What My Hands Have Made

A graduate students attempts at becoming a fiber artist

My father was so wonderful as to help me produce a handful of new drop spindles. They are beautiful and exactly the sizes and weights I was looking for. 
Hand stitching on a rainy day. 
Trying to complete a couple of small bathroom rugs. Maybe its time for a spearmint tea break. 
Wouldn’t you know, the week I set out my yarns to be solar dyed was the first week of strait rain Kansas has seen in two years. I was so impatient that I set the 1/2 gallon mason jars in a pot with boiling water and let them steep for about an hour, finally completing the dye process. 

“Make stuff. Stay home. Draw. Dress locally. Hand wash. Learn to darn.”

—   Sarah Swett, Fiber Artist 

“The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.”

—   William Shakespeare
Naturally dyed silk noil. 
The top has been dyed with osage orange saw dust and the bottom was dipped dyed with marigolds. 

Undergraduate Research Journal for the Human Sciences

Natural dyes are not just my hobby but is also what I research at Kansas State University. My paper on the comparison of aluminum mordanted and non-mordante wool and cotton dyed with walnut has recently been published in the Undergraduate Research Journal of Human Sciences. 

This morning I spent some time bundling mordanted cotton yarn with Alknet. 

Somebody should have told me I would become a fiber fanatic. 

Today I bundled items from my yard. I arranged the plant matter on top of a piece of mordanted silk and then placed the rolled bundle into a mason jar with boiling water. I plan to leave the bundle in the hot Kansas sun for about a week. 

My current summer read is “Second Skin” by India Flint. This beautiful book of up-cycling knowledge makes me want to buy a cabin in the woods and wear only textiles produced from my imaginary sheep. That probably wont happen… 

Yarn from dharmatrading.com, naturally dyed with black walnut collected from my backyard in Kansas. Yarn skeins were both mordanted with alum and left nonmordanted. Walnut does not necessarily need to be applied to a mordanted textile due to its naturally occurring Tannic Acid.