When I decided to start this project as part of a KAL to celebrate lovely Chelsea’s new e-book, The Wool Project, I just thought it would be a fun project to showcase some wools I’ve naturally dyed. I didn’t realize what a calming, addictive project it would be, and how much I would need it this week.


Β {from left to right: elderberry leaves, black walnut, madder root, and alkanet root in the front}


Last week was full of nervous and anxious energy, and I found myself coming home from work, fixing dinner, and diving headfirst into this calming and rhythmic knitting to ease myself. I honestly don’t remember what I did to curb myself before I picked up knitting.


There is something so special about natural dyes. The colors produced are such a wonderful reminder of the beauty of the natural world around us, and I get such joy from knitting with yarn that’s been dyed naturally. The madder and alkanet root dyed wools are the first two naturally dyed skeins of yarn to ever hit my stash. Jake and I took a class on naturally dyeing a little over a year ago, and those two skeins were what we ended up with after the class, while the elderberry leaf and black walnut dyed skeins were dyed in our kitchen with plant materials gathered from our yard. Lots of personal memories and touches are knitted into this cowl, which makes it extra special.


I love the way the colors flow throughout the cowl, which is achieved through simple slipped stitch patterns – there is only one color used on each row.


And that drawstring is so handy! In my opinion, it makes the cowl much more wearable and versatile.



While unintentional, this project went from a fun KAL to a very special knit, full of meaning and purpose. Even the name of the pattern became meaningful, as I was reminded that knitted can help keep me rooted in calmness, and two of the yarns got their color from plant roots. Life can be funny sometimes, can’t it?


8 thoughts on “Rooted.

  1. Oh, Jennifer, you do inspire me. I love the gentle colors of your home-dyed wool. I hope my dye garden will produce something half as beautiful too, whenever that happens. I agree that a drawstring makes this a very practical cowl. It would really keep me warm while walking the dog in the cold or watching soccer.


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