I have self-imposed rules for obtaining the plants I use for plant dyeing, which boil down to being a scavenger and using only plants that I find or am given or rescue from the garbage bin. I don’t pay for my dye materials or use materials that could be eaten. And then I broke my … More The Hunt for Red September
When I retired on 1 January 2016, the first thing I started doing was daily walks that started as hour-long outings and grew into 3-hour explorations every morning of the streets and parks within a 2-mile radius of my house. I felt like a puppy let off the leash as I turned onto alleys I’d … More What I Dyed On My Summer Vacation
I had an idea for a dyed, machine-knit, and felted scarf with lots of lacy holes and ladders, but when I tried to make it real, the Fiber Goddess said no to every detail of my plan and instead gave me something entirely different and better. I might have taken that as a sign that … More Then the Fiber Goddess Said, OK, Whatever
I liked my original idea. I still do. It was going to be a machine-knit version of a felted, dropped-stitch scarf pattern called “Les Miserables,” which has a deconstructed look that attracts me, but not enough to suffer through hand-knitting all that stockinette. After machine-knitting it and gently felting it, I was going to fold … More The Fiber Goddess Said, Forget Your Idea, This Is Better
Over the past nine months I have been experimenting with the basics of plant dyeing using scavenged materials. The thrill of uncovering beautiful colors hidden inside ordinary plants that I never noticed before, or food waste that I would have thrown away without a thought, could almost have distracted me from the fact that I … More What Happens After You Dye?
Ever since I started plant-dyeing a lot, I have thought of travel as more than a chance to see my friends in other places or to sit in a sardine tin of a seat eating airplane food: it has become a chance to see what plants are growing wild in other environments and to collect what my … More The Witches of Warwickshire
When ponchos had their moment in the 1960’s and ‘70’s, I was immune to their charms. I’d been a few years too young to participate in the hippie movement, and by the time I was old enough to leave my parents’ house and live independently, the proto-punk cynicism of the hippies’ younger siblings caused me … More More Than It Seams
I knitted a sweater using a pattern recently, which in the general run of knitting blogs is not a news flash, but for me it is, as an exception to my general preference to figure out and knit my own ideas. The pattern was Stephen West’s Reis, a very simple yoked pullover with proportions straight … More A Matter of Scale