That's right--squeal! I can confidently say I am smitten with natural dyes. The allure of the ever-changing color outcome combined with the promise that if I keep experimenting I'll get better at predicting the results and then combined with the constant need to harvest plants, flowers, leaves, and otherwise use compost scraps to make beautiful colors has absolutely found its way into my heart. I might have to start raising sheep just to keep up my habit. (I'm only half kidding here, Mom.)
I've been collecting onion skins for weeks and finally had enough of a small heap to try my luck with a dye vat. I also had very skilled and committed help in the form of one very curious toddler complete with a green robot t-shirt so how could I resist? He loves peeling onions and he loves peeling garlic. He's my star assistant when it comes to making soup. I mixed yellow and red onion skins for this dye vat and I love the mottled, variegated results.
My mother gave me this white wool sweater years ago and while I loved the felt-like texture and those sweet floppy buttons I could not bring myself to wear white dry-clean-only anything. I spend 1/2 my week working from my home studio and 1/2 my week tending to my very active 2 year-old and somehow playing in the sandbox, climbing the slide at the playground, and drawing with chalk on the sidewalk are not dry-clean-only activities. When I'm in my studio I'm certainly not wearing white either.
So somehow this pretty wool sweater found its way into the box of mittens and hats that wait patiently for cold weather in the corner of my closet. (If you are reading this from my native New York please do not hold my California winters against me. I too have a soft spot for snowflakes and fireplaces and really heavy winter coats. Trust me.) But I knew this sweater had potential to be a regular contributor to my everyday wardrobe I just wasn't sure when. Well, it turns out the "when" was when it was combined with hot water and onion skins. Yes, ma'am.
For now, I'm squealing with this onion skin dyed wool and scheming up my next natural dye concoction. I think maybe eucalyptus leaves, sour grass flowers, avocado skins, or another round of coffee grounds are in my future. Truth be told, I can hardly wait! As for the sheep? Well, they certainly wouldn't fit into our 1.5 bedroom apartment so they will have to wait too. Just for now.