Hi there,

Welcome! My name is Rebecca and I'm a botanical dyer, designer, maker, writer and publisher (based in the UK).

I've written a book called 'Botanical Colour at your Fingertips' which shows you how to dye fabric and yarn with plants.

I'll be launching a magazine called 'Plants Are Magic' in March 2017.

Some yarn play!

Some yarn play!

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It's no secret that yarn isn't my main passion. I've been captivated by cloth for many years, making clothes and also simply fabric for scarves. I love the drape of fabric and never get tired of it. 

But recently I've been yearning to experiment with yarn more. Initially I planned to re-learn knitting; I learnt to knit as a young child, but never progressed beyond the basics. So I bought some chunky cotton yarn and some bamboo knitting needles. Things didn't quite work out this way though, as I was tempted by Tunisian Crochet somewhere along the way...!

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Of course the first stage was to dye the yarn. I pretreated the cotton yarn in soya milk as per my usual method (three dips in total - all explained in my eBook and book) then dip dyed it in nettle dye and avocado skin dye, and left some sections white. I was hoping for a variegated pattern with subtle striping.

I left the dry yarn about 10 days before rinsing the excess dye to help the fibres retain more colour. I was so happy with how the colours turned out; it was just the soft effect I was hoping for. This is how it looked before rinsing:

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Then it was time to actually do something with the yarn, which made me feel nervous and also excited. It was a step out of my comfort zone! I found an excellent video on Tunisian crochet and after watching it a few times and pausing it at each stage, I soon learnt the basics. I experimented with a small swatch, then unravelled it (to save the precious yarn!) and started crocheting my cowl.

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I used the simple stitch and soon found it really relaxing and it felt like my cowl was growing longer and longer without much effort on my part. It was quite addictive and I finished it in a few days! I wove in the loose threads and sewed up the ends to form a circle scarf and it felt perfectly cuddly around my neck. I like cowls because they give a bit of added warmth when worn inside during the winter.

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Next time I would probably crochet a whole scarf and use twice as much yarn, as it was such a quick and fun project. In fact, the possibilities are endless and I can even imagine crocheting an entire blanket using this stitch. It is just a joy to do.

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If you haven't tried Tunisian Crochet before, then I'd really recommend it. It's so rewarding and the textures you can make with different stitches are beautiful. I still plan to do some knitting in 2017, but this was just the perfectly relaxing Christmas project and now I have a lovely cowl to wear.

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Plants Are Magic - the magazine

Plants Are Magic - the magazine

Red onion skin magic

Red onion skin magic

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