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Dear Ann,

So much typing we are doing! The days before the launch of our new website fly as I sit here typing and drinking tea and talking into my brand-new Bluetooth (which frees the hands for knitting but also makes me feel like I should ask if you want fries with that.)  Such is the state of our joint workload (correction: funload) that I am only very occasionally–hardly ever– roaming the Internet in search of tasty snippets. But I’ve accumulated a stack of good ones. Snippets ahoy!

New York Textile Month is already half over! Get on the Textile Trek! Studio tours and such. It looks amazing.

Speaking of textiles, a technique I hadn’t heard of: shifu, in which paper strips are spun into yarn, and woven on a loom into fabric. Roni Sher, one of my comrades in woad-dipping and cotton-stitching last month, sent me a link to this piece by artist Catherine Tutter. (Watch the slideshow; the paper yarn is quite beautiful. as is the idea of turning words on paper into a textile. Hidden words.)


Speaking of woad, a radio piece about turning Tennessee tobacco fields over to indigo, which is then used to dye fabric for fancy jeans.

(Don’t just read the transcript; listen. Regional accents, full of character, are not gone, not yet.)



(Woad and indigo, while different plants, yield the same dye pigment.)

Finally, from our cashmere goat-breeding friend who blogs over at Comptonia (which is a plant), a critical rule for living. Reading Quinn’s funny, wise words, I kept looking for the metaphor. Then I realized that it’s not a metaphor; it’s good, practical advice.

Spread to the edge! Get fries with that!




  • Every one of the pix of your woad-dying adventure makes me want to skip work, find and brew a giant vat of blue, and dye everything I can get my hands on…..

  • How exciting to know that they are growing indigo right here in Tennessee. Indigo is so much better than tobacco in so many ways.
    I didn’t notice those regional accents you mentioned though. They sounded normal to me.

  • Yes. I do want fries with that.

  • There is a group on Facebook, Paper threads, yarns and textiles, with Susan Byrd, that explores shifu. She’s a master of this and fun to communicate with.

    Worth joining if you can handle the beauty.

  • So many cool snippets. If I didn’t have Boards to study for I would head to NYC and tour textiles until I dropped. Kudos to Stony Creek for working the farm to jeans pipeline. Here in NC, we’ve both been blessed and burdened by tobacco. It hurts to see once productive land turned into subdivisions of nowhere with ugly cookie cutter houses. So good to see a true alternative!

  • I have done some natural dyeing, and Indigo is not only one of my favorites, but the most interesting (and fun!). I have one Indigo plant growing in a pot on my patio, and it looks nothing like plants in this story (different variety, obviously). The process to get it to dyeing stage is too long for me to even contemplate, but I have enjoyed watching this one plant thrive. It is so great to read that Stony Creek is turning tobacco fields into indigo ones! Do hope that they are super successful.

  • Yes, “spread to the edge!” It makes me think of this hyphenated word: “Full-assed.”

    Definition from Urban Dictionary: adj. meaning all-out; with every effort; complete.
    ‘Why live life half-assed when you can live it full-assed? ‘ ~ Shera Princess of Power August 17, 2003

  • I CANNOT WAIT for the world to see the reason for the headsets and all that typety-typety-typing. It’s so good. It’s all so, so very good.

  • Say Yes to fries! 🙂
    Wow, that Catherine Tutter project is amazing and beautiful on every level – so well conceived and executed. Love the snaps of participants spinning paper…who’d a thunk it would even be possible? Oh, I wonder if she used 100% rag paper – I bet she did – full circle, that. Did you look at the “map” of the finished wimpel at high resolution? It is SO beautiful! I just love this 🙂

  • OMG! A headset that “frees the hands for knitting” — but you sit there typing??? You have been assimilated! You are the Borg! (The Borg don’t wear chenille intarsia, you know.)

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