knitting, dyeing, painting, stitching ….lots of “works in progress”

We have been having very cold weather. This morning when I woke up it was -42 C with windchill, I’d love to say this was abnormal, but this year we have seen a lot of -30 and -40 temperatures.The one good thing about brutally cold weather is you tend to spend a lot of time inside and this means time to work on projects.

This morning I decided to take inventory of the works in progress, and there are a lot.

start of a new painting

A new painting is up on the easel and just beginning to be roughed in. Another 16×20 canvas. It seems I went on a 16×20 buying spree so there will be a few paintings of this size in the near future before I get to work on larger ones again.

finished canvas - cabin trees #1

I did manage to finish a canvas last week. The prettier version of it can be viewed here.

fulling swatchesI am still experimenting with fulling swatches and seeing just how far they will shrink. Finally a good reason to do laundry!

dyed then knit - before

dyed then knit – before

dyed then knit - after

dyed then knit – after

The ones dyed first and then knit still have a way to go.

dyed then knit on a larger scaleI am also trying dyed and then knit on a larger scale. This piece is about 15.5 inches across. Kind of a wild color combination but the yarn was dyed with another project in mind. Who would have thought natural dyes could be so bold.¬† We’ll see what it is like when all is said and done. It is definitely not “conventional”. (Feel free to laugh!)

wool dyed in pomegranateOf course I ended up being short 50 feet of wool for the above test piece. At 1:30 this morning another 60 feet of yarn was popped into the dye pot and dyed in pomegranate. It is almost dry now so that I can finish the knitting today.

naturally dyed hand knit coffee sweatersMore coffee sweaters on the go. These are becoming a lot of fun to make.

dyed hand made buttonsI also have been experimenting with dyeing the hand-made buttons.

fish stitchingI am working on another fish piece. Again the fish are hand printed with natural dyes from a lino cut I made. I want to try a few different things that I didn’t try on the previous fish piece. Composition is a little different from the last one. I am planning for the beading and stitching to be quite different. I see continuing with the fish theme as a long-term possibility.

stitching - grain elevator

The final “work in progress” is the grain elevator. Another naturally dyed piece with beading and stitching. The tansy leaves in the piece are keeping me busy.

The next week or so should be mostly stitching and painting as I am almost flat out of the locally produced wool yarn which is now my go to for the knitted projects. Hopefully I will get an order put in today or tomorrow so that by the end of next week I will be back to the dye pots and knitting.

I also have a beaded project in mind, but I need to find my teeny tiny embroidery hoop first………it’s “somewhere”.


Photography, art, illustration, and fibre wearables & useables
by Debra Hunter

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5 thoughts on “knitting, dyeing, painting, stitching ….lots of “works in progress”

  1. Deb your temps sound sooo cold! I’d want to hibernate,
    love the yarn colours, the knitting looks interesting, what is a ‘coffee sweater’?
    my fav is the wild flowers embroidered on the tie dyed background,
    all good work, keep warm, Frances

    • Hi Frances. A coffee sweater is a little knit item that goes over take out coffee cups so you don’t burn your hands. I have these selling locally in a boutique style home store here on town. The wild flower piece I almost abandoned until I tried something risky on the grain elevator part and now it is worth continuing working on. It sure has a long way to go.

      • thanks so it is a sweater for the coffee and sounds like a good idea, I was thinking of things knitted while having a coffee, probably with friends and so a good chat too, I wish you lots of sales,
        I look forward to seeing the grain elevator piece develop, Frances

  2. Love all these pieces! Especially the cabin trees and fish. Nice to hear others have half-finished projects. I have a print in a drawer waiting to be figured out and finished after several layers. Art teaches patience!

    • Thanks Linda. I like the fish too, I really like combining the lino cut with the stitching and beading. I think I have so many half finished projects because I really got into knitting the coffee sweaters which was where I invested my time. Luckily a local shop likes to sell them as much as I like to make them; hopefully I will find another shop or two that likes to sell Alberta made items to justify my obsession of knitting them. I’m almost out of wool so until the shipment arrives it might help me find the time to get some stitching done…..if the kids co-operate.

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