Thursday, June 19, 2014

A strange request

I was out cutting invasive osage orange trees with Ed when my phone rang. It was our neighbor, Sandy, calling to welcome me home from my recent trip. When I told her what we were up to, she asked if we could collect a baggie full of sawdust. I told her I would try -- as I watched the sawdust blow away as Ed chainsawed the tree trunk.

After lunch I went back into the woods, armed with a whisk broom and dustpan and manged to collect the requested sawdust. I couldn't image what Sandy was going to do with the pulverized wood, but I was happy to comply with her strange request.

Turns out, she wants to make a natural dye from it. Sandy is, among other things, a talented fiber artist. Last summer she used the yellow coreopsis growing in our fields to make a dye. The resulting dyed wool was beautiful -- so beautiful, that she entered it in a fiber contest and won. The prize was a bag full of cochineal (insects) that are used to make a crimson-colored dye.

Just last week Sandy sent me this photo of yarn that she dyed using winter wheat from our front field.

Can't wait to see what she comes up with using the sawdust. Makes me happy to recycle it into such a creative project.

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