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    « "My Mother Has An Aversion to Enemas" and Other Profound Things Norma Said at the Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival | Main | Tree Watch »

    Tuesday, October 04, 2005


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    So, do you have to buy more plants????


    I think you have to quit your job and knit full time. I've been trying to work out a plan, but so far no dice. I'll let you know if I figure it out.


    A dyer's garden is indeed intriguing. Maybe I'll have to take a look at that plant booth at Rhinebeck... Ever take a workshop with Rita Buchanon? She's a fabulous instructor!


    We were stuck in traffic. I saw a weld plant,on the centre reservation. I was just about to open the door and grab it when the traffic started moving. I am deeply upset about this.
    The dye pot smells like week old,boiled to death,cauliflower,but the metallic yellow of the water and the clear bright yellow of the dye are fantastic.
    Have fun !


    I'm amazed you haven't done this before. Sounds just the thing for you. I have some sort of pamphlet size books about dye plants and we wondered about that too. Of course, for me, it would involve convincing the gardner to grow them. But he likes useful plants and wants a plan for getting rid of the front lawn...


    Ooooo dye plants...

    I actually thought about it for longer than a minute, but with the monsterous dogs that my dh keeps it's just not possible. *sigh* Maybe someday...


    It's not the plants that are the real problem with natural dyeing, it's the mordents. Some of them can take a lifetime worth of organic eating and toss it out the window.


    I'm with you on the dye plants. I already have some of the medicinal/herbal plants, and dye stuff would fit right in.

    Never underestimate the ability of a day job to SUCK the life right out of you. I personally think they are vastly overrated. Uhhhh....except for the income part.


    I think you HAVE to do this. It's so Norma-perfect.


    The thing about work is that it just so cuts into the knitting time.
    I love madder red fabric - I use it in quilts whenever I can!


    Don't forget the New World plants. Coreopsis will grow where you are, and yields a lovely range of gold colors. Blueberries are great for dyeing, if you can bear to give up eating them. (And for the red range, you may have better luck in your area with the beet... what is it called again?)

    Seanna Lea

    I love that Handknit Holidays book. I was drooling over some of the stuff in there and going, one for me, one for gift, one for me, one for charity...


    I've grown woad on and off for years. It is manageable, assuming you don't live near a wetland. Make sure to remove the flowers before they go to seed, and grow it in a contained area of some sort so you will notice if it tries to escape. If you actually use it to dye, you won't have a problem with it taking over because you'll rip up the plants before they can go anywhere.

    Beth S.

    What a wonderful idea! You're already gardening organically, so why not grow your own natural dyes while you're at it? It makes perfect sense, as long as you have space for the new garden. The photos are going to be marvelous. :-)

    Laura J

    Buy some plants for meeee! Please? I'll pay you back.


    I'm trying very hard to resist the call of dyeing. (I keep reminding myself that the kitchen sink is brand-new and white, hoping that will help.) But, no, I don't see how it could be possible to knit that quickly! I don't think I'm the slowest knitter in the world, and yet . . . how do some people manage to complete so many projects in such a short period of time??


    That Rita Buchanan book is great, especially for such a short book. With your love of plants and fiber, dyeing is truly the next step! I bet you'll have a blast!


    See? Told ya' the Cold That Ate New York had made it to all four corners of the earth!


    As my friend Mike says, only the good dye yarn.


    Just don't plant woad!


    Wait. Are you serious? Are you really going to buy more plants?


    The words "Stewart, Tabori & Chang, Inc." are like a siren calls for me. Same folks who published weekend knitting and last minute knitted gifts. Knitter porn.


    Okay Norma, I'm dying to know, and I've haven't seen the book yet. What exactly does one knit for the winter solstice? A Prozac bottle cozy?

    julia fc

    I'll save you some indigo seeds is you want. I also have bronze fennel, and hollyhock.


    I was telling a friend the other day - ok, if I limit myself to knitting, dyeing, quilting, bookbinding, and casting glass, I can do all that, right? With working to support us, being an involved mom, keeping the house clean, cooking, having a social life. What I usually end up doing is plopping down with a book. Can I never do pinhole photography? And fabric printing? Rug hooking? Why is life so short?????

    Corinne Hendricksen

    I am on Cape Cod. Do you know where I can buy a madder plant or seed. Thank you.

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