I have a problem. I like to dye things. And by dye things, I mean I like to dye everything. If it is white or grey, it gets dyed. Even if my best intentions are to leave the wool natural, I still always end up dyeing it.
2017 and 2018 I have been heavily focused on colors outside my wheelhouse. Guess where natural colors fall in py priority?
The truth is, I think I’m afraid of white wool. What happens if it gets dirty? What if I stain it with dirty spinning wheel oil? What if I can’t get all the lanolin and dirt out? Dye hides an awful lot of mistakes.
But imagine a lustrous, fuzzy, white wool lace. Or think of the gorgeous Shetland colorwork done with all natural fleeces. Sometimes white feels naked, but the truth is there is a lot you can do with a white or grey fleece. Seeing Deb Robson’s swatches was an inspiration and a nod to the beauty of natural fleeces and the variety of wools available to the contemporary fiber artist.
Today, my challenge to you is to find some natural, undyed wool or yarn in your stash. If you don’t own anything, go buy something. Yes, I know you don’t need anything else in your stash, but this is important.
Take a moment to appreciate the natural color, whether it is white, grey, black, or moorit, and decide on one or two projects you would make with it. You don’t have to make those projects now (or ever) but get a feel for the depth that natural color can bring to your work. It might surprise you.