Designer Sonya Yong James' Incredible Wool Trivets Inspired These Buttery, Pull-Apart Garlic Knots

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By Christine Quinlan Posted July 28, 2015

To make her chunky wool table runners and trivets, Atlanta-based textile designer Sonya Yong James uses spinning and knitting techniques that have been around for millennia. 

All week, F&W is introducing artisans who inspired the outstanding summer recipes from our August issue.

To make her chunky wool table runners and trivets, Atlanta-based textile designer Sonya Yong James uses spinning and knitting techniques that have been around for millennia. But her felting method, an important step in which warm, soapy water and repeated agitation turn wool into fabric, has a modern twist. “I start outside on the ground using a hose, olive oil soap, and my hands and knees to work the wool in between two screens,” Yong James says. Then she and her husband wrap the wool in a tarp, which they attach to a six-foot-wide roller on the back of their station wagon. Her method was inspired by ancient Mongolians, who felted wool by wrapping it around a tree trunk and pulling it behind their horses. “We definitely look a little crazy driving around,” she says. $85; sonyayongjames.com.

Recipe Inspiration: Garlic Knots with Frizzled Herbs
The chunky texture of fiber artist Sonya Yong James’s knitted table runners and trivets inspired these pull-apart garlic knots flavored with crisp, buttery slices of fresh garlic.

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