Recycled Knits

Over the last little while I’ve been working on a technique of recycling wool scraps. As I knit over a hundred pounds of wool each year, I have a lot of ends that are clipped off of finished pieces that would normally go into the waste bin, and then the landfill, but in the back of my mind I have always thought there is a way to avoid this situation.

Through experimentation, and a LOT of time, I discovered I could strip down the scraps and re-spin them. I spin by hand on a Turkish spindle.

I have knit, in the past with the yarn created from the first re-spin. For the project I am currently working on I decided to ply  re-spun to re-spun.

This creates a thicker yarn. I will admit it is a weird ply and it creates a sturdy yarn. This type of yarn is a good fit for the project I am working on, a mini cross-body bag.

It is quite interesting to explore the idea of taking waste fiber and turning it into a functional item. This concept still needs further exploration, but it is definitely forward thinking.


Another Trial Bracelet

(please click on the above images to view a larger image)

This bracelet is another one of my naturally dyed experiments. The cotton thread has been hand-dyed in natural dyes of cutch, madder and marigold. The bracelet was then tied with one continuous piece of cotton thread. I like the look of the bracelet, but tying a wide bracelet with a continuous piece of cotton is a very time consuming affair. The width of the bracelet is nice, and the fit is comfortable. This is definitely a design to continue exploring.

Bracelet by Debra Hunter

A Catch of 10 (2013) – Fibre Art – Red Deer, Alberta

A Catch of 10 (2013) artwork by Debra Hunter naturally dyed and hand stitched fibre art 16.5 inches by 7 inches

“A Catch of 10”
artwork by Debra Hunter
naturally dyed and hand stitched fibre art
16.5 inches by 7 inches

“A Catch of 10” is finally finished after many, many hours of dyeing and stitching and beading. My estimate is that this piece took over 75 hours of work from start to finish.  This piece was started with a purpose in mind from the very beginning, it is a piece that was created for a silent auction for a local fundraiser.

The fundraiser is  for the Harris-Warke Gallery in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. The theme of this year’s exhibition is “10”. The show will be on display from November 11th to 15th, with the closing reception being at the gallery on Friday November 15th from 6pm to 8 pm. If you really like this piece, feel free to contact the gallery and place a bid on it.

“A Catch of 10” is a “labour of love” type of piece. All the fabrics, threads and yarns that create the piece are dyed by hand in tiny batches with natural dyes.  The dyes I make by hand, however some of them I have an even greater role in creating; the yellow-gold color in the background is a dye made from marigolds that have been grown from seed, cared for in my flowerbeds and planters, and then harvested to create dyes at the end of their lives. This is environmentally friendly art.

The “fish” in the piece are actually prints made from a lino cut I created for this work. To create the “fish”, first the image was drawn on paper and transferred to a lino block, the block was then carved to leave only the areas to be printed. I then modified the natural dye with a thickener, brushed on the dye, held my breath, and printed the fish one by one. Let’s just say the printing made for a very stressful afternoon as one slip up and all would be lost.

Once the “fish” were printed the fun began. Hours and hours of hand stitching and hand beading. I love beading. I love how it has been used historically in so many cultures. Beading is very addictive.

The imagery continues to follow my present theme of things and places that are local. I think it is important to embrace our surroundings and culture, it’s honest. I had wanted to do a fish piece for a while but I wanted a local connection, and then it came to me that people go fishing all the time, why not do the catch of the day. I know there will be more pieces featuring fish in the future as it was just too much fun stitching and beading them. The next “fish” piece is being plotted as I write.

If you are looking to check out some local art from Alberta artists pop down to the gallery this coming week. It is located at 4924 Ross Street, Red Deer on the second floor. It is a great way to spend a snowy day.

Artwork by Debra Hunter
paintings, fibre art, photography, eco dyed bracelets
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Rose Leaf Eco-print Scarf #1

” Rose Leaf Eco-print Scarf – #1 ” (2013)

rose leaf silk scarf 1 blog11 inches by 60 inches

This scarf creates the unique experience of wearing an item embellished directly by nature.

100% silk scarf eco-printed with the natural dyes released from rose leaves; colors are then enhanced with a final post mordant dip.

The rose leaves are sourced from a rose bush that grows in our front garden. This process allows for a beautiful image to be imprinted on the silk. The resulting leaf print has an almost a fossil-like look. This scarf has been created using a vertical fold allowing for a mirror-image effect through the length of the scarf.

This item is currently available for purchase within Canada. Please email for more information.

To view the story behind how this scarf was created please visit and view the post “Eco-printing With Rose Leaves”

I also post work at .