For those of you who have not met me, my name is Erin Miller. I am a board member of Mountains & Plains Fibershed, as well as co-owner of Nerdy Sheep Fiber Works. I am a knitter, spinner, dyer, weaver, sheep shearer, and future mill co-owner-- but by day I am a librarian at a local jail. Other hobbies include watercolor painting, gardening, baking, and most importantly backpacking, hiking, rock climbing, and ice climbing.
2023 is the year of the Truly Colorado Sweater, sourced entirely from within my fibershed.
I've picked up 1200 yards of Clun Forest Yarn 2 Ply Aran from Left Hand Wool Company, and for each month of 2023 I'll be dyeing 100 yards, using only natural dye materials harvested from within a 150 mile radius of Mountains & Plains Fibershed.
I have selected Amy Christoffers Farmhouse Cardigan, to show off not only the beauty of wool, but the natural colors that can be obtained by native western plants.
As each skein is dyed, I will knit a new section of the sweater, showing off the subtle shift of colors as the months and seasons progress. The result, I HOPE will showcase natural dyes, and wool from heritage breed sheep in my local fibershed.
Here is my tentative list of dyes by the month, which is subject to change:
Jan- Ponderosa Pine Bark
Feb- Blue Spruce Needles/Twigs- Iron
Mar- Juniper Bark
May- Prickly Lettuce/ Iron
Jun- Aspen- Young
Jul- Willow Leaves
Aug- Chamisa- Rubber Rabbitbrush
Sept- Staghorn Sumac
Oct- Oak Bark/ Acorn/ Leaves
Nov- Dock Seeds/ Roots
Dec- Pine Needles
I will update 4 times throughout the process with a blog post:
Vernal Equinox- Mar 20, 2023
Summer Solstice- Jun 21, 2023
Autumnal Equinox- Sep 22, 2023
Winter Solstice- Dec 22, 2023
You can also follow along with the harvesting, dye process, and knit progress on my instagram @nerdysheep and @mountainsandplainsfibershed.
I’ll also be posting on Ravelry for those in the know. @nerdysheep