Spiraling Notions

Art Yarn

Citron & Other Thoughts

I decided to make a citron with handspun. I decided on some bfl i bought on sale. It is not my favorite color scheme but I thought I needed to branch out a little and try more things. It is part of my new years resolutions - take more risks - because I generally stick with the same thing. I am spinning this as a thread and then will make a 2-ply or navajo ply with the results.

I like that I am evolving. I had all these preconceptions about what I wanted to do and be when spinning, I approached the whole thing with an attitude or principle of what I expected it to be and it is turning out to be nothing what I intended. This is not a bad thing, just a different thing, and maybe a way to help take risks too. A dare to change and accept the change as a positive movement, then forgive myself for not “sticking” to my original ideas of the whole concept. It should bring me peace - not agitate me or make my life more complicated.

So I guess the long and short of it is that I am going to spin some super freaking thin yarn for this citron and knit something. AWESOME. Then make a citron for me or anyone in the house who cares to wear it. I think for me it is about the spinning and knitting and becoming less and less about the finished object. I do not even care sometimes if it gets to be something other than yarn.

Although I have some new projects in mind that are extremely personal in nature and a bit painful. I am hoping that the act of making them into yarn will bring some catharsis to the situation. Now that I have found a way to make “art” yarn it seems to lend itself to these ideas. It is funny - I have an old journal that I used to write in periodically and decided that it would be re-dubbed the Yarn Diary. I have had so many ideas since I shifted from pencils, paint and pastel it is hard to keep them all organized. The artist block that has been plaguing my existence for the past 10 years seems to have cleared up now that I have shifted to a new medium.

To come:

Wolves in the Basement
Reds, browns, doll parts and possibly locks. This one is gonna be nasty. I need to find dolls that are the right size... any suggestions?

Hijacking Innocence
This one is pretty allegorical, although they all are really. This one is silk and linen spun fine with rusted steel wool throughout. I am also adding spindle spun silk hankies - with neps and slubs throughout. I am intending this to be a three ply yarn - at the moment.

Flowers in Her Hair
A project based on various brown tones and my own hair. I have a shetland moorit, brown bfl and my own luscious curls to play with. I had about 6 inches of my hair cut for it. Although it is cliché there is a hat that comes to mind.

I have a lot of work to do.


Saturday Night

I love the Misfits. Cannot tell you why and do not have to, thhiiiibbbiiiit.

I was thinking of this yarn and decided that it was going to be a Misfits tribute - or rather psycho-billy-horror-metal - course Misfits just sounds more euphonious doesn’t it?

I had all these colors I am not too fond of. I am a rabid Sheep Shed fan. Their shipping is on crack, but everything else is pretty good. If you order the correct amount the shipping balances and it works out less that a lot of places. Anyway... I had soppers and samples and left overs from several bags of items and realized what I was looking at:

  • pink lipstick
  • apricot cottons
  • blue denim
  • cigarette smoke
  • black leather
  • blood

In short, all of the qualities that make up a psycho-billy-horror-metal girl. This was the first time I sat down and really thought about a yarn, what I wanted it to look like and how I wanted to blend the fibers to get what I wanted. Strange for me. I like controlled chaos. I imagine my yarns to be a bit like water color. You can direct the water color but not control it entirely (unless you cheat and use gouache). But this time I paid attention to all of it. It was still like water color. I could mold and not always control everything - but it was planned out and similar to what I wanted to achieve.

I decided I am going to work up the greaser/psycho-metal aspect and knit the intolerable cruelty skirt. I can envision this with the ruffle done in the saturday night yarn and even further I can see a young girl wearing it with a black leather jacket -> smoking a cigarette -> putting on pink lipstick -> waiting at the drive in... so we will see how it comes out. I am working on the gauge right now... it is making me irritated. I am two needles down from the suggested size and next is lace needles. I think I need to adjust the yarn - poop.

Although, to be honest, I do not know if I am a proficient enough spinner to veer into this area. I can spin a number of weights (worsted and woolen) and have used several fibers (even dyed my own), carded, drummed... but I only have since last march under my belt. I also do not like knitting or crochet as much as I like spinning so I am not sure what I spin in the context of its use.

I thought about taking my store down until I have more time on my clock - but I am not doing this to sell the yarn. I am spinning because I “need” to spin. I have stacks of yarn that are not used because of my knit/crochet problem. Maybe I should try weaving instead.

Granny Stacks Art Yarn

I have been experimenting with "art" yarn. I got a copy of Get Spun and Intertwined recently. I don’t usually read books cover to cover... In fact I think most craft books are really just glamorized picture books to be used for ideas... but I have read Intertwined cover to cover and I keep re-reading sections over and over...

I have done a couple of thick/thin yarns and this was a new technique. Granny stacks really appealed to me for whatever reason. And this is my first attempt at a grannie stack yarn. To me, it looks like a cross between granny stacks and coils... although I was going for the stacks.

I used a green Romney that I bought when I took my first spinning lesson. I thought was fairly ugly when I bought it... but it was really easy to spin and one of my first yarns ever spun. It was my first attempt at spinning thin and broke repeatedly so there are knots and slubs everywhere. I saved it because I think I have the precious spinning thing... like the precious knits problem they talk about in the Mason Dixon books. I really had no idea what the hell to do with it but could not throw it away. I thought it would make a good yarn to start practice with and I think this turned out really well.

I had a lot of fun making it and to be honest I let the yarn do what it wanted and experimented with it. I have not really ever let the yarn do what it wanted before. Even when first learning to ply yarn I did not have any mistakes that resulted in the type of forms or directions I created with this example. It was fairly liberating. I experimented with tension on the green yarn and also the “core” crochet thread - sometimes alternating them completely and making stacks with the core yarn. I even used the navajo plying method in several spots - folded it back on itself - and then built the stacks on it to make them bulk out more.

I decided on the name Spider Carcasses for a couple of reasons. While I was spinning I kept going back to the image of a spider spinning over an insect. Even the Rankin & Bass Hobbit film popped into my head where they are in Murkwood Forest attacked by spiders. You can just make out indistinct forms under the cocoons of string. Maybe it is a cliché analogy but it kept going through my mind like a record (baby). I also hate bugs. I have a habit of letting spiders live freely around the house - like roving death traps. Occasionally I find desiccated husks laying around in corners and the like. This was also a common reoccuring thought during the spinning.

Here are the yarns used: Green/Beige Romney and Cotton Crochet Thread... size 10?