HAND DYED, HAND SPUN, NATURAL YARN PRODUCTS with Liesl Maertens of Buckaloo View
My name is Liesl Maertens. I'm a knitter, seamstress, natural dyer, spinner and designer. I live on a small farm in North Western NJ that has been in my family for over a century called Buckaloo View. For a few decades now, it hasn't been an active farm. But with the help of my mom, I am in the process of bringing it back to life. I forage and grow materials to dye fibers with. In 2018, I'll be getting goats, sheep and alpaca for fiber production, so I can raise and spin my own yarn to dye. My goal is to have a self-sustaining farm and live as closely and quietly to the land as possible.
Natural Dyes + Fibers
I prefer to grow and forage as much dye material as I can. My favorites are black walnuts, marigolds, cosmos and goldenrod, as well as various kitchen scraps, such as onion skins and avocado pits.
Certain things like black walnut hulls have high levels of tannin that naturally adhere to fiber easily. The fiber itself plays a role, cellulose based or protein based fiber take color differently and certain preparations need to be done to help color stick. Silk, alpaca and even different breeds of wool all take dye differently. You can use modifiers like vinegar or baking soda to alter the pH of a dye bath and change the color. Through research and experimentation, I've discovered which dyes work best with corresponding fibers to get the results I desire.
I love the fact that I can incorporate my love of nature and plants in my art - from dyeing fiber naturally to the inspiration behind many of my knitted designs. Slow, artful living and embracing simplicity is important to me. Wearing handmade items and filling my home with products that have a story is essential. There isn't anything more relaxing than putting my feet up after a long day, sipping a cup of tea, lighting a hand poured artisan candle and knitting a new design.
Visit her blog here: www.buckalooview.com
Or follow her on social media @BuckalooView