June 7, 2008

Spinning workshop round 2

Today my mom and I attended Judith MacKenzie McCuin's spinning workshop, organized by Lynne at Knitopia Wools Co. The class was "Spinning for Weaving" and although I have yet to get into weaving and it may be some time before I do, I took notes and tried to absorb as much information as I could to file away for use at a later date. We learned a lot about twist and yarn construction, and got a few pointers on making some gorgeous art yarns to use to add texture to woven cloth.

This woman is incredible - a wealth of knowledge and experience. Listening to her talk about fiber and textiles is absolutely mesmerizing. She discussed everything from the mystical and spiritual reasoning for direction of spin used in Andean spinning and weaving to some of the most innovative and original ideas in weaving today. I really got a better appreciation for the tradition of fiber arts and textile design, a small taste of the history there. Very interesting stuff! I also bought a copy of her book, which I am very eager to read through.

Although the spinning part of the workshop was great and I was able to tweak and improve a lot of my methods, what ended up being the highlight of the day was when I got to play with the drum carder and an assortment of fiber to make a nice big fluffy spinning batt to take home! Here it is, my first foray into combining colors for spinning!

I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. It was so, so, so much fun, happily flinging bits of color onto the carder and watching them blend and become this gorgeous batt! I had at my disposal a lot of merino, some kid mohair locks and beautiful shiny silk in a broad spectrum of colors and textures.

Having never dyed or carded colored fiber before, this was a new and exciting treat for me. Lynne, who has an incredible eye for color and makes beautiful hand-dyed rovings, such as the one I used to make this yarn, has been telling my mom and I for quite some time that we need to get into dyeing. After seeing how much fun it is to work with color, I told her that she was right! To which she replied, "I know, color just makes you pee!" I couldn't put it better. I absolutely can't wait to see how this spins up!

I am really looking forward to tomorrow's class, which is "Spinning for Socks". That's something I'll be able to put to more immediate use. Exciting stuff!

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