Over the last several months, I have accumulated a growing pile of yarn that I dyed my favorite way: using plants that I didn’t pay for. Spring came, spring turned into summer, plants grew, plants died. We had dinner. I went for walks. People gave me their dead plants and trimmings. It was all fodder … More Foraged, Donated, and Saved From the Drain
Not every successful machine knitter is a genius, but for me, machine knitting is a much more intellectual process than hand knitting is. It requires very careful calculations before starting a project because there’s no way to try on a work-in-progress while it’s hanging on the needles of the machine, and it isn’t possible to … More Trust the Numbers!
In a frenzied quest this last summer to meet the deadline for a juried textile art exhibition, I neglected my knitting machine all summer long while I hand-knitted wall art, and when I finished those pieces I came back to my machine wondering if I still knew how to use it. The project that verified … More Nature and the Machine
I’m just back from my annual long weekend at a holiday house in the UK with my friends from the Ravelry group The Sisters of the Glorious Wollmeise, and my jet-lagged synapses have recovered enough for me to start stringing words together to talk about what I did and learned there. These long weekends at holiday … More Knitting Tourism: Cotswolds 2018
After a summer and some of an autumn dyeing and dyeing with plants I’d found within a 2-mile radius of wherever I was, it was time to start doing something with the greens, yellows, pinks, oranges, and purples that were piling up around me. I needed gloves, so gloves. I don’t like knitting with double-pointed … More A Show of Hands
My initial successes in September with extracting plant dyes by fermenting plant material made me want to try to ferment every plant I saw in October, and there are a lot of plants in October in my part of the world. The method I’d had success with was simple: Place plant material in a jar … More October Tricks and Treats
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
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?
After the weekend I spent recently in the UK doing plant dyeing with friends there, I came home with a fistful of pH strip packages and a lot of curiosity about what my dye baths would do if I made half of a bath acidic and the other half alkaline. Back in the winter I … More pHun with pH