By Patricia Belyea
A die-hard (pun) knitter who dyes yarn with flowers and plants from her garden, Mary Jane brought skeins and skeins of wool with her. Kathy Hattori, of Botanical Colors, provided lots of additional products for participants to dip into the indigo vats—scarves, hankies, hat bands, yarn and more.
Today I received an email from Mary Jane with pictures of a souvenir knitting bag she whipped up with her indigo-dyed bits and bobs. The body of the bag is hemp toweling. The lining is some over-dyed yukata cotton from me, with a silk handkerchief for the pocket. She edged the top of the bag with a piece of hat band, and trimmed the handle and gusset with more of the hat band.
On one side, Mary Jane appliqued rayon ribbon in a flowing, random pattern. On the other, she made a flower with silk yarn and sari end strips. Mary Jane wrote, ”I think it has to be the most exciting thing I have ever made.”
With my over-dyed yukata cottons, I’m creating “fabric” with unconventional and traditional blocks. Once I have a 6′ x 6′ piece, I’ll plan to slice into it and add some unexpected design elements.
Glenda from Salem emailed other participants today and stated “I hope to have something to share next week. I am trying to balance my vat, if it works—then I will share my results.”
The dyeing workshop definitely sparked energy and ideas for working with indigo.