When I heard months ago that Kristine Vejar from A Verb for Keeping Warm in Oakland,California was working on a book about natural dyeing, I got really excited. Started in 2007 by Kristine, A Verb for Keeping Warm has been home base for Kristine’s explorations into natural dyeing and is located in Oakland, California. It is the home of The Modern Natural Dyer – as this is where Kristine has conducted all of her research for this book. A Verb for Keeping Warm is a brick & mortar shop, natural dye studio and classroom teaching knitting, dyeing, sewing and weaving. I hope to visit this dream space in the near future, but in the meantime I follow Kristine’s inspiring work very closely online.

I was over the moon to receive an advanced copy of The Modern Natural Dyer to review. Firstly, it is absolutely stunning. The photography by Sara Remington captures the beauty of the dye colours and projects perfectly. I have been endlessly examining every detail of the book and rich photographs since it arrived. If you’re brand new to the world of dyeing, this would be an incredible introduction. If you’re experienced with natural dyeing already you’ll be reinvigorated to delve deeper with all the great resources provided. Kristine covers all the basics in the first half of the book and then shares twenty different projects divided by – dyeing with whole dyestuffs, dyeing with extracts, dyeing with indigo and then surface design techniques. The projects range from dyeing pre-made items like a slip, silk scarf or tote bag to dyeing yarn to knit a hat, shawl or cardigan.

Brilliantly, Kristine has also launched a series of kits to go with four of the book’s projects. I chose the ‘Flowers at my fingertips’ kit to make a sweet sewing kit. Everything you need is included in the kit – the fabric, a packet of seeds to grow the flowers, thread, gloves, mordant and scour. What a special gift idea these would kits would make. I don’t think I can wait until next year to plant those seeds to grow the flowers for this project. I’ll gather some fresh flowers together to eco print this over the fall to make the sewing kit. I’m excited to have the seeds to plant next year to start a little dye garden. It’s something I’ve thought about for a while.

The Modern Natural Dyer exceeded all my high expectations. I’m so inspired by everything that Kristine has created with her studio/shop/enterprise and this book is a real treasure that I’ll keep referring to over and over. Congratulations, Kristine! Thank you so much for including me in your book tour.

We’ll have copies of The Modern Natural Dyer soon at the workroom. In the meantime, one lucky winner will receive a copy of book AND a kit of their choice. Please leave a comment below and let me know if you’ve tried natural dyeing before and which of the four kits you would choose to try. Contest closes November 16th midnight EST. I’ll choose a lucky winner randomly.

Follow the Modern Natural Dyer Blog Tour!

The Modern Natural Dyer and the series of natural dyeing kits which accompany the book – are all available through the A Verb for Keeping Warm website.

p.s. I absolutely love working with natural dyes and have posted many projects over the years to give you further inspiration and love for this beautiful tradition. Here are a few of my favourites : Natural Dyed Zip Clutch, Drape Drape Shibori Indigo Dress, Mannish Style Logwood Silk Dress, Stylish Dress Book Shibori Indigo Dress, and a Hapa-Zome Handy Apron. Plus, this workshop with India Flint.

The Modern Natural Dyer

The Modern Natural Dyer

The Modern Natural Dyer






  1. I can’t wait to take a peek in this book. I’m planning to save my Workroom class card for next year’s offerings of the natural dye class!

  2. Wow, all of these kits look amazing. I was first drawn to the indigo kit because of the blue (my favorite) and the patterning techniques to play with. I would actually love to try them all! Thanks for this chance to win. Blessings!

  3. My dabblings with natural dyes have only included teas and black walnut; and only on paper.
    I’d love to learn more!
    I’d choose the Flowers at my Fingertips kit. It’s lovely!
    Thanks for the opportunity!

  4. This has been on my to do list for way to long. Hopefully this book is the push needed to get me going. Love the “Northwoods hat kit” in the purple of course!! xo

  5. I’m so excited about this book, it looks absolutely stunning! Years ago I took a natural dying class at Maiwa in Vancouver and remember going back to work after the weekend long class so excited and babbling to everyone about how much I’d learned and how inspired I was. Turns out everyone thought I was completely morbid and talking about die-ing!
    If I won I’d love to get the indigo kit. The new Alison Glass indigo line has totally inspired me and I’d love to try my hand at indigo again. Thanks!

  6. What a beautiful book! I’m so excited to read it and try the techniques. I’ve taken a shibori workshop with Arounna from Bookhou and an intro to fiber reactive dyes at the workroom. I would love to try the flower kit 🙂

  7. I have just recently starting to do research on dying as I would love to dye my quilting fabrics. The book looks amazing!!!!!!! I can’t wait to devour it all!
    Flower kit for sure as I hope I can rely on indigenous plants for future projects !
    Thanks for holding this giveaway! You rock! Xxx

  8. I’ve never tried natural dyeing, as long as you don’t count the variety of spots on the front of my shirts and pant legs from dropping bits of my lunch. We don’t have a lunch room with tables where I work. I would love to make the Northwoods Hat, though any of the kits would be very interesting.

  9. Wow. Beautiful book and kits. It’s so hard to choose, I was leaning towards the Flowers at My Fingertips kit, but the Waves Bandana Indigo is equally as appealing. I guess, in the end, I’d go wit the Flowers at My Fingertips kit!

  10. This book is stunning, as well as being packed with great info.
    Years ago I did quite a bit of indigo dyeing, but I’ve never done any natural dyeing with flowers, and would love to try.
    My choice would definitely be the Flowers At My Finger Tips Kit.
    But like you, I doubt I will be able to wait for the seeds to grow, and will want to make it this Winter.
    This post has also inspired me to plant some things in the community garden plot I help at that will work for dyeing.

  11. This book looks beautiful…and like just the thing to get me to start dyeing again. I love all the fabrics I died with Julie’s guidance at the workroom, but my stash is starting to run low! I would love the Flowers at my Finger Tips kit. 🙂

  12. Hi Karyn, Thanks for doing this giveaway! I have never tried natural dyeing before…I would love to win the hat kit as I love the knit hats as gifts for friends. 🙂

  13. I have never tried natural dyeing before but I have always been wanting to. I’d like to learn the process and to be able to teach it to people in my home country where we have a lot of natural resources but not enough people are inspired to do this or teach the method. It’s basically a dying art, sadly. I hope by learning the knowledge i can at least transfer it hence the traditional customs will be preserved. I’d like to try the Sock Hop Kit!

  14. I’ve experimented a lot with natural dyeing – yarn, fleece, and fabric – wool, cotton, silk. But I’ve never tried the method she uses with flowers on the sewing kit, so that would be the kit I would love to win – Flowers at My Fingertips!

  15. Love the freshened up blog Karyn! I would love to win the flowers at my finger tips kit – it will hold all my oils and brushes! As you know I have tried natural dyeing but definitely want to make it a more common occurrence in my crafting schedule

  16. This book looks beautiful! I haven’t been able to take one of the workroom dyeing classes yet, but I’ve been wanting to try my hand at natural dyeing for a while now. I’d love to try the Flowers and My Fingertips kit.

  17. What a gorgeous book! I too have followed Kristine’s work for a while, and I am so inspired by her dedication to beautiful and sustainable craft. I have dabbled a bit with natural dyeing (and making ink) from walnuts that I collected from my backyard, and I now have my inlaws in Arizona collecting cochineal bugs off the cacti in their yard so that I can get pretty pink. But I am in love with the miraculous blue that natural indigo creates. All of the project kits look amazing, but I think I would pick that indigo one. Thanks so much for highlighting this book and hosting a giveaway!

  18. This looks like a great book! It’s beautiful, and the instructions seem quite thorough. I just love organic socks, so I would love to try that kit.

  19. This book looks gorgeous! I done a bit of indigo dying and would love to take my natural dyeing to the next level. I love the look of the yarns in the Northwoods Hat kit.

  20. Thanks for the giveaway. The only natural dying I’ve tried is to tea-dye some linen for cross-stitching. I would love to see what the flower kit is like.

  21. This book looks gorgeous! I have done a bit of indigo dying and would love to take my natural dyeing to the next level. I love the look of the yarns in the Northwoods Hat kit.

  22. I’ve never tried natural dyes before, but would love to add it to my list of projects! I would love to try either the hat or sock kits!

  23. I did take an Indigo Dye workshop this summer and really enjoyed it. I’d love to try other natural dye methods! I think I’d choose The Northwoods Hat kit because I’m curious about dying with madder.

  24. I have tried a little bit of natural dyeing, just onion skins, avocado skins, and red cabbage. I think that I would have to choose the Flowers at My Fingertips kit as well. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway!

  25. I’ve tried dyeing yarn with marigolds, but it didn’t turn out well…I have lots to learn, so I hope I win the book. 🙂 I’d choose the hat kit, since it has yarn, and even though I sew, knitting is my obsession. Thanks for the chance to win! 🙂

  26. I’ve done two natural dye projects, one on knitting wool using lichen from our homestead, then this week, using our garden parsley to dye a thrifted table runner. This book looks like a dream & the kits so fun!! I’d pick the Northwoods hat kit!

  27. I’ve done solar dyeing a bit, thanks to a great class I took at my LYS, so I’d choose the Northwoods hat kit because it seems like the easiest to get right 🙂 What a great book!

  28. I have dyed a skein of yarn (and hard boiled eggs!) with onion skins before. I’d love to try the indigo bandanas kit because–INDIGO!!!

  29. i have not tried natural dying only because i did not know what i would get. i thought about trying it with red cabbage, turmeric, and red cactus fruit…just unsure of liking the outcome.

  30. I have never tried natural dyeing before but I certainly would with one of these kits! The knitter inside of me is screaming out for the Northwoods Hat kit. 🙂

  31. I ave not tried much natural dying, other than onion peels and cabbage, but I would love to learn. I love everything indigo, everything! The flower sewing kit is gorgeous and useful!

  32. I have not tried natural dyeing before. I also love to knit in the winter and would knit the Northwood Hat Kit on a cold Sunday afternoon and start dyeing!

  33. This all looks so amazing! Dying is something I have yet to try with fibre. I would pick the Flowers at my Fingertips kit although I struggled between that and the Northwoods hat kit. Maybe I’ll win one and buy one! Thanks for the giveaway.

  34. Thank you so much for this opportunity. I’ve been seeing this gorgeous book all over the internet. I have experimented with natural dyeing on small cloth pieces. I was gifted six seeds of Japanese indigo a few years ago, but sadly none of them germinated. I would love the indigo kit. Thanks again. Helen.

  35. Thank you so much for this opportunity. I have experimented with natural dyeing on small cloth pieces. I was gifted six seeds of Japanese indigo a few years ago, but sadly none of them germinated. I would love the indigo kit. Thanks again. Helen.

  36. I love to dye. Some times I dye yarn and other times I dye the finished object. I tried with food coloring and it worked pretty well! This giveaway is just great. My favorite kit would probably be Flowers at my Fingertips!

  37. Wowzers Awesome!! I must have that book! Of all 4 kits without of a doubt it would be Flowers at my Fingertips…. I have done natural dying (and dying in general) for years with a special focus on Shibori and would love to expand my knowledge with a burst of inspiration from the gorgeous photos and kits. The wonderful world of colour really exists just outside one’s front door if one is willing to look. ‘Fingers’ crossed!

  38. I sat in on a natural dye workshop at an artist-run centre in Montreal once. The flowers were grown by members! I’m very interested in learning to dye homespun and would probably choose that kit.

  39. I CANT WAIT to get this book! I love natural dying. I was so lucky to be able to take an indigo class from Glennis Dolce ( Shibori Girl) a few years ago – I’m still carefully hoarding the bits that I dyed…

  40. Oh wow! The book looks amazing and I should stop by their store…I live in Oakland and didn’t know about them(?!?) I tried coffee and tea on some cotton with not great try the indigo kit if I could..thank you!

  41. This looks so wonderful! I’ve done some natural dyeing, but only on fabric, not on yarn, so I’d love to try the The Northwoods Hat Kit

  42. Finally something awesome to put on my Christmas list so my husband doesn’t go off the rails and have to pick things out himself! I’d love to try the sock hop kit!

  43. Awesome! Can’t wait to read this! I’ve been fortunate enough to take classes with Julie, and grew my own indigo. Am always thrilled to learn more. The Northwood Knit Hat looks like so much fun!

  44. This looks a fantastic book!
    I’ve tried dyeing with walnut hulls and mulberries
    I’d love to try indigo dyeing

  45. I took a class on natural dying before and loved it, but haven’t done more at home like I meant to. Think this book would help! And I’d love to try the Northwoods hat kit.

  46. I arrived at Katherine’s booth at Rhinebeck after the book was sold out, which was disappointing for me but exciting to see so many people interested in natural dyeing.
    I’ve dyed with black walnuts foraged from my neighborhood, which is a great starting option because no mordant is required and it is pretty colorfast. We got a variety of beautiful shades of brown.
    I would love to try the hat kit, because I’d love to experience dyeing with cochineal or madder or weld. Those are harder to forage! 🙂

  47. I have wanted to try natural dyeing. I have used tea and beets. I wanted to try pokeberries but they all got cut down in my alley.
    I would love the flowers kit.

  48. The book looks beautiful. I have done your indigo dying class and have dyed yarn in the past–I love the look of the hand knit hat kit. Thanks for a chance to win!

  49. Hard choice to make, but it’s come down to the Waves Bandana Indigo Kit. I wear a lot of head scarves & bandanas, and who doesn’t want their own indigo vat?!

  50. Hello! I’m a third fine arts student at McMaster university and have been eyeing this book since it came out. Being a student, it’s so hard to choose what art things to buy and which ones are luxuries. I would absolutely love to win this book and the indigo kit! I’ve taken one natural due course with Rooftop Studios in Hamilton and it was so so good. I’ve experimented with dyes since, so this would be lovely to win.

  51. I have done some natural dyeing…indigo (took a course) as well as onion skins and walnut. Would love to do more. The hat kit in madder looks lovely!

  52. Me again. I’m a nerd and didn’t actually answer the question you asked.

    Anyway, I’ve never tried dying before but have been seeing it more and more and am totally intrigued. I’d probably pick the bandana kit! Though they are all tempting, for sure 🙂

  53. I tried the Workroom’s natural dyeing workshop and absolutely fell in love with it! I’m currently finishing up a quilt using the natural dyed fabrics.
    I would love to try dyeing fabric with flower imprint. That would be my first project from the book!

  54. I haven’t tried any dying yet. This is a great opportunity to learn something new. I would be interested in the knit hat kit. Thanks for the chance to win!

  55. I’ve been wanting to dye my own fabrics for a while now, and this book sounds like the inspiration I need! And the Waves Bandana Indigo Kit sounds lovely.

  56. I’ve done some dyeing but never with natural dyes, but I have been researching methods. I’m a quilter and a knitter, so I’ve wanted to dye both yarn and fabric. I would choose the Northwoods Hat kit.

  57. I’ve never dyed anything. But I would really love to do it one day. A friend of mine is obsessed with turmeric and she dyes everything in ochre yellow ! I would definitely go for the Northwoods hat kit.

  58. I would LOVE to win this book, and of course a kit. I have tried my hand at dyeing twice, once in a workshop with a local dyer and once with friends, and it is absolutely addictive!! I would LOVE to experiment more, learn more….I would probably choose the hat kit in this case.

  59. This is such a beautiful looking book. I remember dying some hankies with blackberries once when I was visiting my grandmother. They were a beautiful shade of purple when we first dyed them but a few months later they had all turned brown. I’ve often wondered what we should have done to keep that beautiful colour longer. I’m torn between the hat kit (which would be so useful right now) and the sewing kit kit (which would mean waiting until the summer but also growing the flowers that would make the dye). I hope you’ll share your finished project. 🙂

  60. I have been saving avocado pits for a while to use in natural dying–but am still in the collection phase. It makes fabric a beautiful pink. I like all of the kits but would probably settle on the indigo.

  61. I haven’t tried proper natural dyeing (have used coffee and tea for artsy stuff, but never anything that could be washed). I’d love to try the indigo kit.

  62. I have never tried natural dying but this looks like fun. I think I would choose the flowers at my finger tips kit x

  63. I have dabbled a bit in natural dying. I did an indigo workshop about a year ago and a few years back I tried all kinds of natural stuff not conventionally used for dying (like pinecones, grass clippings, dandelion leaves). A lot of fun. I am very intrigued by the flower kit, this is something I have not tried!

  64. I have been playing around with naturals dyes in my garden for a while now. I love the surprises that emerge from my dye pots. walnut husks and cosmos flowers have been my favorites so far. I would love to try the indigo kit

  65. Natural dying–sounds like another hobby to add to my growing list! Would love to try the hat kit. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

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