and block as desired.

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Stage 2: Scouring

It is important to scour (prewash) all fibers and fabrics before beginning the mordanting and dyeing process — especially cellulose-based fibers and any protein-based fibers such as wool, where lanolin may be present. Scouring removes any residue from the manufacturing process, so the mordant and dye can adhere to the material thoroughly and uniformly. Scouring helps ensure more saturated colors with better colorfastness.
A note on pot size: The size of the pot you use for scouring and mordanting is dependent upon the amount of goods you are working with. Unless you are scouring and mordanting for multiple projects, use the size called for in the project’s dyeing instructions.

Scouring Protein-based goods

Laundry detergent and soap are usually alkaline and can damage protein-based fibers. Use only mild dish-washing detergent with a neutral pH level; a few drops of dishwashing detergent work well.

Materials
Mild dishwashing detergent (I use Ecover or Dawn)

Tools
3-quart (2.8l) or larger stainless-steel pot with lid (size dependent on the amount of goods)
Measuring spoons
Thermometer
Tongs
Rubber gloves

1. Fill a stainless-steel pot with enough water so the goods are covered and can move freely once added to the pot.

2. For each 500g of dry goods, add 1⁄2 teaspoon (2.5ml) dishwashing liquid to the pot of water and stir.

3. Add the goods to the pot. Slowly, over 30 minutes, bring the water in the pot to 180°f (82°C), keeping the water just under a simmer. Hold at this temperature for an additional 30 minutes, rotating goods gently from the top to the bottom of the pot every 10 minutes. Make sure the goods remain submerged when rotating.

4. Turn off the heat. Allow the goods to cool. Rinse the fibers or fabric in cold water to remove excess detergent. If the water in the pot is dark yellow or brown after scouring, repeat the process until the water is clear.

5. Squeeze excess scouring water from the goods. You can either proceed to mordanting the goods or store them wet in a plastic bag or bucket; in a cool dark place, they will be fine up to 7 days. If you need to wait longer than this, allow the goods to dry and store them until you are ready to mordant.

Stage 3: Mordanting

A mordant is a naturally occurring, water-soluble metallic salt that bonds the dye to the fiber. During the mordanting step, this salt is applied to the fiber. For the recipes in this book, I use aluminum-based mordants as they are nontoxic, safe for the environment, accessible, and produce bright, long-lasting color. In addition to aluminum, iron, copper, tin, and chrome have been used historically as mordants. You will not need to mordant goods that you will be dyeing with indigo, as the indigo dyeing process is very different. You will learn about indigo dyeing on page 62.

Mordanting Protein-based fibers

Use food-grade aluminum potassium sulfate for this step, because it is free of iron and other impurities.

Materials
Aluminum potassium sulfate

Tools
3-quart (2.8l) or larger stainless-steel pot with lid (size dependent on the amount of goods)
Measuring spoons
Measuring cup
Stirrer, such as whisk or spoon
Thermometer
Tongs
Rubber gloves

1. Fill a stainless-steel pot with enough water so the goods are covered and can move freely when they are added to the pot.

2. For every 100g of dry goods, add 1⁄4 cup (60ml) of hot water to a measuring cup and then add 1 tablespoon (14g) aluminum potassium sulfate. Stir with a small whisk or spoon until dissolved. (e)

3. Add the dissolved aluminum potassium sulfate mixture to the pot of water and stir.

4. Add scoured, wet goods. Slowly, over 30 minutes, bring the water in the pot to 180°f (82°C) for silk and 190°f (88°C) for wool, keeping the water just under a simmer. Hold at this temperature for an additional hour, rotating the goods gently every 10 minutes. Make sure the goods remain submerged.

5. Turn off the heat. Allow the goods to cool.

6. Squeeze excess mordant water from the goods and rinse with cool water. You can either proceed to dyeing the goods or store them wet in a plastic bag or bucket; in a cool dark place, they will be fine for up to 7 days. If you need to wait longer than 7 days, allow the goods to dry and store them until you are ready to dye.

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Comments

  • So happy to see this featured here. I met Kristine at Rhinebeck this year and was lucky enough to get a signed copy of her book.
    It’s a visual delight and even though the information is laid out with the beginner dyer in mind, this book still has a place in a more advanced dyer’s inspiration library, for sure.

  • I would love to learn about making custom color napkins for my kitchen since I can never seem to find the color I want.

  • Aside from learning to dye wool (which I would love to learn for my knitting projects), I think I would like to dye fabric to make a wall hanging.

  • I, also, am amazed with work that Kristine is doing.
    I’ve been dabbling with natural dyes for some time now, but I would like to learn more. Kristine’s book looks like perfect book.
    Even tho I live in totally different part of the world (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and we don’t have a lot of popular dye plants that are popular in US, I hope to find inspiration in my own surroundings and to experiment more.

    • Im yearning to learn more about mordants and the science of natural dying. I studied a bit of fiber work in college and have just stepped back into the word recently.
      I have returned to this practice with the sacred threads of the intuitive healing work I do now.
      When I create a dye bath these days I offer blessings to the water and plants through song, mantra, smudge, and Reiki.
      The main area I’m seeking guidance now is when it comes to the science of this medicine. My dye baths have been so energetically powerful, but my colors have not been so vibrant. I’m hoping this book can help me bridge the gap between intuitive dying and the scientific process.
      My goal is to honor this Earth and all its medicine through my work. This book seems like such an incredible support for that goal.
      Blessings & magic,
      V

  • I’d just love to add natural dyeing into my artwork! Years ago I dyed the prettiest yellow with dandelions and learning more about natural dyes has been on my list for ages!

  • You got me at custom-dyed sheets. Looks like another bedroom redo is in my future. What an exciting and beautiful book. Oh the possibilities!

  • I went on a pinning spree a while back, collecting lots of pins about how to use natural dyes, but everything seemed so overwhelming I didn’t know where to begin. I’m so excited about this book as an easy, clear introduction! My wife and I just bought our first house, and I have tons of ideas of how I’d love to use hand-dyed yarn in home decor knitting projects, like throw pillows, Christmas stockings, and kitchen linens.

    I’ll be in the Bay Area in December, and I can’t wait to stop by A Verb for Keeping Warm!

  • I have been experimenting with natural dyes recently, using onion skins, avocado skins, and red cabbage. And I would love to learn more! I would like to incorporate more of my own hand dyed fibers into my knitting and weavings. But, my ultimate goal is to create a quilt using naturally dyed fabrics.

  • I’m a longtime knitter, and am dying (see what I did there?) to learn how to dye yarn. There’s some amazing naturally dyed yarn on the market, but I think it would be really special to work with yarn that I had complete creative control over. First, yarn dying, next, yarn spinning? Yarn milling? Baby steps.

  • i love the idea of using dyes and not worrying about strange chemicals. i have an 8 month old nephew who could get dyed sock monkeys.

  • as a textile designer I have always hired people/companies to execute the colors and fabrications that I’ve wanted. I now have more time to get “hands on” and have been really inspired about the “doing” part of designing. I am inspired to dye fabrics to create a collection of tunics & slips to wear this winter.

  • My granddaughter is working on her Girl Scout Gold Award and collecting blankets for Project Linas. I would like to knit or crochet a simple child’s blanket of natural fibers that is free of contaminates – would a natural dyed yarn qualify? Can you tell I’m a real beginner.

  • This book looks fantastic! As an avid knitter and san antonian, the local textile and dying heritage, from agave to cochineal, holds great interest to me. I would love a copy of your book to incorporate hand dying into my hand crafted knits! Thanks for the tutorial on DS.

  • I melt for all of this! I love slow processes and learning new skills. My goal would be to hand dye locally made yarns from Sonoma County and give them to my inlaws who are avid knitters. For myself, I’m dying to learn Indigo dying. I’m a sewer and adding natural dyes to my pieces would take me to a new place!

  • I’m so excited for this book! My aunt, cousin and I started a “dye” day last year where we gather our supplies of bare yarn and fabric. So far, I’ve only experimented with Turmeric. Since then, I’ve discovered Poke berries on my property and am looking forward to harvesting those. My garden is beginning to fill with natural dye sources such as indigo, and marigolds with more variety planned for next year. I feel “all over the place” though and would love to have a comprehensive sourcebook for knowing where to start. It’s been on my mind to dye fabric as well for sheets or curtains as I can never seem to find just the right shade of color I like. Keeping this process as natural as possible is close to my heart since I try my hardest to keep everything organic and allergy friendly in my environment. I can’t wait to dive into this lovely book!

  • Dying has been on my crafting wishlist for quite some time! I’ve been waiting for my favorite LYS to offer a dying class (she keeps promising but hasn’t gotten it put together yet) The project above makes me think I can tackle it without waiting for a class, so I can only imagine the book will do that times 20. I’m a crocheter and weaver, so the finished yarns would be incorporated into magical new projects…

  • I would love to breathe some new life into my perfectly good, perfectly boring, dining room chairs. I also have a long history of attempted fabric dyeing projects gone awry. Advice from a pro could save this potential disaster in the making.

  • I would love to learn how to dye fabrics and yarns with natural dyes. Learning to utilize elements I find in my backyard and how to experiment with the colors and fabrics would be wonderful. Being a beginner, I worry about making my colors steadfast so hopefully the book will help me achieve long-lasting colors.

  • I would love to learn more about dyeing fabric with natural materials. The idea of going for a walk in the woods and coming back with a collection of materials to create such beautiful colors is inspiring! The possibilities seem endless! I would love to learn to dye cloth napkins for a custom color. This is going to be my first year hosting a large family Thanksgiving and I would love to knock their socks off with a great table setting and beautiful cloth napkins I could say I made myself!!

  • I’m stunned at the variety of gorgeous colors! A lot of times when I see natural dyes, the colors are muted or very limited, so I’m excited for the techniques in this book. Recently I learned that you can achieve a lovely pink shade with avocado pits (who would have guessed!), so now I’m saving up pits to try that. If that’s covered in the book, I’d love to learn more about it, but I’d love to learn how to dye pillows, linens, and yarns (I’m a knitter) all the colors in the rainbow.

  • I would really love to learn more about dyeing linen so I could create my own pillows, scarves, and draperies.

  • Wow, these photos are stunning! I’d love to read more about the dyeing techniques, and would be interested in seeing how to dye napkins.

  • I have wanted to try working with natural dyes for a long time, but have felt a bit intimidated by the thought of where to start/which directions to use. This book seems like such a great resource & the colors are so vibrant! I love knitting, so of course I would love to learn how to dye yarn, but there have been many times where I just can’t find the right color for curtains and other home decor items where I am sure natural dye would be the perfect option. It is also reassuring to use natural dyes with a little one at home.

  • Although I’ve been wanting to try natural dying for ages I’ve been put off the seemingly complex process and all the prep work required, if there was one resource immediately to hand that led me through the process it would be great. Also, being in New Zealand means many of the natural sources of the dyes are unavailable to me – but if I understand the basic principles then I would have a whole different palette of colours to produce! I’d really like to make a quilt out of natural dies, and get some of that perfectly yellow wool.

  • I would love to learn more about dying with indigo! I think some of the projects in the book would make excellent holiday gifts.

  • Inspiring. I’d like to make shibori dyed pillow covers. Thanks for sharing some of your techniques and thanks for the giveaway!

  • I’ve been diligently saving onions skins for about five years now (?!) and am so ready to dye something with them! I’ve also just purchased a kick spindle to teach myself how to spin art yarn and am hoping to incorporate some natural dyes into that project. I just need to learn how to dye. Baby steps! :)

  • I am trying to live zero waste so I’m currently in the process of recycling clothing and textiles. I’ve done some hibiscus dying to resuscitate some dresses. I’m interested in kristine’s book because I would really like to grow my own dye garden!! In addition, having plants like hibiscus and marigolds help create a more holistic approach to wellness – there’s a lot of overlap between beautiful flowers, beautiful dyes and feeling beautiful!

  • I would like to learn to dye wool I have spun on my drop spindle with herbs from my garden. Then using the dyed wool to crochet scarves, sweaters, afghans… the list goes on! That kit is beautiful.

  • I am amazed at how such beautiful colors could come natural elements. Although I’ve only dyed fabric once, and that was from a package. I am completely head over heals on dying from natural dyes. Im currently looking into different plants I could grow in my garden for this purpose. This book would be a great help in better understanding the process. I knit, sew and love to quilt. So dying yarn for a beautiful baby sweater, or dying fabric for just the right color or quilt would be thrilling.

  • I am really interested in learning to dye yarn in order to weave wall tapestries. I would love to be able to do that using natural ingredients! This book sounds so inspiring!

  • Ooh this book sounds just like what I am looking for! I’ve been trying to find out about using natural things to dye stuff but the info I’ve found has been confusing. I have a lot of undyed natural wool waiting for me to figure out how to make it pretty :)

  • Well – I will be perfectly honest – my hubby will probably take away my credit card if I buy any more accessories for our fur babies…. so I would really love to learn how to dye and my my own kitty and puppy blankets, hats, sweaters, and little booties!!!! I assure you there will be bloopers along the way and I am fully prepared to commit to posting all of the good, bad, and the ugly on my blog for you to follow :)

  • I was able to do a little bit of natural dying when I was learning how to make paper. This is so exciting though to see a tutorial for fabric. I just started making clothes for my daughter, and it would be amazing to be able to not only sew the clothes but create/currate the colors as well. That kit looks amazing.

  • I’ve dabbled in indigo dyeing, and would love to explore other colors and techniques! I’d make skeins of yarn to knit it scarves for my friends and family.

  • What a great idea for a book! And so timely; I was thinking about dying my own linen drapes for our historic home. We have higher ceilings and it’s hard to find lush, pretty drapes at an affordable price. I’d love to buy the fabric, dye it, and sew it into drapes that pool on the floor just a bit. (French curtain rods are already ordered!)

  • *sigh* I can’t wait to get my hands on this book… I’ve been wanting to play with a few shibori techniques, and it would nice to work with indigo, as well as getting to know all the different shade you can make with other natural dyes.

  • This looks thoroughly fascinating! I am a forager, but have always used my finds in things to eat, so would love to learn how to dye fabrics and wools with such natural tones! Love the purple especially ?

  • I’m co-owner of Goldfinch Blankets. We’ve used different dying techniques in our throws, blankets and scarves which are produced in Nepal. I’d love to explore some optional approaches to dying. This book seems to be the perfect place to start. The colors are gorgeous!

  • As a California Beekeeper, I’m very impressed with Kristine Vejar’s work using non-toxic natural dying techniques using plants that are also bee friendly. Another great way to encourage people to grow these plants in their gardens and help save our pollinators – thank you Kristine!
    Her book “the Modern Natual Dyer” looks wonderful and inspiring.
    I would love to learn how make hand dyed blankets and rugs on our loom.

    Thanks for the chance, and the fab woolly hat knitting pattern!

    All the very best,
    Jacqueline.
    SkysAlive Apiary

  • I’d love to give the book and kit a try! Beanies are my favorite fall accessory and I love the idea of natural dyes! I could make my soon to be son, due on the 12th!

  • Logwood, madder, and weld, oh my…all of the rich tones we coax from nature! Logwood is so lovely and happy. Yes, knitting a warm purple hat to keep our bitter cold winter at bay sounds divine. Thanks for writing this important dyeing reference.

  • I’m a painter and I wish I could learn more about dyes and pigments I could make myself. My work is ver processual and meditative and learning som of Kristine’s alchemy would add a whole new dimension! Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Watched her periscope yesterday. So cool to see the process. Would love to try madder or logwood. It’s like magic but a long history generations of trial/error. Amazing.

  • So I actually already own this book, and I agree that it is amazing!! I love the photos, the projects, but most of all Kristine’s beautiful and clear writing. If I won this giveaway I would gift the book to my little sister, who loves nature and craft as much as I do. And I would pick the hat kit to knit a gorgeous hat to keep my sweet mama warm this winter. Congrats, Kristine, on a stunner of a book. And thanks, Design*Sponge, for hosting a giveaway!!

  • I love everything about this giveaway. I’ve dappled in natural dying with osage orange wood and pokeberries that grow around our house in Tennessee, but I’d love to learn more from Kristine’s book.

    One week ago, I found out I’m pregnant with our first and due in July of next year (!). So with all things baby on my mind, I’d go for mama’s little teacup onesie, maybe in that beautiful madder root red.

    Thanks for a great giveaway!

  • I’d love to learn how to dye cotton muslin and/or linen to make tea towels and infant swaddle blankets in unique colors!

  • I’ve been accumulating a basket full it items to rejuvenate with a trip to the natural dye spa: bleach stained sheets, not-so-white-anymore hand towels, a favorite two star dog blouse in a funky shade of green. This book might inspire me to treat these items to a rejuvenating soak in a dye bath.

  • Ooh, as a knitter and spinstress I’m very interested in natural dyeing and I would love to learn how to dye wool from plants I can find in my own local habitat! What an exciting giveaway. =)

  • Amazing colors! I’d love to learn how to use some of our Pacific Northwest bounty to dye some linens for my bed. Marionberries? Hazelnuts? Lichen? The possibilities seem endless!

  • I love the idea of colores, for me it’s always hard to find a bright high quality colored yarn. I also would like to learn how to dye napkins. Loved coral color.

  • I taught myself how to knit last year, and would love to dive into the world of dying. I’ve been drooling over Quince’s Bare line and would love to create dyes and infuse natural colors into them.

  • I make clothes and whimsy garden-wears! Love foraging herbs and berries and mushrooms and want to learn how to use the natural pigment in some of my creations! Also I love putting color in my hair and have heard about using natural dyes for hair and semi-permanent color!!!? I just want more knowledge and what a gorgeous book this is!

  • LOVE THIS! There are so many people in my life that would be giddy to get a gift like this…but if I win, I’d keep it for myself ;-)

  • My heart goes pitter patter over anything naturally dyed. I’ve wanted to try my own hand at it for some time. I love sewing my own clothes and would love to dye cloth that I could in turn into garments. I follow Kristine and her crew at A Verb For Keeping Warm through her Instagram feed. It’s a joy to watch and learn. Thank you so much for a chance to win Kristine’s fabulous new book.

  • I went to a #vermontfibergetaway and it was so much fun. I’m excited to work with wool in all kinds of ways and I want to dye anything that will stand still long enough!

  • Although I’ve done plenty of dyeing, I’ve not yet explored the world of natural dyes. I’d love to learn to dye with indigo. What would I dye? Probably everything since I love the colour!

  • Ah! What wouldn’t I dye? This book looks absolutely gorgeous. I’d start by dying play silks for and with my two little ones, then move onto little gnome hats and capes for our wood peg dolls. xo

  • I have always been interested in natural dying but have been intimated by the process. Very excited to hear about this book and very excited the author has shared so much of her knowledge. Can’t wait to get a copy of this!!

  • What do I want to learn? EVERYTHING! I’ve never dyed before but it would be amazing to dye my own yarn.

  • I’d love to learn about using natural dyes as I have been using procion dyes for years and it would be interesting to see the differences. I love a good forage walk and it would make a change to bring things home for the dye pot rather than the jam pot!

  • I’m a knitter and spinner. I’m the type who devours everything I can find on a subject before I jump in…and that’s what I’m doing with natural dyeing. I’m so inspired. I live in Miami and would love to have a dye garden suitable to the climate. I want to spin fiber, dye it, and knit all the fabulous things. Yikes, I’m rambling. Bye?❤️

  • This book looks fantastic! I saw a friend of mind post about Kristine’s book earlier this week, and now I’m definitely going to need this for my collection of textile books. I’m more familiar with printing on fabric than dying, so I’d love to learn more about the process in general, especially what natural plants and minerals I could find here in California to dye with. So interesting!

  • I am getting ready to take my first drop spindle class next month and have bought some natural undyed BFL for my first spin. I’d love to learn how to dye it from your book! I follow you on Instagram and have been watching you birth this project. So inspiring. Best wishes on your creation!!

  • Oh how beautiful! What a lovely present this is. I would so so love to learn and marvel in it all with my dear toddler.

  • I have recently begun to sew again and have been making my own clothes. Something I haven’t done since I was a child. I’ve also been making fabric with sun reactive dye using plants from my garden and loving the process. I’m a painter, so I’m not sure where I’m going with any of it but have been having so much fun. I would love to learn how to dye fabric and yarn (I crochet) and sew clothes. The book looks great! Thanks for the giveaway!

  • I would love a copy of this book. I do a lot of needle felting and wet felting. I would like to start buying more wool from local farmers and dyeing my wool with natural dyes. I also want to start dyeing yarn for my knitting projects.

  • Thanks for the giveaway and tutorial! I would just love a good explanation on how natural dying works and the process. Then I would love to dye some wool and fabric for a quilt!

  • This is SO awesome!! I’ve been wanting to learn to dye and to do it naturally, would be even cooler!! That color came out so beautiful :) <3

  • I love this and have been following Kristine on instagram for a while now too! I would love to learn how to dye silk. Four years ago after I returned home from my deployment to Afghanistan I splurged on a really beautiful Helmut Lang white silk blazer it sat in my closet for over a year because every time I went to wear it I decided not to for fear of ruining it. The night I finally chose to wear it I spilled red wine all over it :/. It has been sitting in my closet ever since because I’ve been dreaming about dying it someday to a color which is much more wearable than white.

  • My mom creates beautiful art quilts. I would love to dye fabric for her to make a quilt for my daughter– so the three of us would be part of the same art project.

  • I am so interested in trying this! I’m curious to learn about the colors that can be achieved with different materials – I am discovering that the items being dyed don’t always come out to be the expected color!

  • as home schooling goes we always have our hands on a project – this fall we tried using pokeberry dye on silk with our co-op – foraging and prepping the fabric and the berries…. the children are eager and I’d love to use the book as a guide to developing this skill with the children in our class. I love the hat you’ve created too and I have 3 capable students who would knit themselves a naturally dyed hat and proudly sport it all winter. excited to learn from your work.

  • I am so delighted with your book -and its timely release. I tried some natural dying of fleece, yarn and linen over the summer to limited success. I couldn’t get the intensity of color you get except for the turmeric dyed yarn which I unfortunately felted! I would LOVE your book! Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  • AVFKW’s Instagram is so inspiring. As a budding fiber artist and knitter, I love discovering all aspects of the craft. Plus spinning and dyeing have always intrigued me, and this book looks gorgeous!

  • I’ve been knitting since before I could write in cursive! I’d love to learn how to use plants I find out hiking or around my neighborhood to dye the yarn I use for my projects.

  • I design and hand make a line of clothing using natural materials. I also have been doing some of my own dye work but with chemical colors. I have wanted to learn how to do natural dying but I have been really intimidated by it. This book looks like it could take the fear factor out for me. It’s a beautiful book! AND the colors are so much nicer than chemicals.

    Cheers!

  • I have been following AVGKW for a while now and have been anticipating the arrival of the book! I’m new to design sponge and certainly started following! In today’s mass produced market it is essential to keep the art of fibers alive. I can not wait to try this out, I will certainly have to knit one of these up!

  • I’ve dyed yarn with cabbage and with koolaid, and I’m ready to move on to mordants and other dyes. This book looks amazing.

  • Live in Hawaii would love to learn how to make dyes using plants from the jungle. Green is my favorite color. My daughter dances hula would love to dye some cotton for a skirt for her. Aloha

  • In August I had the chance to travel to Guatemala and participate in a weaving workshop with Mayan craftswomen. It was amazing! One of my favorite parts of the workshop was the dyeing demo. I was so in awe of how such unassuming plants and barks could create an abundant range of colors. I’d love to take that little bit of knowledge further and I think my dining table could use a make over with some pretty placemats or a table runner.

  • This book is so beautiful and I am already finding it so inspiring. The timing of its release is perfect. I have been playing with natural dyes, mostly foraged wildflowers, this past summer and have started digging a dye garden I hope to plant next Spring. Since the Maine growing season is relatively short, I am looking forward to learning about using extracts as well as growing and foraging dyestuffs when weather permits!

  • I haven’t given much thought, up until now, about trying to dye. Seeing your book and reading the comments and feedback make it seem much more accessible than I ever thought. I would love the opportunity to open my world up to this beautiful art.

  • Exploring the process of dying using natural sources sounds like quite the adventure!
    There are pillow shams in my bedroom and living room begging for a pop of color. I frequently hike here in the Pacific Northwest, and finding naturally occurring pigments in my area would be so much fun.

    The photography for this book is gorgeous. What an exciting giveaway! Thank you for hosting this!

  • The thing I love about natural dyeing is that the result is always an exciting surprise. I think reading your book will also be a happy surprise, and I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been a gardener for years and I’ve been itching to grow dye plants in my garden. I’d love to learn about the variety of plants that are good for dyeing, and grow some myself.

  • I would love how to use my home grown marigolds and avocados to dye some white cotton gauze fabric I bought on a trip to Italy a lifetime ago. And then use the fabric to sew up a dreamy beach dress.

  • I always wanted to learn more about natural dyes using vegetables! I’m a huge gardener and would love to incorporate these two hobbies together!

  • I’m a huge fan of the Verb asthetic – simple, beautiful, natural – and this book wonderfully represents those ideals. I’ve wanted to try natural dying for a long time and can’t wait to get my hands on this book.

  • Have been eyeing the beautiful book! I have a lot of old damask-woven tableclothes and napkins fromt grandmothers that I would like to turn into colorful heirloom quilts, guest towels.

  • What a great giveaway! I ordered the book out of impulse some days ago after seeing it on Instagram and could not put it down since it arrived yesterday! The page with the yellow hat makes me gasp everytime, so I would love to make that my first dye project! Amazing that natural dyes can produce such vibrant colors.

  • My daughter is into spinning, and I am a knitter. We would love to learn how to dye her wool so I can knit my stranded patterns! Lovely giveaway <3

  • All of this is so inspiring. I’d love to learn more about dyeing yarn with local Australian plants and weeds. The first thing on the list would be to knit myself a jumper with the results. Most of my knits usually are for my daughter, who is also very excited about natural dyeing. I LOVE your yellow hat!

  • Oh sigh, lovely range of yellows—lovely all. It’s been awhile since I’ve attempted natural dying using ‘just guess’ methods. Would love to go for it again with more knowledge. Then apply the result perhaps within book making, paper making and fabric covers.

  • So many lovely colours and ideas. I wouldn’t know how to choose just one. I would make love to work my way through the book trying every single one!

  • I am a preschool teacher in Virginia and we are developing an outdoor classroom, complete with a garden. Nature plays such an important role in developing the senses in little ones (amongst many other skills!) I would love to show my little pupils the gorgeous colors plants can produce and show them how from a tiny seed, we can nurture and grow a plant, which in turn, can be turned into a dye that we could make gorgeous clothes (t-shirt dye), or cloth napkins for snack time or maybe even a special fabric heart for Mom on Mother’s Day! Thank you for what you do…it is rather magical!

  • I’m excited to go through this book and learn how to knit and dye some table placemats! I currently only have 2 that I got from a Pow Wow (my husband is Native American), but later regretted not getting more because our family will grow :) I seek items that are unique or homemade so making my own placemats would be an amazing addition to our table!

  • Natural dying is so interesting to me. I am an artist who specializes in painting food. I am also working on combining fabric into the paintings. What if you used natural dyes with the painting of the avacado or onions? The possibilities are endless! Thanks for the giveaway!

  • I would love to learn how to dye the yards of natural cotton I’m spinning. I have never been successful dyeing cotton and want to use my handspun to weave myself some colorful towels. Thank you for the pattern and the giveaway!

  • I am a high school art teacher and always an artist too. I’m in the beginning stages of transitioning to a full time artist and experimenting with macrame wall hangings. I want to differentiate myself in the market and think dying the rope is an enormous possibility for exciting and unique results. If I dye each rope in a variety of values, I can’t wait to see how the knots will result in unexpected patterns! Thank you for the giveaway opportunity!!

  • Living in San Francisco, I am excited by the prospect that you are able to forage for your supplies! I love the process of making something completely from scratch, and to be able to responsibly harvest a plant for a project is a skill I will constantly use.

  • As a knitter, I would love to start with yarn, but I would also love to be inspired by what else could be dyed. I often see fellow knitters trying natural dyes and I am amazed at the vibrant colors that are possible, especially when the color you get is totally unexpected!

  • I’ve never dyed anything before. I’m a beginning knitter and started knitting for my 91 year old mother who now is spending her winters in Nebraska rather than in the south. I’ve unraveled some old handknit sweaters (afew made by her) and want to dye the natural wool and overdye the wool that has color. Excited to see your book!

  • I’d love to use some of the pomegranates from my tree to custom-dye bedsheets. I’ve got a few random items around that I’d love to test out with. I’m a California native plant lover and in the Bay Area, so I’d love to see what she does with local plant variants in the book.

    I’ve done a little bit of making watercolor paints made from flowers and plants around my yard, but dyeing textiles would be amazing!

  • The colors that are possible from natural dyes are brilliant. It would be so hard to decide which to choose if I won.

  • I recently started weaving and I really enjoy it. I am now very interested in making organic weavings and dyeing my own yarn. All those natural colors are beautiful and I think I could make some nice designs by combining different colored yarns.

  • I’ve played with some of the wooden shapes and clamps for resist dyeing at AVFKW’s birthday party last year, and I’d love to learn a bit more about resist dyeing and shibori. I’d be interested to see the kinds of variegated yarn you could get with resist dyeing sock blanks or skeined yarn.

  • I have natural sheep’s wool yarn, hand spun by my great grandmother. It sits waiting for a special project. I can imagine using one of these delicious natural dye colours on it and making something to keep me warm for years to come. My grandmother worked very hard during her life and she died long before I was born. I like to think that she would be honoured to know her own handiwork was transformed yet again, three generations later!

  • This is such an exciting book! For myself however, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I live in a tiny NYC apartment, and dying is just not in the cards for me. Now and then, when I’m in the NW, where I have lots of family and get to spend part of the year, I might be able to dabble. I hope, anyway.

  • I live on a tropical island with lots of plants that I could possibly work with as far as dyeing, only thing is that I have no clue about it. If it were possible, I’d love to learn to dye my own paper.

  • Thank you for sharing your love of plant dyeing! Such a pleasure to see easy to understand instructions and of course the photographs look beautiful. I’m currently working on woven wall hangings (for a community art project at the art museum in town for children) and would love to incorporate some of your plant dyeing methods to dye the yarn with! I think this would be a wonderful technique to share with children. Thanks so much for the giveaway opportunity!

  • Oh my gosh, the possibilities are endless!! I’ve always been afraid to venture too far out of my comfort zone as far as dyeing my own yarn and wool for knitting, but this is simply fabulous! My curiosity is definitely peaked… I’ve got all of these one-of-a-kind things going through my head! I’d love to dye some fabric to make wine bottle cozies for friends and family. We’re big lovers of red in this house, so if I were lucky enough to win, I’d choose the red kit for the hat! Thank you so much for the opportunity! Xo

  • The layout of dyed squares is absolutely gorgeous! I did some natural dying in high school (my pre-Google method for using blueberries turned out much lighter than I expected it to be…could definitely have used Kristine’s expert guidance), and would love to take it up again. In my mind’s eye, I would learn how to dye with some of the California flowers and shrubs around here, and make a few pillows and a summery dress out of the fabric.

  • Oh this book looks amazing…I’ve got such a soft spot on natural dyeing. I would definitely try this wonderful logwood purple…maybe on wool for new socks?

  • What a great book! I’d really love to learn how to dye for an ombre effect — pillows, curtains…. I think done right, it could really put some Wow! into an apartment. I just have no idea how to do it!

  • i can’t wait to get my hands on this book! i’ve done a bunch of natural and chem dyes over the years but would love to learn more about Kristine’s methods. i would love to create a whole fresh set of cloth napkins!

  • Natural dyeing is pure magic to me! Every time I have tried dyeing wool the result has given me great surprises. You never know what to expect. What I would love to learn from the book is how to dye linen and cotton since that is an unknown area for me and that I feel ready to explore.

  • I once took a workshop on natural indigo dyeing in Japan (where I was the youngest participant by 30+ years), but have been wanting to try it on my own since then. This book looks so accessible! I’m looking to fall in love with textile dyeing.

  • I am knitting a very special sweater out of some undyed Cormo wool I purchased from Juniper Moon Farm, and my plan is to dye it with natural dyes, preferably something I could harvest myself. I’m thinking maybe lichens?! I am eager to get my hands on this book.

  • I’m very curious to read about the science behind different dying techniques.
    Being a bit clumsy, usually I prefer sticking to knitting and leaving the dying process to the experts.

  • This looks like an inspiring book with clear instructions and some wonderful projects. I have been a long time gardener and would love learning more about growing plants for natural dyes. I also have an old quilt that would look great dyed with indigo. Thank you for the giveaway!

  • Caaauuuuuuuuttteeee!! I’m kind of an novice crafter, but I really enjoy making things around me look beautiful. I think this a great book for anyone who loves to play with color and design by using an outline and filling in the dots on their own. I’d love to start with something super simple like tea towels and really experiment with the color recipes on them.

  • Grace, thank you for this lovely write-up. And to the Design*Sponge readers, thank you for your thoughtful comments. It is going to be very hard to choose a winner!!

    • Danielle

      I see your comment about living with zero waste below. Hit “load more comments”. There are a ton of comments on this post so they load in a tiered way now. But we see them all and they will ALL be considered for the prize :)

      Grace

  • I want to dye all of the things! I was gifted a share of a yarn CSA and received some gorgeous undyed yarn that has been patiently waiting for me to learn how to make my own natural dyes. I would love this book!

  • I just read this book and yes it is inspiring and amazing. The colors are so vibrant, I definitely want to try some of the projects. I have recently been dyeing my older yarn and clothes to re purpose and the discovery process is quite fascinating

  • As a teacher and maker myself I would love do some natural dying with my students. We do a lot of fiber arts in my room (boys love it the most!) and natural dying would add another level to the learning and the LOVE of learning!

  • I have this book and it’s definitely one of my favorites for learning (and one day, mastering) this process. I forgot that this hat pattern was in there and I’ve been looking for one just like it.

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