When I first took a spinning class the instructor asked if we wanted to learn to make “novelty yarns.” “Thanks, but I don’t think so,” was my response, internally snorting and thinking, “no way, I am a traditional type. Just show me how to do the thin stuff.”
Well. The thing about spinning my own yarn is that when I did, I started to notice all the potential aspects of the fibre that frankly, I had been a bit too clueless to notice in the milled yarn I had been working with before. Not a criticism of mill spun, because now that I know a bit more about what I am looking at, I really, really appreciate some of the mill spun offered. Gorgeous, lovely yarns. But all of a sudden, things like amount of twist, bounce, life, texture and drape came to the forefront. I have been attempting to learn how to achieve these things, in a deliberate way, and this has been very challenging at times. And then I started to look at what some of those “art yarn” types, those funky people who made yarn for its own sake, the ones that didn’t have to have a particular sober project in mind, in a whole new way. There was a website called the Yarn Museum, gone now I think, I haven’t seen it in a while. I understood the term “yarn pron”. And then I started trying to do some of them myself. It is so much fun!!
So, I have made some really awful combinations. Coils are hard. I tried to spin in some feathers, well, that’s interesting in a wheel with a small orifice. Didn’t finish that one. All along attempting to develop a sense of humour about the learning process, ooh that being a beginner again, and being a bit inept sure sets things off. (In a good way, it is hard to be complacent when I am sweating and swearing. Over yarn. Really.)
At Fibres West this spring I bought some batts from a local vendor, (sorry the card went missing, can’t remember who it was.) Colours that were not my usual, batts of wool, nylon, some kind of tencel stuff, and a whole lot of bright red fire star that ended up all over the place. The cats wore it for days. It had to be spun woollen, and ended up a very thick, very thin slubby yarn. I left it in a singles, (gasp), washed it, fulled it slightly. (Whoa, really getting into it here). And now I have to figure out what to do with it. (I love it. I have to do something with it. I can’t change my personality completely.)