Behaving Naturally

I have been studying natural dyeing techniques and spinning yarn in my free time since I have been done with school. Though my interests in all things textile related have always been present the need for all natural textiles and fiber products has not.


I have been spinning yarn on my new drop spindle and I love it. I love watching the fluffy fiber take shape as I determine the thickness and twist of each bit of yarn. I have yet to fill up my spindle but I am really close. I cannot wait to get it off the spindle and practice plying and natural dye techniques.

Since I have been home from college I have had the time to catch up on my reading, both English major-y stuff and studying of dye and fibers.

dyeI received The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes from my local library and have been marveling at the exquisite photography throughout it since then. This book contains recipes for a wide spectrum of naturally colored dyes made from plenty of accessible ingredients. The book also gives you some tips on creating your own garden of plants for dyeing as well as how to grow them indoors as well. After perusing the book I am really excited to try out dyeing with blackberries and turmeric. I plan on investing in my own copy to have as a reference.


The other book that I have been making my way through is The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook. This book is all about the animals that produce usable fiber. The intro is informative and even gives definitions of the technical terms used to describe and grade different fibers. As a newbie to choosing the right fiber to spin I have found this book to be incredibly informative. If I was to teach a course on fiber types, this would be the textbook.

Among these crafty things I have also read, The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz and Post Office by Charles Bukowski. I am currently reading Cloudbreak, California:  A Memoir by Kelly Daniels. Kelly Daniels was once my creative writing professor at a writer’s workshop/retreat when I was in high school. His memoir is full of drama and I cannot recommend it enough to those looking for a good summer read.


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