Thursday, July 17, 2014

intuitive dyeing

a couple of weeks ago i drove from the mornington peninsula to sydney. i took my favourite route - the slightly longer, but incredibly beautiful road along the coast. i stopped off at a couple of lovely places along the way, and it took me a few days.

i listened to the same diane cluck album the entire way.

and it's not even a very long album. 40 minutes maybe? and the drive all up was probably about 14 hours... but every word, every note was so in tune with how i was feeling.

she describes her music as 'intuitive folk'. i kept thinking about that as i listened to her and sang along with her in my car.

i thought about the things that i do and why i do them. i thought about what i base my choices on - logic, reason, gut feeling? intuition?

and i started to realise that intuition is what i seem to be following the most when it comes to my dyeing these days. it's the voice inside me that says "give that plant a try", "try the branches as well as the leaves", "turn the heat down a little", "leave it in the pot a little longer".... if i let myself be still and quiet, this intuitive voice sings clearly - encouraging me to try new things and experiment.

having said that, there are definitely parts of the dyeing process that are logical and methodical - that are tried and true and that i tend to follow as a rough guide. but there is also a lot of space for experimentation - for play and exploration. and that's where the magic of plant dyeing happens!


i've also been thinking about what direction to take my dyeing in. and i've been trying to listen to that intuitive voice to find the right way forward.

and so while i thought i would be putting some naturally dyed hand-knitted items up for sale online this winter, i've decided to take a step back from that and try something else instead.

next week i'll post up some pictures of hand knitted beanies that i've been making this past autumn. some are hand-dyed by me and some are un-dyed and retain their beautiful natural animal colours. handmade items can be tricky to put a price on, so i'm not going to. instead, i'd like to propose a little trade.* maybe you're a crafter too and have just made another rad pair of earrings that you don't need, or maybe you're a ceramicist or a poet or some other wonderful thing! i reckon we all have a lot of good stuff to offer.

so if you fancy one of the beanies, or if you think it'd make the perfect gift for a loved one, then you'll be able to leave a comment and suggest a trade.

we can talk, and connect and then gift each other a little something, whaddaya reckon?!


i guess i'm still trying to figure out what i want my contribution to be. so this is step one - listening to my intuition and seeing what happens.

*inspired by this barnacle bags post i read a while back, and the general awesomeness of the grown & gathered flower exchange


  1. Brilliant thoughts! I'd totally up for a trade... and looking forward to some dyeing together soon xx

    1. thanks lovely :) can't wait to do some dyeing with you jules!

  2. A brilliant idea. My Stevie-boy makes amazing wooden spoons out of Tasmanian hardwoods from our property. I would love to trade you for one of your gorgeous beanies. Penniless student hippies unite! :)

    1. oh wow! that sounds crazy awesome! i'll be putting up some beanies for trade at the end of the week if you're still keen to trade! :) xx

  3. I'm melting at the site of your photograph, Bel. I'd be so keen to pay for handcrafted knits. Because it would take a LOT of brownies to be an equal trade. But i love love love the idea. x

    1. haha heidi i would LOVE a huge pile of brownies in exchange for a beanie.... ;)