Author: Astrid

KILEN

Kilen is an easy-to-knit all garter stitch shawl. The long, narrow wedge shape is fun to knit and perfect to wrap a couple of times around your neck. I know. Several of my knitting patterns are a bit complicated. Instead of an ordinary cast on, I’ll oftentimes use a provisional cast on, because it gives […]

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CUTCH

Cutch extract has a huge tannin content, making it almost universally useful to the natural dyer. It can be used both as a mordant and a dye. Cutch is an extract from the acacia tree, and it has almost as many applications as it has names: cutch, catechu, kath, seesiat, kasu, cacho, terra japonica…. The […]

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ICE BLUE

Leaves from Japanese indigo and woad can be for a very rapid blue dye without adding anything else. The leaves just have to be fresh picked and you need to work quickly on ice! During last summer, I experimented a bit with ice dyeing, which is a well known method for dyeing with fresh Japanese […]

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COCHINEAL of the CANARIES

Cocheneal is truly an amazing insect, with its huge content of red dye. Along with madder, indigo, and yellow from local plants, it allows the natural dyer to dye all the colors of the rainbow. When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in present-day Mexico in 1519, they were on a treasure hunt – for gold and […]

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POKEBERRY INK

This year was my first cultivating pokeberry in my dye garden. The small harvest, just a handfull of berries, turned into a fancy hot pink ink. The pokeberry plant (Phytolacca americana) grows as a weed in the eastern US, where the poisonous plant used to be eaten by poor people, who boiled it in several […]

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THE IRON FOREST

The Iron Forest is an easy shawl in garter lace. The classic Shetland tree of life motif is framed only by a simple, straight garter edge. We have finally published our pattern for the Iron Forest Shawl. Often, “we” means “I, but I don’t want to say that”, but here, “we” really means we. My […]

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GLIMPSES of the DYE GARDEN in JULY

July is usually the main season for both wild and cultivated dye plants. This year, the extremely hot and dry summer has been challenging for many plants. In early June, we moved into our large, new house. There’s plenty of room for my dye workshop (and the rest of the family), but the garden is […]

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MADDER on LINEN

Warm summer weather doesn’t exactly make you want to knit wool. So I’ve started dyeing Midsommer, a thin 3-ply pure linen yarn. So far, I’ve mostly dyed wool, and dyeing plant fibres really is something completely different. Textiles made from linen are known way back in ancient times, and the oldest find of linen textile […]

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MUSHROOM DYES of 2017

The summer of 2017 was cold and wet in Denmark, and gave way to a fall season with an abundance of dye mushrooms. 2018 is already getting old, but I haven’t finished dyeing with all my mushrooms from 2017 until now. 2017 was a really good year for dye mushrooms. And edible ones, too. In […]

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FOLKVANG 2-for-1

Folkvang mittens and hat patterns are 50% off for the next week when you buy both! ~ Hurray, my pattern for the Folkvang mittens is finally out! They fit the Folkvang Tam, the pattern for which is already out for some months. Until midnight, April 2nd, Central European Time, you can get both Folkvang patterns […]

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