Silk Glazing Yarn

Silk Glazing Yarn

I am cross posting this from my other blog on www.fiberygoodness.com, because I have also just added this video tutorial into the Tutorials gallery here on my Woolwench site 🙂 There is  a bit of background:   Silk hankies, what to do with them?! This was a question I was asking myself back in 2013 when I first started wrapping textured yarns up in silk. My first experiments involved some eyelash yarn and a coil, you can read about it on the Majacraft blog, it was all started with a dream about cobwebs 🙂 “https://www.majacraft.co.nz/?p=516  Since then I have continued to play around with materials and techniques to refine the process and see what else I could do with it. I did some ‘wrapping and trapping’, adding in felted nepps inside the layer of silk, this was fun and successful and looked great in a weaving. Silk is such a strong and grippy thread that it has a very wide range of versatility, and of course the colour potential and sheen always adds a zing to any yarn it is added in to. Back then I did a very brief ‘this is how I did it’ video, so now I have consolidated the technique further i felt it was time to create a more comprehensive video showing you one way, the original way, to do it! I love to create a very architectural yarn as the base for silk glazing, because it creates a wonderful sculptural kind of texture for the glaze to adhere to. Of course, this is just one way, you should also feel free to experiment with things like: silk glazing your singles and then plying to integrate the silk inside the yarn instead of outside it, Silk Glazing lockspun yarns, adding a light glaze of the same colour around any kind of yarn (the silk enhances the colour tremendously). So with no further ado – here is my latest video tutorial: WoolWench Silk Glazing! I hope you enjoy it and give it a go!...

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Yarn Buckles: Cute AND Useful!

Yarn Buckles: Cute AND Useful!

Something new from WoolWench land 🙂 Yarn Buckles! These are cute little dots, of great use to anyone who ever needs to keep a track of the end of their yarn, skein end, or keep their centre pull yarn ‘cake’ tidy and neat! Each Yarn Buckle has its own ‘moon’ shape, into which you slide a loop of your yarn from close to the end, pull it up into the corners and you yarn buckle will hold on to it, creating an easy to find marker in the skein!  It looks like yarn jewellery 🙂 and so also creates a beautiful treat in gift skeins as well as making it easy for the recipient to find the end and start their unwinding. I have found they work extremely well for holding the outside end of the yarn in a centre pull ball too, I just add one about three inches in from the end, then tuck that end securely into the ball. It holds well and not only keeps the end secured but is also very tidy and it looks really cute 🙂 I made some videos to show how to use them, quick and simple 🙂  And for finer yarns: At the moment I have three different ‘theme’ sets available to collect, the ‘Yarn’ one: The Anime Set: and the Dr Who set: During the coming year we will occasionally be swapping these for new designs as the seasons change. If you have any ideas for themes you would like to see please let me know! If you would like some for yourself, or a a gift for a special fibery friend, you can find them here! http://fiberygoodness.com/yarn-buckles/    ...

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What is ‘Art’ about ‘Art Yarn’?

What is ‘Art’ about ‘Art Yarn’?

What makes a yarn creation ‘art’ rather than ‘craft’? Is craft art? Is art crafted? I could go in circles over this for quite a while! But it IS something I have put a lot of thought into over recent years, and it stems partly from the age old debate about ‘what is art’. Traditionally, spinners have been considered craftspeople, we have learned skills, techniques, and knowledge that has been gathered over years and honed into something we can turn into beautifully crafted yarns. Often what we craft as spinners is the key ingredient in something that IS made as ‘art’ – tapestries, weavings, art installations.. However, to my thinking, there is also a time when we can call our handspun yarns ‘art’, I think there is a threshold we cross that moves what we spin from being a ‘craft’ product right into the realm of being ‘art’ in and of itself. I think it needs a few specific elements to take it beyond the skilful activity of crafting and into the expressive activity of making art. And it is of course as always, in the eye of the beholder, or rather for us, in the intention with which we create. I have an idea about the specific elements I believe ‘art yarn’ needs to have in order to be called art (and remember I view this as being is different from ‘textured’ yarns,’themed’ yarns, ‘intuitive yarns’ or even ‘no rules’ yarns). What follows is an overview of the approach I have worked on developing and solidifying over some years of spinning, from teaching art yarn workshops around the world, and as a result of my experience in co-creating and running the Journey to the Golden Fleece Creativity course (plus others) for Fiber artists at Fiberygoodness.com. I want to share this approach because inside it I have found some specific methods for taking abstract ideas, feelings, and notions and turning them into concrete, tangible expressions = art. I hope this is a useful approach for anyone wondering how to take their spinning beyond the craft and into something that reflects who they are and what is important to them, beyond making something wonderful to knit with and into making something that is unique, distinctively ‘you’, and that expresses something important to you. My Woolwenchy approach to spinning art yarns: This is a threefold approach that includes concept (inspiration), design (construction), and technique (execution). Concept The yarn you are spinning is not just for the sake of spinning, for this yarn you are wanting to express an idea, a theme, or a concept in your yarn. To do this, you want to fill your yarn with elements that reflect your theme (ie an architectural theme...

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The ups and downs of a creative life.

The ups and downs of a creative life.

It is not often that i talk about things going on in my life, my non-fibery life, I am a very private person. While I do post pics of my kids, my outings, and pics of things that inspire me and I want to share, I do not post details online anywhere about the things that might be looming large in my life that maybe make me sad, or scared, or stressed, simply because I am not comfortable to be that public with it. Its just me.  But I have had  plenty of all of those things over the last year, which seemed to be a year that simply lurched from awful to truly awful on and on. I am posting about it now because (i hope!) it is now behind me and I have the time and space to reflect on it and where I am at the moment because of it.  Having said that, I am still not going to write about everything that has happened! But I did want to share that at times this last year I have been MIA, I have been here but simply not present as I would wish to be. I feel like I have been swimming through a tank of glue, and while I could see you, I struggled to speak or to interact in they ways I used to. It started on the day my Mum passed away, and continued for some time after my Father also passed away within that same year. Some of the ‘things’ occurred as a consequence of those major events and some happened purely coincidentally yet rather unfortunately at the same time. I will not go into more detail, but the end results of the series of unfortunate events is that on top of losing my parents,  I moved house three times in the last six months, including the buying and selling of property, we had unexpected family issues of some import that caused a degree of pain, and I remain here in New Zealand with my children on my own, which was also not really part of the plan.  Yet while I say the ‘end result’ and list a bunch of pretty majorly negative life events, it isnt actually the end, and those events themselves are not actually the real results. And this is why I am writing this now. It is very true that what doesn’t kill you does make you stronger. I already felt that I was a relatively strong person, I never got stressed much, I took biggish risks with the knowledge that if things fell apart I could put them back together. I think I am lucky to be pretty resilient and self...

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Beautiful Bulkies!

Beautiful Bulkies!

I love them! Big bouncy beautiful yarns.. and I especially love to make giant yarns that at first look like traditional two ply, but when you start to see the perspectives you realise they are actually mega sized monolithic yarns! SO much fun to spin and use 🙂  I started spinning these yarns years ago, experimenting with different fibres to find the ones that would give me the best results; staple lengths, crimp, and then what plying methods I could use. If you have been following my page for a while you may have already seen the Newsletter and video I sent out (December 2012 – where does the time go!) all about spinning bulky, but it was clearly time for an update and major expansion! Luckily for me, Arlene also loves these giant yarns, so between us we created this new course that we think is informative, fun, and unique! So last year Arlene (my Fiberygoodness partner in fibercrime) and I, developed an entire course, totally focussed on not just spinning thick, but spinning super bulky AND lofty. The goal is not to create rope, but to spin a smooshy soft and useable yarn in giant proportions! From there its easy to go backwards and spin thinner, but achieving those huge yarns is actually much harder than it seems once you have learned to spin thin. We have made all three videos available to enrolled students via their own (permanent access) area on the website, so even though what we had in mind was one video per week with your practice in between, you might want to settle in with your food coffee and fibre supplies and work through them much faster (or much slower!), it is self paced because everyone learns in their own way and in their own time – you can’t push creativity! But I will be available to students for feedback, advice, and tips at any time after enrolment, and we have our lovely Facebook Group for sharing in! I am excited about the possibility of seeing people spinning up some of these luscious yarns 🙂 And I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share everything I know about spinning them. Arlene devised the super exercises for a very practical hands on course, and I think between us we have created something truly helpful and unique! More information is on our website HERE...

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