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Surface Design: Trial and Error

While reading of a variety of natural dyeing books, I have come across an aspect to the process that adds another level of beauty to the project. Surface design is the art of making  patterns on the fabric or yarn. A concentrate of natural dye or a modifier can be painted on the fabric. Shibori techniques can be used to create a variety of patterns. Resist dyeing, dip dyeing, layering the colors, knots in the fabric are also different ways to explore surface design.

I have been experimenting with many of these techniques to see what I can create. It has definitely been a lesson in trial and error.  Going into the process, I thought that the hardest part would be coming up with an idea of how I wanted the fabric to look after I applied the surface design. So far, I have been very wrong. The ideas are in my head, but getting them to translate to the fabric has been very difficult. Definitely trial and error. Learning from mistakes and trying again.

If you are interested in learning more about natural dyeing and surface dyeing techniques, The Modern Natural Dyer by Kristine Vejar is an excellent resource to begin with.

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Wren Tunic

The Wren Tunic is my first attempt at knitwear design for little ones. I am very pleased with the outcome and enjoyed the design process very much.

Using the basic pattern for a top down raglan sweater from Fringe Association, I was able to take the basic measurements of a baby/toddler and apply them to my gauge swatch. Then I added feminine detailing to complete the design.

In the near future, I’m hoping to spend some time designing a little toddler vest. I have a vision in my head and I just need to knit it up. I’m looking forward to showing some progress pics on my Instagram account.

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Color from Compost

Since starting with natural dyeing, I have been experimenting with compost colors. In my kitchen, on a daily basis, I have access to beautiful colors in the form of onion skins, avocado pits and skins, and coffee grounds. The possibilities are endless and I’m excited to see what else I can create!