How to catch the dyeing virus…

As the first snow has already started to fall on Iceland, I wanted to share with you my visit this summer to one of the best and most knowledgeable natural plant dyers I know, Andie from Renaissance Dyeing. She lives in the South of France with her husband and in her dyeing studio everything is different that in Iceland except the love of sheep and wool.

If the hanks look the same, the crewel wool and Poll dorset yarns they produce for the dyeing has a completely different handle, texture and feeling than the Icelandic one I am more used to. If you like soft yarns, not too warm, this is for you!

The most important member in the team.

But what really strikes me is that everything here is done… outside!

Here is the garden where the yarn is prepared!

The indigo station!

The cutest indigo master ever 🙂

Andie dyes only with plants and all sort of strange brews, perfectly ecological and harmless for the environment (not something evident when it comes to dyeing, and that includes natural dyeing as well).

I first thought we would have a common ground on the ashes but… no, not really! Volcanic ashes wouldn’t do the trick and unless changing into a troll, I can’t picture myself collecting them before they get washed out (giggle).

The freshly dyed yarn hanging under an outside porch! Shadow is what is looked for here…

Even the “photo studio” is outside!

And here are the yarns, aligned in shelves and drawers, covered to protect them from the light (and the dust).

Mini skeins for embroidery.

Colorful kits.

And now prepare to be overwhelmed as I open the suitcase with all the samples!

… and try them on…

I originally designed my Alla cardigan for Renaissance dyeing, beautifully modelled by Theodora, my middle daughter.

This one is not much of a helper today but he looks good! 😉

Then we had a swim in the lake!

Simply the best!

Difficult not to catch the dyeing virus after that! I’m resisting (I only have two hands and 24 hours) but couldn’t help making little experiment with some stuff we have in Iceland: lichens!

To be continued!


  • all patterns and kits featured with Renaissance dyeing yarns: here
  • Alla single pattern: here
  • also on Ravelry here
  • Alla kit with Icelandic Love Story lambswool: here