Yesterday my friend Molly had a crash course in nuno felting and natural dyeing.
She came over with that Starbuck's pumpkin spice latte in her hand and an eagerness to learn, and though I thought the PSL was only so-so, I think her scarf turned out wonderfully.
Wanting to make a shade of grey, we looked for tannin-rich materials that we could afterdip with iron. A walk in the woods yielded oak leaves, acorns, twigs, barks, and a smattering of different leaves that went in the dye pot to simmer. We dyed her scarf at the pre-felt stage, that is the fibers started to hold together but weren't completely felted yet. That allowed her to add a few little undyed locks and some lines of fiber I had previously dyed before finishing the felting process. The leaf-like shapes were small pieces of silk that had been felted in. I love how they took up a different color than the scarf itself.
And I especially love how happy she was with the end result.
Didn't she do a great job?