Hand-dyed yarns have a special charm of their own. Their beauty is such that they could be used as ornaments or knick-knacks to enhance any room! In recent years they have made a strong comeback creating a trend of indie dyers, this is the nomenclature given to those who dye yarns by hand. What's more is that more and more people are practicing it and they are become better and better at it.
Today we are pleased to present you with the result of a collaboration that is very close to our heart, that is the inspirational collection created by Jutta of Green Designs with our magnificent yarns. Jutta lives in Colorado and draws inspiration from its land rich in extreme landscapes, ranging from the arid desert to the snow-capped mountains.
Jutta informed me that, once the yarns to be dyed have been chosen, the next step is to become familiar with them. She looks at them, she tests them. over and over. She takes them with her too wherever she goes, so she can always have them at hand and capture the moment a creative idea arises. Our superwash yarns were treated to the same experience. Jutta listened to our yarns and then selected the right treatment and colours. Fluffy, Piuma and Hokusai were perfect for both kettle dyeing and hand painting. They absorbed and fixed the colors, remained shiny and soft.
What do you think? To us they look wonderful.
Now let's read the interview and get to know Jutta a little better.
The most beautiful feeling in the world and the worst?
Probably your dog looking into your eyes is the best, the worst having to say goodbye.
You can ask anyone from history to dinner who would you invite?
Probably Jesus, I am not a fan of organized (anything) religion, but I am a spiritual person and I believe he must have been a very charismatic person to have influenced so much in this world for so many years.
Is there anything you like to collect?
Crystals, in all forms and sizes. I used to just collect rocks from each place I visited and it turned into collecting crystals. They are beautiful and I believe they have a deep connection to earth. Yeah, I am a hippy at heart!
The word or phrase that you use most often?
Can’t say I have one of those I can share here, LOL.
How and why did you start dyeing yarns by hand?
I have been knitting all my life and at some point it seemed a natural next step to have a unique yarn I couldn’t find anywhere else for my designs.When I started there were very little hand dyed yarns out there, now this field has grown so much. Many years ago I took a class with a friend at a local yarn store and was sold. It led to me becoming a member of a local fiber non profit and I asked A LOT of questions, bought books and tried to absorb as much as I could. Back then there was little on the internet, now new dyers are so lucky to be able to have all this information right at their fingertips. I do believe getting hands on information from experienced yarn dyers when I started was a wonderful and helpful experience.
What role does social media play for those who make a living from craftsmanship?
I think it is an amazing tool to get your work out there. I think a lot of us would have never gotten the opportunity to be seen by so many people. Most old school yarn dyers I know only sold locally, now I am lucky enough to sell my yarn all over the world. Added bonus, I am now able to see what all my customers make with my yarn.
Do you believe the place you live, Colorado, has influenced your career choices?
Not really, I come from Germany. Europe and my education, I have a masters degree in Architecture, visiting places like Italy, France, Spain, have shaped my choices and aesthetic. Art, design and painting was always part of my world (so painting on a new medium like yarn came naturally). Coming from Europe, I always felt like aesthetically the US is playing catch up. I have been here 20+ years and I see design developments that were common in Europe when I left finally become more mainstream here. Maybe influenced as far as me not being able to work as an architect here and having to find another outlet for my creative mind.
What aspect do you like most about dyeing yarns by hand?
I guess the fact that I can be as creative as I want to be, but still have to be exact. Yarn is a very surprising medium, depending on what fiber you use the colors will be so different. You have to keep exact notes on the process or you won’t be able to replicate a great color or color combination.
If you enjoyed reading about hand-dyed yarns by Green Designs, then you might also like to learn about silk cocoons: how to card them and spin them in this article.