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Westlake Giveaway!

There are only 2 weeks left until my biggest show of the year, the One Of A Kind Show! To celebrate my 5th year there, I'm giving away an Arctic Headband and two tickets to the show!

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Experiments in Natural Dyeing: Fresh Indigo (Polygonum tinctorium)

I've done a fair bit of indigo dyeing using the powdered, pre-reduced indigo and have always found it completely magical, and pretty simple to achieve beautiful results. This year, I asked my friends Glynis and Fraser of Aldergrove Farm to grow some fresh indigo for me, so I could try to take the process all the way back to the source (as well as use certified organic indigo). So, in late September, I picked up a big ol' bag of Japanese Indigo (Polygonum tinctorium) from them at the farmer's market and set to work. Below, I'll share the method I used to extract the indigo and make a dye vat, as well as several stumbling blocks I experienced along the...

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2017 Garden Timelapse

  My garden is one of my favourite places, where I get inspiration and energy to prepare for each years knitting season.  I love to grow a huge variety of edibles, and cram 'just one more thing' in every last nook and cranny. I also plant pollinator friendly ornamentals, and take immense pleasure in noting each new species that visits. Here's a little timelapse of how it's grown so far this year:  I always find it hard to believe, most of it started off the season as a patch of bare earth! Save

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Experiments in Natural Dyeing with Lichen

I was so lucky to be able to go to my friend's beautiful family cabin on Georgian Bay a couple of weeks ago, and while I was there I got the chance to do a little lichen collecting for a natural dyeing experiment. From what I can tell with my limited lichen identification skills, I gathered some each of Sunburst Lichen (Xanthoria elegans; the orange one), Hammered Shield Lichen (Parmelia sulcata; flat blue-green), and Reindeer Lichen (Cladonia rangiferina). I'm trying both the ammonia method (a 3 month long steep in ammonia and water, shaking the jar daily) and the boiling water method (it's as simple as it sounds) to extract the colour. The boiling water method is much quicker, but...

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