Indie Dyer

The word Yama is layered with meaning from different mythologies and languages..some rather dark, but in Japanese it means “Mountain”.

My name is Madeleine and I am a graphic designer turned indie yarn dyer living just outside of Cape Town on the western side of the South Peninsula, in South Africa. I draw most of my creative inspiration from my environment and am totally fascinated by “fynbos”, a unique kind of shrubland or heathland vegetation that makes up 80 per cent of the Cape Floral Kingdom.

Since the first batch of skeins I dyed in September 2017, Yama is still a one-woman operation handling everything related to the business myself. I dye small batches of unique yet very wearable colourways including semi-solids with lots of depth as well as richly layered variegated colours. Yarn is dyed, washed and rinsed using harvested rain water. 


My yarn bases are proudly sourced locally - here is why:

“South Africa has developed an excellent reputation over many decades for top quality wool that’s well-classed, not contaminated with foreign materials and fibres, and is produced in an environmentally friendly way. Sheep welfare is a high priority on our farms and is strongly supported by a Code of Best Practice developed by the industry for the industry. For example, wool in South Africa is produced from sheep that are not mulesed – a surgical procedure that prevents flystrike. SA sheep are plain-bodied, resulting from decades of selection and breeding.”



My colourways & shop updates

Adding colour to yarn is my art, it is my creative expression and interpretation of the natural beauty I see around me. Every shop update will offer a unique collection of colours inspired by the season, the plants that are flowering at the time, the colours in the garden and on the mountains and beaches where I go walking.

I have staple neutrals (such as Khaki, Grey Sage, Ursus, Sandstone, Stone, the Maples and more) that I dye regularly and complex variegated colourways that are dyed in the moment and cannot repeat exactly the same. Regular colours tend to evolve and change over time, some batches are speckled and some not..the dyeing process is intuitive and never aimed at mass production. The same colourway will vary between shop updates and skeins from the same update can also have some variation since it is dyed across a few pots.

Skeins with variations can certainly be used together by alternating, which is always recommended as it creates a lively, rich fabric with depth and nuance. I encourage crafters to have fun with colour - use different non-matching skeins together by marling and alternating, knit the sleeves a different shade, fade colours into each other, add a stripe! 


Thank you for stopping by my store, I hope you will find a colourway that speaks to you..and I would love to see what you knit, crochet, weave or create! Pease tag me on Instagram or get in touch on Ravelry.

May you stay safe & well,