The Majacraft Overdrive Revolution Begins

The Majacraft Overdrive Revolution Begins

If you caught our Fiberygoodness live broadcast last night you will have seen this already, the Overdrive, the bigass bobbin and spinning head that is now (probably permanently) afixed to my One Wheel, (my Aura). This is my baby come home! Over the last year of being let into sharing this process with Majacraft, I can tell you, it was like christmas at my house when this finally arrived. It took almost exactly a year from ‘first contact’, and discussing what features and systems a giant Majacraft bobbin would need, to make it something super special.It needed to work well as a ‘production’ wheel as well as keep the Aura characteristics that make it ideal for constructing the architectural yarns I am currently working on and the art yarns that I know many people enjoy spinning. Good things take time, no, I mean.. amazing things! It was so worth the wait. This has the features I already loved about my Aura, large scale. Bypassable orifice and guides, amazing tensioning system, easy treadling, and great visual presence too. And it spins so well, there is almost no transition to make between spinning on the Aura and spinning on the Overdrive, the same tension, the same fine responsiveness, no big difference in weight as the bobbin fills, it treadles the same way throughout. Having spun on ‘other’ large capacity wheels I can say for certain that the difference is the same as if you were to compare say, driving a tractor and then hopping in a Rolls Royce and taking it for a spin, it almost drives itself. But unlike the Rolls, this is no elitist item, if you are used to the Aura you will find this works exactly the same way, but  this is not exclusive to the Aura, for Rose and Suzie owners, Andy has designed it so it will fit these wheels too, effectively turning them into Aura style production spinners with a simple (2 minutes max) head exchange.   You can find more details about the Overdrive on the Majacraft blog and the Product page on their website. Another super fun part was planning the whole release-launch of this product, and again, I was grateful to be included in that, we found some cool stuff! Like the Bachman Turner OVERDRIVE track Andy posted with the teaser! I wonder how many people see the connection there now? It was a bit obscure.. and you were lucky you didnt get the 70’s video version with the big moustaches and skin tight silk jeans.. OMG! Well lucky THEN, because I am sharing it with you now! I had suggested to Andy that he should sport one of those ‘special’ moustaches for the...

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Being a Yarn Architect

Being a Yarn Architect

Back in November last year I made a post, in which I mentioned something of my current direction in spinning, I am calling it ‘yarn architecture’. I know, its yarn.. a bunch of fibers twisted together. But .. what twists we can create! Yarn architecture: building – constructing – layering – intersecting lines and angles. I love the complexity and the simplicity. I also love the challenge. I had already begun this particular direction earlier in the year, looking for ways of plying and creating, and tending towards over-thinking things anyway, it seemed a natural way for me to go. I particularly liked the idea of taking traditional spinning methods and using them with non-traditional preparations, like, a cabled yarn, made with uncarded locks, or like this one, with bits of sari silk splashed around here and there.   There were also practical reasons for this as well as aesthetic and experimental. I wanted to also identify some interesting techniques that anyone could spin on any wheel, knowing that at any given workshop there will always be a wide range of wheels, each with different capabilities, and also spinners, each with different preferences for spinning thick or thin, smooth or textured. Yarn architecture can be adapted to any of those things, traditional fine singles plied in a crazy multi-layered way, or bulky textured singles tied down with a fine wrap.. and then more layers, wrapping with silk hankies like the Shelob yarn I designed, these things add depth and excitement to spinning and the final yarn, not just in texture but also in colour possibilities. I loved this three ply cable with the textured neon in the middle, its a simple construction but the ability to play around with colour makes it an adventure to spin: That is another yarn that can be made large and crazy wild, or fine and intricate. Its really fun to move between those things even within a single construction, to really explore it. There are also possibilties for taking really standard constructions such as a boucle, and to play with the elements within that, for example, I made this super bulky boucle with a fine (traditional) single spun from Wensleydale (for the curls), and plied  with a very bulky merino, instead of the standard fine single that would normally be used in a boucle.   This has all the elements of a ‘standard’ boucle, but I altered them a little to really change the end result. I also really liked how the sheen of the wensleydale worked against the soft bulky merino it was plied with. This is what I find most interesting about being a Yarn Architect, taking a standard construction and...

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Like Trying to Shape Water

Like Trying to Shape Water

Where does inspiration come from? Its something we often have to wait for, it doesnt always come when we want it to. Its lack is found in the blank piece of paper, the empty bobbin, the undyed fiber… Is inspiration like some kind of fickle friend who thinks only of themselves and comes and goes from our lives like a butterfly in the wind? Unreliable, untrustworthy, mostly never there when you want it to be. Thats how inspiration often feels to me. Annoying. Sometimes it can be gone for days, only to return in a rush, which tends to be either like the sun suddenly coming out and pouring its glow all over your skin in a delightful warmth of ideas, or its like the outpouring of beans when you accidentally tip the coffee jar over on the bench and you cant move fast enough to catch the overwhelming escape of thoughts and creativity. Inspiration, you ARE my fickle friend. But. IF inspiration was more like a constant awareness, a consistent and continuous flow of small sparks, something we could count on to always be available, always be the same shape, would it still be.. inspiration? I might curse the days when I know I have creative tasks to perform and inspiration has failed me and not even arrived on the doorstep to be ushered in and put to work. I might find frustration in the blank pages and empty bobbins, but I am starting to think that if I was in a constant state of inspiredness, I would far too quickly take that for granted and treat it like part of the furniture. I think the edge would go off it, the excitement would go out of it. Maybe I would wake up every morning with the thought that, oh yes, another idea, doesn’t matter, I will have ten million more in the next hour anyway so who cares. So today I am going to work on valuing my downtime, loving my blank paper and appreciating its potential to excite me and fill me with a will to be active and alive and inspired, and I am going to work on living with a full appreciation of how much I love my fickle friend despite its tendency to hide when there are deadlines and run away when there are demands! I will work on accepting that I am not an inspiration machine, stop requiring myself to be able to switch inspiration on and off at will, and let it come as it pleases, to be welcomed by me with open arms and a vast amount of appreciation at whatever time it decides to show up. Today my inspiration...

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Sharing the glow

Sharing the glow

The good days! You know the ones, the moment you wake up you can already feel the excitement simmering away somewhere deep in your chest. I dont know what it is or where it comes from, its just known to me as a good day feeling, especially when it hits me even before first coffee. I can contrast it with slightly less good days of course. Like. yesterday, it started out with some great moments, but punctuated with a really good slice out of my finger because I havent yet learned not to play with scissors, and a kinda flat feeling all afternoon that I blame on the kinda flat weather. It was ok yesterday. I got some stuff done. I played lego. Partly I slept on the couch 😉 But the important bit? I have noticed that the way I am on the inside, totally affects the way other people are on the outside. Does that sound weird? I have started trying to be more conscious of my effect on the people around me. Its far more profound than I had realised. This is not because I am being egotistical or trying to increase my importance in the lives of the people I spend time with. This is me realising that my own frame of mind and the way I am expressing that, spreads to others and impacts them in ways that I would like to be more conscious of. If I am feeling flat, blah, tired, generally just not present, this is just what I get back from other people too. Its not surprising if I think about it 🙂 However what I notice far more is that when I am feeling joyous, creative, enthusiastic, and basically just happy, this is reflected back to me in multiples. Its the times when I laugh the most, turn the music up loud, geek out with my daughter over.. well geeky things 😉 get loud and dont care, make the most creative things and feel the inner glow growing in my chest just because life rocks. I see very clearly that those people I care about pick up on this and respond in such a positive way. This is a really good reminder to me to be considerate, to work on finding that inner something so I can share it better with the people I care about. In essence, its about seeing this same smile light up my daughters face, ten years on, and keeping it there for the next.. many 🙂 Why is this going on my blog? I am not sure 😉 Its part of my trying to be responsible for how I impact others, writing it, sharing...

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