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Dear Ann,

Seeking a moment of quiet earlier this week, I picked up a garter stitch project and listened to the recording of the fourth in Melanie Falick’s series of conversations with makers, Making a Life: The Conversation, linked up top.

Melanie’s guests were Oaxacan weaver and dyer Demetrio Bautista Lazo and the authors of Journeys in Natural DyeingKristine Vejar and Adrienne Rodriguez.

It was a wonderful way to spend an hour and change, learning about natural dyeing from three people who are steeped in the methods and materials of this ancient art. I was captivated as I watched Demetrio cram a pile of skeins of wool from the fleeces of local sheep into a vat into which he had poured measures of cochineal and lime juice, and observed in real time as the grayish fiber turned a vibrant red.

There is much to learn from all three of Melanie’s guests, from dyeing with mushrooms to changing a dye bath’s pH with stuff you find in your mom’s kitchen. The conversation whet my appetite for Kristine and Adrienne’s brand-new book. Oh look!—we have it in the Shop, on the shelf next to Melanie’s own book, Making a Life, which has been an MDK Shop bestseller since its publication.

I still have a little indigo kit in a jar from A Verb for Keeping Warm. I think it might be time to mix it up and see what happens.



P.S. To keep up with Melanie’s series of conversations, and also get the recordings emailed to you, sign up for her mailing list here.

P.S.S. Be sure to flip through the MDK Holiday Shop lookbook, where you’ll find lots of gorgeous books and all sorts of special things.

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  • I watched this live. It was wonderful.

  • How can Demetrio wear a white shirt while dyeing yarn. I would have dye all over my clothing.

  • Even if you aren’t a dyer, I highly recommend watching this. It is very educational and fabulous!

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