Tag Archive: Craft


Another Four Elements Yarn…

DSCN1687After dyeing the Scottish wool that I had just picked up from the fields, I carded it and then used a wooden hair comb as a makeshift hackle! The colors blended quite beautifully and I span and then navajoplied them.

 

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And somewhere on the web I had seen this brilliant idea to keep the ply from tangling! Works a treat!! Now the yarn is drying, so the final picture will have to wait for tomorrow.

 

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I am quite impressed with the way the colors have come out, very soft hues of blue, green and red, held together by the woolwhite. I chose green as the color of the element earth because in my tradition the Earth is called “the Green Diamond” :-).  There is still a lot of wool left so I will make more of this yarn over the next few days.

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Solar Dyeing…

 

The idea is so neat but I had no dye in the house, except for Easter egg colors… Why not? This morning, I filled jars with wool, popped a tablet or two of egg dye on them and filled the jars with a mix of hot water and vinegar. They are now out in the sun and I am more than curious to check out the result later on… and here it is, solar dyed Easteregg coloured Scottish wool!! 🙂

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When I had finished the Vision Quest yarn, I just could not stop but had to go on to the next project. The task was to reflect on what I love about myself because without love for myself I cannot love others, and I cannot be creative.

Some time ago, I had followed a workshop about archetypes and I was reminded of the fact that two elements are quite predominant in me: “water” and “earth”. I use “air” a lot when I deal with life and “fire” is the suppressed element that I only “let out” every now and again. I do love it when all four elements are in balance and I live out of that perfect blend.

I was hit by the realization that the fibres I had used regularly here and there in my creations express the “water-earth” elements perfectly: the beautiful blend of silk that I call in my mind “Iona colors”:

 

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So this would be the core of my yarn, the foundation.

In order to add “fire”, I thought of the gift I had received the day before from Suzy: yellow, red, orange, brown with lots of little added hues and glitter.

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In my mind, the two fibres were clashing, colors and textures were so different but hey, I would try it out anyway. Here’s the spun “fire”:

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Water-earth-fire next to each other:

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So, what about “air”? Air is, well, airy and fluffy and light, clouds sailing lazily across the sky on a warm summer’s day. Ah, how about the soft fur of Harriette, our bunny rabbit, carded with white wool I had gathered on a retreat in Scotland?

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And now all that was left to do was to assemble the three yarns = four elements:DSCN1670DSCN1678

 

As in “real life”, the “air” is very noticeable and here and there the “fire” jumps out!

I really love this yarn :-).

Then I had quite a bit of the “water-earth” and the “fire” yarn left and I thought, what would happen, if I assembled just the two?

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It looks rather striking, I think and leaves me to wonder what my life would be like if I based it on “water-earth” and “fire”, leave out the “air” for a bit?

Here are the two yarns side by side:

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Hawk checking out the finished yarn

Well, there was so much going on over the last few weeks that I had totally neglected my spinning project, Vision Quest. The aim was to express in yarn what I saw on a photo (chosen amongst about ten with different themes). I had planned to try my hand at dying because the yellow of the sun intrigued me. In the end, I used the lovely soft winter fur that our Alaskan Malamut Hawk had been spreading around the house so generously…

 

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The Yarn is a blend of multicolored silk, Malamut fur that I have dyed yellow with food coloring (hello, Rainbow Cake!) and green merino wool carded with green silk. I am quite pleased with the end result.

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At first, I thought that the yarn was too colorful compared with the photo but when I look closely at the darker colors of the road and the greenery lining it, I can see lots of colors and that is what makes it so deep and rich. So, here it is, Road into the Sunset Vision Quest yarn!

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How I do it- Solar Dyeing with Summer Heat!.

Road of Trials…

in February I had inscribed for a course of creative spinning, The Journey to the Golden Fleece. Today I was planning to write to my mentor and say that I just couldn't continue with the course because I don't have enough time and I feel totally blocked and it's just not possible…. Then I got an encouraging email this morning and thought, well, maybe this is part of the journey after all and I'm not alone with these feelings!

 

 

So I decided to go ahead with what I had planned: expressing the moment I found my spiritual path in fibre. I discovered the path of the Ceile De, a Celtic order, seven years ago in a time when I was quite low and depressed. So I planned to use a lot of the Welsh black wool and a bit of the brilliant green raw silk I bought a little while ago. I had two approaches. I span the black wool just normally on my heavy handspindle and then the green silk alone on my lightweight topspindle, then I plied them together. That looked quite good although the green is much more noticable than I thought it would be…

 

Then I mixed the green silk with pale green merino wool. I don't have any proper mixing tools so I used my hand carders. I ended up with the green silk just showing up here and there in the finished yarn, much more what I had intended it to do.

 

 

And then I just stared at the rests of fibre on my sofa, black, brown, white wool and some brilliantly coloured blue and green ramie that I got as a gift with my order from Hilltop Cloud Katie.

I started putting them randomly on my carders, first the darker colours, then blending in the white and finally the green and blue. They made three reasonable rolag type thingies (never really done this before, you see!). I'm supposed to clean the house in preparation for guests tomorrow but I couldn't stop and started spinning the fibre. The thread that wound itself around my spindle touched me deeply in my heart: the colours that came out are the colours of the isle of Iona in the Hebrides and strongly linked to our tradition. On Iona I started my spiritual path consciously… This yarn isn't finished yet. I will ply this with white locks of a fleece of a lamb in the French Alps and then post a picture of the end result! I was quite taken aback, though, by this onslaught of inspiration and now definitely need some chocolate :-)…

 

St. Brighid's Well, Iona

White Strand of the Monks, Iona

 

 

Woolly thoughts…

 

My homespun yarn waiting to get knit…

Hawk waiting to get his teeth into my yarn…

 

A few years ago, I was animating a group of children and had created a week on the life of the ancient celts… We organised an excursion to an open air museum, l’Archéoscope d’Aubechies, and had a really brilliant day together. A couple showed us how to spin wool and explained their techniques of natural dying. I was intrigued. Later on, another weekend on experimental archaeology, this time in Le Musée du Malgré-Tout in Treignes, made me want to try this out for myself. I got a beginner’s kit with a simple spindle and different types of wool and got to work. Over winter I worked my way through all sorts of wool and have now a little collection of skeins in different natural hues. I didn’t quite know what to do with them and took a pause. Now I got myself another spindle and more wool and just keep going until I know what I’ll use the wool for :-))… I just love producing the thread and enjoy the quiet movement of the spindle…