Adventures in art yarn.

I’ve been in a spinny mood.

All in the last few weeks, I’ve finished at least four spinning projects—depending on how you look at it.

fullsizeoutput_eb5I would not count those two shiny orange skeins on the left, but they are included as finished products of the Yarn Revival, which began for me in April. READ MORE

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Moonlighting.

Confession: I was worried that, after spring break’s total immersion of fibery fun, I wouldn’t be able to incorporate all that play into my regular work day. Yesterday was my first day back to work, and y’all? No worries.

I came home and hit it hard.

First, I braided up the two color studies I did on Sunday.

When I dyed the one on the left, I was looking for a color I could call “mint.” I know there isn’t a ton of variety across the braid, but I think I found what I was looking for. I was literally mixing and matching colors until I had six subtly different shades, which I then used to dye the top


The second braid was a little less what I expected. I was looking for pink, which I more or less found, but I ended up with more in the way of soft purples. When I was mixing the dye, it looked like I was getting a lot of pale red instead of pink (which I feel is somehow different) , and on a whim, I put some blue in. I know. Red + blue = purple. But I thought I liked what I was seeing, so I went with it. A little too capriciously, I added a dab of blue to all the jars—and got this.

There is pink in there. On the whole, this reminds me of the redbuds that are in bloom now. (Dogwoods have started peeking out, too. Have you noticed?)

I know that I could test these colors on smaller samples of wool—or hell, coffee filters—but I do like making a whole “colorway” out of it. Who knows? I might find a combination worth repeating!

After I braided those up, I grabbed the blending board and tried out the new finishing brush that came in the mail yesterday. As vicious as that brush looks, it’s the blending board that bit me hard and made me bleed a little bit. Ouch.

I put bits of luxury fibers like camel and tussah silk in there, along with wild strips of colorful merino and a base of natural, undyed merino. These fun little blending experiments are going into a bag until I get about four ounces of them, and then I’ll spin ’em up. I may get extra crazy and try some art-yarn spinning techniques.

I know. It’s insanity!

Speaking of spinning, I finally finished spinning the sienna-colored colonial, readying it to ply with the fiery Hunk a Burning Love merino/tencel.

I started plying those together tonight, and it’s taking forever. I’m trying my best to over-ply them a bit, but try as I may, I come closer to under-plying.

Anyway, I’ll let that yarn have its own post.

My point here is that I’m getting off to a groovy start with maintaining my fiber mojo when school is in session. (Even though I had to miss knit night at Maria’s studio tonight. We procrastinators finally filed our taxes.) With only six weeks of school left until summer, I think I will be able to ride this wave out to the end of the year. And then it’ll be summer-summer-summertime.

I know that I won’t be able to knock out three projects every single school night. I’m flying high on fiber fumes right now, but it’s good just knowing that I can remember to enjoy things.

As I spun up the last of that colonial, I picked up with listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, hence the quote I posted last night. It’s another audiobook I’ve been sipping on in small doses (like Brené Brown’s The Power of Vulnerability, which I finished at long last). The crazy thing about Big Magic, which is about allowing yourself to live a creative life, is that when I listened to it thinking about writing as my creative outlet, it made me a little anxious. But now, when I hear EG speak on creativity, I think of the pure joyfulness that comes from playing with colorful, fluffy wool. Or from tinkering with sticks and string, as Dale calls it.

I’m not saying that my writing days are over. (Obviously they are not, because here I am.) But EG talks about loving your craft and your craft loving you back. With writing, it is so often a love-hate relationship with me. There’s something about wool, though. I just love it—the look, the feel, even the sheepy smell. Does it love me back? The softness, the warmth, the explosions of color? Well, they all seem to point in one direction.