Natural Living Woolspiration

Woolspiration: A Color Odyssey

January 15, 2015
natural dye club

For the Christmas holiday we spent a couple weeks at our ranch in Idaho. As some of you know, we converted the old milk parlor into our dye studio and this was our first time really settling into the space and soaking up the atmosphere. We had a big project on our hands, the first Natural Dye Club and the experience was amazing.

When we initially came up with the idea, a seasonal quarterly club sounded great, getting to experiment with all the seasonal plants and wonderful fibers from small farms we’ve come to know and others we have yet to discover. As much fun as it was, I’ll be honest and say I’m looking forward to a little warmer weather the next go around. Sub zero temperatures created for a “cool” challenge, lots of layers and plenty of hot coffee with egg nog. However, nothing beats the surreal walk from the cabin to the dye studio with the silence of a snow covered pasture and fresh flakes falling. It was yet another thing in life that’s made me truly thankful for the warmth of this thing we call wool.

I really wish you all could have been there and soaked up every moment as we did our best to do. So we created this little film, A Color Odyssey, to give you a small glimpse into part of our journey and the inspiration behind and within what we do, in hopes it will also inspire you, to experiment, take on challenges and dreams, and to find joy in the beauty that surrounds you.




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  • Reply Audrey January 15, 2015 at 3:17 am

    Ashley, the video is delightful, and so soothing to watch from a cozy place. I can well imagine the cold, though. You are so talented and have accomplished so much already, I am eager to watch you follow your dreams. I learn from watching your video that even in the cold of winter there are plenty of things to go out and snip for the dyepot. I love the colors you made this time. Thank you for this glimpse of your process.

  • Reply Neza January 15, 2015 at 3:28 am

    So beautiful! Thank you.

  • Reply Andi January 15, 2015 at 7:34 am

    Absolutely lovely, Ashley!

  • Reply Anna January 15, 2015 at 7:41 am

    Beautiful video, beautiful story. Your honestead is just perfect.

  • Reply Anna January 15, 2015 at 8:21 am

    Gorgeous video! I’m absolutely loving your podcast as well as everything else you’re up to, very inspirational and refreshing!

  • Reply Cait January 15, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Loved your video Ashley and David! I also love my two skeins of yarn you so lovingly dyed! Thank you!

  • Reply woolcrush January 15, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Ashley and David, what a beautiful dedication to this art form we love so much. The storytelling through words and filmmaking are powerful and breathtaking. Thank you for collecting many of my daily thoughts about my work, your work, our work, for us all to find inspiration when it feels necessary. What a treasure! Best to you and your family dreams from Missouri, to Idaho. Amy

  • Reply lori January 15, 2015 at 10:35 am

    wiping away tears. you and david, and coltrane and sigur ros (my favorite band) and wool. was deeply moving, beautifully made. sigh. i’m so happy for you all.

  • Reply Antonella January 15, 2015 at 10:58 am

    After watching this, how can one go back to buying yarn whose voyage they don’t know? If I were to knit something with these skeins of yours I would forever think of all the steps in its making that you beautifully captured here. What a different story this garment would tell , compared to the “blank slate” of a store-bought yarn…

  • Reply Fräulein Rucksack January 15, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Thank you for this sweet video. It awakens my natural dyeing dreams. And much more.

  • Reply Karen Tsutsumida January 15, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Lovely, just plain lovely. Everyday I ask myself the question, “am I too old to start again?”. I don’t have the answer yet, but in the meantime, your life, as it is beginning, is an inspiration to believe. I don’t even know if I will knit this dyed yarn I received as I just love cuddling it in the hanks, and now that I know it entire story, it has become even more special. I love supporting your dream!

  • Reply Amber January 15, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Ashley, this was so moving and beautiful. Thank you for sharing with us.

  • Reply Sarah January 15, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    This was such a beautiful video! Amazing words and images. I was so inspired – I live in Utah and I recently was thinking about trying natural dying, but everyone scoffed at me “it’s winter! There is nothing to dye with!” You showed me that is not so! I am going on a hike tomorrow and gathering. Thank you 🙂

  • Reply Esther January 15, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    Ashley, this film was such a treat. I truly enjoyed the glimpse into your dyeing process. Oh and the beautiful outdoor scenes. Amazing, just amazing. Feeling inspired. : )

  • Reply Raquel January 16, 2015 at 1:49 am

    Stunning video, colours, landscape! So, so inspiring. So different from dyeing in the subtropics, in summer, with the wild sounds of the rainforest, mosquitos, ants and wasps around you… A different story, different plants, still, is colouring wool.

  • Reply aprilios January 16, 2015 at 2:25 am

    So peaceful! Thank you!

  • Reply lea January 16, 2015 at 4:55 am

    this was amazing to watch Ashley, thank you for sharing!!

  • Reply Jennifer King January 16, 2015 at 5:33 am

    I want to be a kid at your house!

  • Reply Leslie Eaton January 16, 2015 at 7:42 am

    Beautiful video…fun to see and share your journey! Congrats!

  • Reply Cecilia January 16, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Love this! Did you dye that lovely purple with elderberries? (Hope you don’t mind me asking)

  • Reply Lauren January 17, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Just beautiful. I loved watching and listening. You inspire me!

  • Reply Marybeth Kress January 17, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    Love your insightful podcast! Each episode is so thoughtful. Brilliant guests! Well done.

  • Reply Kathy McKibben January 17, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Thank you for sharing your dream with us. It is not actually a dream though, you are making it a reality. The video is lovely!

  • Reply cristina January 18, 2015 at 1:22 am

    i am blown away by this beauty

  • Reply Katie January 18, 2015 at 12:28 pm


    I tromp around on our Northern Arizona acreage and forage in my grubby clothes and runny nose, but I never heard the soundtrack that COULD be playing in the background beyond the quail and bunnies. This may make me look at my daily small adventures differently.

  • Reply chatti January 19, 2015 at 11:49 am

    what a beautiful magical story about the connection with nature. i’m a knitter but have no dyed or spun my own yarn (well i drop spindle once). this has inspired me to color yarn naturally. thank you so much for a lovely start of the day.

  • Reply emily falke January 20, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Loved it… Thank you!

  • Reply Thea January 21, 2015 at 8:35 am

    What a lovely film. I feel so peaceful and warm inside.
    Thank you.

  • Reply Julie January 21, 2015 at 11:29 am

    I just recently discovered this pod cast and just got caught up. Out of all of the episodes, this one has by far been my favorite. I’m a little embarrassed to say that up until now, I had no idea just how much using natural wools and fibers affected the people around us. For me personally, it will take time to transition from my enormous stash of artificial/non-conscious fiber yarns to local natural fibers, but the woolful podcast has really opened my eyes and touched my heart to move in that direction.

  • Reply Pattie in Vermont January 22, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Thank you so much for this podcast. I loved hearing her story. All your podcasts have been interesting and useful but this one really touched me. Thanks again. And thanks for giving away some of her yarn. Best wishes as you prepare for your own mill.

  • Reply Alicia January 22, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    This was so much fun to watch. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply AndyV January 22, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Great and inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Alyssa January 24, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Soooo, I am kind of obsessed with you after listening to all of the podcasts in 2 days. Do you take on interns at your dye studio??? I live in MA, but I am willing to travel over the summer to learn more about fiber!

  • Reply Sol January 30, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Thank you so so much. For your podcasts, this beautiful video and everything you do to share this love of wool that so many of us understand. I have been listening to your podcasts on the train this week and it has been so amazing to hear about your journey and the different ways that fibres are part of the lives of your guests. I spend most of my day submerged in a world that couldn’t be more far away from wool, colour and inspiration, but thanks to you I can still have this as part of my day.

  • Reply Jana February 2, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Hope it’s not too late for the give away! I loved this weeks episode. I just started getting into weaving, but it made me want to pick up knitting too!

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