Meet the Dyer: Carle and Nolundi from Nurturing Fibres


Carlé and Nolundi

We are pleased to introduce the first ever dyer for The Golden Skein: Carlé from Nurturing Fibres, an indie dyer from the Western Cape in South Africa. Jo discovered Nurturing Fibres during her time living in South Africa, along with the wonderful community of South African knitters. The highlight of this time, was when all of the knitters banded together to work on a shawl project for one of Jo’s friends, who was diagnosed with breast cancer, whilst pregnant, at just 28 years of age. Carlé specially dyed and donated some yarn for the project, which comforted Jo’s friend, who now has a gorgeous 1 year old and is in remission. Jo was also fortunate enough to visit Carlé at her farm in the Western Cape, and interviewed her about her dyeing in Episode 6 of the Shinybees podcast.

As the genesis of the idea for The Golden Skein came when Jo was in South Africa, it seemed fitting that Nurturing Fibres be involved from the very beginning.

Here is Carlé’s story in her own words.

In 2005 I started to knit socks and began my quest for the perfect sock yarn. The colours/quality available locally were so disappointing that I realised I would have to learn to dye my own yarns. After a long search I finally found a wholesaler and began dyeing yarns for my own projects. Within the first month, I had to start selling to friends because I was dyeing more yarn than I could knit and did not want to stop dyeing. Soon I began supplying Orion Wool Shop and was enjoying my days, playing with colour.

I chose the name Nurturing Fibres for my Indie dyeing label because I like the idea that I nurture colour into the yarn and then you, the knitter, crocheter, weaver then nurture the yarn into a garment. Finally the garment nurtures you and comforts you or your loved one.

I see colour in everything, my memories are not event based but are more colour memories. Because of this I assumed I would be artistic like my gran, but alas, I’m not. But colour, I really understand colour. I know how to make yellow work with different skin tones and I see colours in complex layers. It difficult to explain, but it makes hand dyeing yarn so honest. I like to take a thought or experience, see it in colour and then build up the colours on yarn until the complexity of the tones beg to be knitted.

Nurturing Fibres is a big part of our farm life.

Nolundi is in charge of skeining, stock management and preparing the yarns for the customers. She is eager to get her hands in the dye baths, but I am resisting this as I love dyeing. She is kind, gentle, loyal and eager to assist and learn. We work very well together. I dye the yarns, develop the colour ways and do all the admin. I don’t like admin and would hand this role over to my husband at the drop of a hat 🙂

Stay happy and keep knitting.

And here’s what she had to say about dyeing for our Trial Club.

When Jo sent me the picture, I spent sometime looking at the layers of colours and knew that I wanted to represent the whole picture. Since the sun was such an essential part of the picture, I wanted to focus on this, while respecting that not everyone loves yellow as much as I do. It would have been easy to ignore the yellow, but my search for the best way to keep yellow in this colourway gave rise to the 2 skein idea. The 2 skein idea is also a ‘play’ on the two worlds: the earth and the sun, connected by an invisible force -the ribbon- yet separate.

The main colour is a variegated colour but within each colour section there are layered tones and shades. In here you will discover the sky, the clouds, the land (and it shifts in tones) and the rocks. This colour is somewhat like an impressionist painting. The yellow is also a layered colour, with lots of subtle tones.


Nurturing Fibres’ Supertwist Sock Wool, in the colourway Golden Dawn, dyed exclusively for the TGS trial club