When you start out with a crazy idea of starting your own little company and dyeing wool with botanical dyes, everything is a learning experience. For me it's been a pretty organic process, starting with getting specific pots and a small stove top, bowls and jugs, sieves and containers. Sourcing NZ blends of wool and packaging and labelling options. Everything takes that much longer than you think and everyone works on their own timeframes, which is sometimes good (cause they're quick) and sometimes not so good. In reality though the crux of the matter is "what products can I dye my wool with that are renewable and sustainable, but also beautiful?". Looking into the mix of wool and dye whilst time and science is doing its stuff in the bubbling cauldron of my stainless steel pots is a pretty exciting experience. What shades will emerge from all the steam and hubabuba. Whilst some of my colours are sourced from botanical dye suppliers many of my colours come from items I have in my home, my garden and the roads and pathways around where I live.
Sometimes however, I can't maintain the quantity of supplies I need to keep on dyeing my wool so that's where I've been so blessed with a little help from my friends. Carrot tops, onion skins, comfrey leaves, coffee grinds and beetroot, to name just a few have been frozen and gifted to me on numerous occasions. I have been the proud recipients of some small comfrey plants that need a new home and have at last resulted in my being able to dye green from nature. I am now the very proud dyer of my newest wool colour 'Green Gables' which I just loooove so much. I feel very lucky to have so many people around me who whilst they are going about their everyday lives have spent a moment to think of me and do something that will help me in my endeavors. How lucky am I that I have the these amazing people in my life who want me to be successful and will go the extra mile to ensure that happens.
I'm trying slowly to build up a dyers/edible garden, having planted beetroot, comfrey, red cabbages, fennel and silverbeet to name a few but this all takes time so the sharing of others is so appreciated.
So in the fabled words of the Beetles,
"Oh I get by with a little help from my friends ..... Keep on crafting.