Autumn Palette on Yarn

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Over the years, I have dyed yarn with dyes I made from plants just for fun.  I love the element of surprise when I am dyeing with natural, plant-based dyes, never knowing for certain how the yarn will turn out.  About a month ago, I caught the “must dye with plants” fever pretty strongly and realized that at the rate I was dyeing, I would need to sell the yarn!

So much goes into this process!  I am very meticulous, and each skein has been dyed with careful attention to details.  The yarns I selected to dye with are from a combination of sources, some commercially produced, others milled in Virginia by folks I have met and admired.  I prepare the yarns for dyeing based on the plants I will dye them with.  I gather my dye materials by hand (and sometimes with the help of many small hands) on our property or nearby and then extract the dyes, typically on my kitchen stove, but sometimes using only solar energy.  After straining the plant materials from the dyes I am ready to dye my skeins.  After they are dyed, I hang them to dry for awhile, allowing the dyes to settle in before beginning the process of rinsing and washing them by hand.  All skeins are given a final soak in Eucalan, a wonderful pH neutral wool wash.  After washing, my skeins return to the drying rack and once they are fully dry, I reskein them by hand using my table-top swift to ensure that there are no tangles in the yarn.  The process is lengthy, but it is teaching me patience and it is very satisfying to see my finished skeins, each pretty and unique.  I am offering for sale those skeins that I believe are beautiful, those that I would knit with myself.

With a few exceptions, I always dye in batches of at least two skeins, and I encourage you to buy all you would need for your project at once because I cannot exactly reproduce any of these skeins.  I dyed larger batches of a few colors, so there are 4 to 6 skeins available for those listings.  These are seasonal yarns: the flowers and berries that I used to dye them with are only available for a window of time.  Available colors naturally change with the seasons.

Plant dyes can be very colorfast, some more so than others.  The skeins I have dyed myself or purchased from other dyers using natural dyes over the years haven’t faded, but there are no guarantees, which only lends to the appeal of naturally dyed yarns, in my opinion.  I think the best way to preserve your yarns and the objects you create with them is to store them away from direct sunlight, and when washing, always use a gentle pH neutral wool wash.

You can see all my yarns in my G. Sheller Etsy shop.  Sold out!  You guys!!!  Thank you all for your support!  Hopefully there will be more in a few weeks. 🙂


  1. SO lovely! wish I had seen them in time. I would love the pokeberry. Please let me know when there are more available.

  2. Gorgeous! I am so late to the game here and those are simply lovely and all my favorite colors. I can’t wait until you have more to sell and that I”m on top of it and can buy some!

  3. Is it wrong that even though I only know how to knit wonky granny washcloths, I am STILL jealous of the folks who bought the yarn? Lovely colors especially the poke berry. Also, do you notice that all of the colors look great together? Isn’t God amazing when He coordinates our colors?

  4. The colours are simply gorgeous.

  5. Beautiful colors! You have inspired me to try once again to learn how to knit. I have tried to learn several times without success. With some luck perhaps I will learn this time around. Good luck with your yarn shop!

  6. Stunning Ginny! I went to buy some yarn but they are all so out. Good news! I’m sure there will be more in the future:)

  7. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Noooooooooo! Oh, I am crying with annoyance at my own idiocy! I wanted one so bad, but I was being very patient and quiet, and then where was I yesterday? I have no idea!!! No clue!!! But I know where I wasn’t and that was at your blog because I would’ve been the first in line to buy if I wasn’t so totally spaced out all the time. Oh Ginny, I’m so happy you for that you sold out so quickly, and that you are doing this. I was at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival on Saturday and, no disrespect to the artists there, but there was nothing as gorgeous as these yarns there. I know because I was looking, and for the first time ever I came home with nothing, and went right to your blog to show Andy what you were doing, and said, “See? Like THIS! This is how yarn should be!” And he said, “Ah, yes. I totally see.” And then I forgot to check back on Monday.

    Okay, but enough about me. I owe you an email, too, I know. But what I also what to say was — what is going ON with your photography lately, mama??? It is, along with your yarn, soulful, and exquisite, and just seriously amazing. I mean, good grief. I stand in awe, dear friend. You have magic hands. And heart. I just love you. Xoxo

  8. I missed then. Wow! I wanted to say that they were so, so beautiful.

  9. Darn, I can’t believe I missed out! They are really beautiful, I hope there will be more in the future!

  10. So beautiful!! I love the colours. What lovely fruits of labour.

  11. These are just lovely Ginny. I too am captivated by natural dyes. Our fields and roadsides are full of plants and flowers just waiting for my dye bath. Sadly, this summer was so busy that I did not get any natural dyeing done. I will just have to enjoy looking at yours!

  12. Ack! I missed it again. One of these times I’ll catch it! 😀 Beautiful, beautiful work!!

  13. Thank goodness you sold out so quickly. I can’t buy any more yarn this year, and that pokeberry merino was about to make a dishonest woman out of me. Such beautiful yarn! I look forward to seeing what you dye up next. Next year. When yarn is in the budget again.

  14. The pokeberry is GORGEOUS!!! Love it. Missed out on buying it. Dibs on next year’s batch.

  15. Ginny, I just love the vibrant natural colors in your yarn. Simply beautiful!

  16. Beautiful colors! I do hope you dye some more 🙂

  17. Yes, they look great. You have some great dyeing talent there 🙂

  18. All so pretty. It looks like you sold out. Is that right?

  19. Your yarn is so lovely, Ginny. This really does seem like a great combination of interests for you. And, gosh, that yarn sold out fast! It was gone before I even got a look at it! I love the yellow yarns (especially the amaranth and tickseed sunflower) and the pokeberry yarn. I have been so tempted to try dyeing with the pokeberries that grow wild around here in central Virginia–it looks like you got wonderful results with it!

  20. Ginny, these are BEAUTIFUL! Have you ever considered selling the prints of the photos you took of the yarn? They are so gorgeous!

  21. Beautiful colours! A job well done to you!

  22. My goodness they’re stunning! LOVE!

  23. Drat, missed the pokeberry yarn. Very beautiful, just lovely work.

  24. Two are coming to my house 🙂

  25. I love these colors! I have a few books on natural plant dying, and this makes me want to start planning for Spring!!

  26. Looks like I just barely got in on your yarn-y goodness. The Marigold and tickseed is exactly what I’ve been yearning for. I hope there will be more of your lovingly crafted yarns in the future.


  27. The more I read this blog, the more I think, “wow, Ginny is super cool.” I love the yarn! The colors are stunning!

  28. How did I not know you had an Etsy shop?! I must go over and fill my stash. 🙂

  29. I don’t knit but those are gorgeous! (OK, I tried and failed at knitting years ago!)

  30. Beatiful colours!!

  31. Beautiful colours!!

  32. I managed to snag a skein of sport weight in amaranth! So excited! That peachy pink will surely brighten a dreary winter day!!! They are beautiful Ginny.

  33. wonderful! i feel very lucky to have seen your post in time, and i can’t wait to see the skeins in person!

  34. Beautiful!

  35. I said “WOW!” out loud. They are gorgeous and I wish you lots of success selling those!!

    I think I remember you posting about books about dying wool, but I can’t find it! if i imaginated it and you haven’t, could you pretty please post one? thanks!

    I still can’t beleive how intense that pokeberry turned out!

  36. Wow, Ginny. I don’t knit, but these magnificent yarns certainly make me want to learn. Beautiful!

  37. Oh, I’ve been waiting for some of these to show up in your Etsy shop. So beautiful. Thank you!!

  38. Thanks Ginny, I bought all of the sport weight merino in tickseed sunflower, and I hope it is just as beautiful in person. I think I will have to make something special for myself for a change ;o)

  39. It is all so beautiful…it was hard to pick! Thank you for offering it. I’ve been thinking about getting some ever since you posted about doing that.


  40. Everything is gorgeous! I fell in love with the pokeberry-dyed yarn when you posted pictures of it previously, so I just had to get some of that.

  41. Oh, so tempting! What a lovely line up of color, Ginny!

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