Tag Archive: Journey to the Golden Fleece


After my struggles with my asignment and the completion,of the “Iona” yarn, I had a look at the workbook (yes, I should have probably started there but well…). After reflecting on “what if…” questions, dreams, missed possibilities and letting go of all this, I wondered how a new start into creativity might look. The colours would have to be bright and contrasting, the texture both rough and smooth. Unfortunately, my selection of wool is all in fairly tame colours but I remembered a bright pink silk scarf in my cupboard that I hardly ever wore. I ripped it in long shreds and started my second yarn with this! The locks from the French Alps got mixed with rabbit fluff, very white and soft, plus the bright blue and green ramie that already appeared in the “Iona” yarn. The third thread was in shades of purple, and all three together make a – for me – pretty startling effect! Have a look:

Pink silk scarf shreds…

All three ingredients side by side

Can you see the rabbit fluff ? 🙂

Just a quick snapshot before I block it

 

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And her is the finished yarn, “Iona”, very ordinary looking but check out the colours coming out here and there 🙂

 

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

 

 

Three yarns

The Boring Yarn

The Anger and Frustration yarn

The Third Yarn

Well, I am still not totally happy but it was an experience…

 

 

When I started on this journey, I had a great idea how to design my first yar. Thinking back to the time before I embarked on my spiritual journey, I came across an avatar I used which expresses this pre-adventure me quite well:

So I decided to work with the colour scheme of this gothic girl I was for a while, black, red and hints of other colours witha bit of sparkle. I found fibres to work with and waited for them to arrive.
But only one shipping made it, the rest never turned up! So I had to rethink and got a bit upset. Time went by and I ended up spinning a yarn just because I felt I had to (very much the old me, by the way, feeling obliged and doiing things against my will and better judgement). This is it:
 
I wasn't happy because it was just a boring old yarn in colours I didn't like…
So I bought some sparkely paillettes and nylon to add them to the dark purple fibre. That would work much better, I thought. I did manage to get the paillettes on nylon thread but when the doorbell rang and I had to put it down, it all tangled up and I just couldn't get it detangled, try as I might! I thought that in the end I wouldn't be able to use the nylon anyway as it seemed unmanagable, so I gave up this path, too.

 

 

In the end, I got quite angry because nothing seemed to work out. One evening, I just grabbed the fibres I had, separated them roughly and thought, how can I get an effect into THAT? And I just started twisting andspinning and overtwisting the fibres and ended up with an effect I rather liked! The yarn is very thick but structured and looks good to me.

To be continued…