Yarn Fails

Yarn Fails

Because nobody’s perfect. Because when you mess around with stuff and experiment, sometimes it just doesn’t work. These are the yarns I don’t post on my page! And trust me, I made a couple this last week already. It occured to me today that if I only ever show people my non-fail yarns, it might actually look like I am just always on a roll, and even now, as I write this, I am wondering if I actually am going to post pics of my total mess-up yarns. Ok there is time to decide before I finish writing. The point is, if no one ever posts their fails it can be misleading, and potentially produce feelings of inadequacy in viewers. You know, when you visit someones fiber love page and you see all the amazing things they make and you think ‘wow, I could never do that’ and you feel your creativity sink out the bottom of your thick soled Doc Martins and your inspiration takes a flying leap from the nearest water tower. All hope, at this point, seems utterly lost, because they are just so, perfect. The thing is, and I am pretty sure of this, no one can do any of this and have wonderful yarn every time. Unless they perhaps do the same thing all the time anyway. Then I guess the chances are fairly high that their stuff is always going to be amazing..  but okay, thats not what I am talking about. I mean that when you want to grow, to open the windows and let in the light, you need to take some risks and try things out. Sometimes you have this idea in your head and you are sure its going to go one way (the way you want) but when you try it out, even though the theory was great, you find that actually. No. It doesnt really do  anything that  you hoped and there you have it, a yarn fail. Some people might consider that there is no such thing as yarn fail. That in the world of ‘art’ yarns, there are no wrong answers. So ok, here is an example from this week. I have been playing around with different kinds of silk, previously having some fun experimenting with wrapping the fibers around a coiled yarn (in the Shelob Yarn which wasn’t a fail and ended up on the Majacraft blog), and I wanted to take this further and see what else I could do. Maybe that was the day when creativity had left the building, but it seemed that no matter what I tried it just didnt work out into anything pretty, or even useful. So I gave...

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Spinning Textured Unicorn Barf

Spinning Textured Unicorn Barf

Spinning for texture! That was the mission of todays workshop, and I can confidently say that we nailed it! Just look at this! There were crazy textured batts full of sparkle spun into big and lofty textured yarns, thread plied with gold.. there were fine spun loopy plys, coilplied corespuns, and some stunning lockspun mohair! We finished with a quick demo of spinning objects into yarn, and then the day was over far too soon. We had some real gems though, check out this amazing skein Karen made (who is such a fun person to hang out with!) Honestly, between Karen and Inge, there was much hilarity and at one point, spinning loopy overtwist yarn I suddenly hear Inge commenting on how fun it was to spin all the little piemeltjes as her loops were ending up quite like well, lets just say the part of a male anatomy that my 5 year old is currently cracking himself up mentioning.. and I’m like, OMG Inge youre a crazy woman, as the discussion went on and I was working hard not to collapse in laughter 😀 and now, you know, whats been seen cant be unseen, so, thanks for that ladies 😛 Spinning takes on a whole new dimension sometimes doesnt it, depending on the company you keep. I apparently keep the BEST kind of company! You ladies rock. We also had some more serious discussions, about fiber preparation, the kinds of yarns you can make from different preparations, about finishing the yarns, and we also focussed on some pretty tricky techniques, there were certainly some more reflective, concentrated moments too where only the sound of whooshing wheels could be heard. I think we covered about four or five different spinning techniques and everyone made at least three yarns. Speed demon Corneel flew through the fibers and made some really gorgeous creations, including a fantastic Navajo plyed lockspun yarn! Everyone did really well with the corespinning and coil plying, Carin made a really amazing loopy yarn, it looks almost ethereal, and so light and floaty, and Karen made a delightful corespun that also looked fantastic as a necklace! Meike found herself in the colours and produced a lovely plied yarn in reds and pink, Saskia created a really beautifully spun coiled yarn, and Jessica totally found her groove in the lock spinning. Laury just did awesomely on everything she spun 🙂 Here are a few more pics:       And of course, there was cake:   Thank you everyone, for making this such a fun and memorable day, I hope you all enjoyed yourselves and left with some new ideas, inspiration, and motivation! Nu aan de slag – oefenen oefenen...

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Looming projects

Looming projects

Firstly, if you just want to see a video of how I do a direct warp on my Majacraft loom, just scroll to the end and there it is! Otherwise, read on.. 🙂 Its been a little while now since I discovered weaving as a new obsession  creative pass time. Since then, my house has become a repository for random cones of yarn, baskets of mini skeins and odds and ends off my bobbins. The boys from Belgium (Bart and Francis) with their amazing supply of beautiful, weird, and wonderful threads, keep moving to the top of my ‘shop there’ list, and yep, I have already collected two looms. I remember when I got the first, my beautiful Saori loom, the woman I bought it from (thanks Patty!) told me at the time that it was the first of many. I didn’t believe it. However.. she was right. I love weaving on my Saori loom, its a floor loom, it has treadles, two shafts, very simple and is very smooth to use. But it soon became obvious that it had some limitations that I began to find a bit well… limiting. I wanted to get away from having everything in stripes across the fabric, clasped weft, with its pointy spikey look didnt really interest me, I wanted to let the art yarns free to dive along the length of the fabric, to give them some room to stretch out rather than trying to confine them in relatively short backwards and forwards rows. So Pattys prediction came true. For the last couple of weeks I have been using my second loom, the Majacraft Dynamic Heddle, and its doing just what I had hoped, its letting me spread the yarns I want to really see all of, out along the warp. I can do this with it because of the different sized dent segments, some big enough to carry all sorts of crazy yarns, and then I can move mix and match these segments in the heddle. I dont need to tell you how cool this is, it really opens up a lot of possibilities for warping and the materials you can use. In my most recent warp I even added in strips of sari silk, and in previous weaves I have used coiled and bobbly yarn with no troubles at all, even a big puffy thick and thin single survived its weaving journey with no adverse effects! I was also able to do stuff like this, adding in a bulky yarn to the weft then carrying it up with the warp, through a dent and weighted on the other side to weave it into my design. Then when I had enough...

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Big Assed

Big Assed

Just in case youre looking for something to really get the adrenalin pumping, if you havent found the major sized crafting equipment created and supplied by my spin-sister Christiane and her mate Rob, then today is your lucky day! These gargantuan sized knitting needles and crochet hooks will really take you to the edge of extreme crafting, designed for the fearless by the fearless, these are truly momentous pieces of equipment. You could use these for rug making, funky wall hangings, huge cushions, or dammit, just put these up as decoration on the wall with or without knitting attached, there will be no doubt about your crafting leanings. I have been admiring these from afar, I love all the stuff coming out of Christianes studio, hopefully next year I will be there in person to play. She also has a great blog, I particularly love her Community Thursdays and awesome internet finds. Shared inspirations, happy days, lovely people. Blessed. Ok you can find Christiane and her gear here at Three Ravens  and shes also awesome to chat with on FB right HERE – lets give her a surprise and tell her I sent you from my...

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