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April 13, 2011

the indigo sprouts!

I am really excited about a new book Harvesting Color, by Rebecca Burgess. It is a beautiful book about plant dyes, but really so much more. She has inspired me beyond words to go back into these domestic arts and the importance of creating and preserving the knowledge of these basic skills. Her book, divided into seasons, shares her journey towards local color and discusses why it is important to know about it. It gives detailed instructions on how to dye yarn or clothing using plants you can find in your area, along with knitting patterns for each season created by Heidi Iverson and beautiful photos by Paige Green, all local wonders!

Rebecca also has pledged to only wear clothes made within 150 mies of her house, not only made, but dyed with plants within 150 miles and made from fibers within 150 miles. Sound impossible? Well it’s hard but possible and she has some cute outfits. Check out the fibershed blog at the right for more info.

A year and a half ago, Rebecca sent me some indigo seeds and I just planted them a few weeks ago without much hope since they are so old. I had them in the refrigerator so I thought, maybe… and they have totally sprouted! So if they survive, I might be dying things blue by the end of summer!!!

The book is so inspiring, it seemed like a good idea to create a craft circle/book group around it. So I’ve been thinking about how to structure it so people can obtain the most knowledge and joy from the community along with the book. What I’ve come up with is to meet once a month for a couple of hours to discuss a part of the book that we have all read, while doing knitting, crocheting, spinning or some fiber art that can benefit from plant dyes. THEN, we can all invite the group when we do our own dying on a day of our choosing—since it can be a long process—and those who can make it can attend, and there will be many chances to participate. The group could meet for a year so we go through all the seasons. But I’m open to suggestions. Looking forward…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 16, 2011 4:42 pm

    I am in your sewing class. This book sounds interesting…and your group concept even sounds fun too! I have never grown indigo, but I have dyed with it, so much fun to see the color change! I would love to be in your group. Can’t wait for the sewing class!

    • karen hess permalink*
      April 16, 2011 8:14 pm

      A, I wish you were here too for the group! Check out the book, it’s so beautiful! I am looking forward to the sewing class too and to connecting more with you and our other fabulous classmates!

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