Tag Archive: spinning


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.

 

HeikeKillet4/2    Et voilà!   DSCN1693

 

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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And another yarn… The Goddess

 

 

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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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

 

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

 

The Road of Trials continues…

Alpine locks :-)…

 

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…

 

Distant Memories

Today I have wandered farSoon the day will be overThe trees are growing darkAnd the last rays of sunlight fade awayI have to rest a while before reaching the end of my journeyI sit down at the foot of a big stoneold stone, covered in mossI close my eyes just for a momentTo gather my strengthI wrap my cloak around me And sing softly to myselfAll grows quiet around meI lift my eyes and seeA tall man looking straight at meDressed in strange clothesI feel no fear but admirationHe is so handsome and strongHis eyes deep forest poolsHis features nobleI stand to greet himBut the words don't comeI stare at the deep wound in his chestThen at his pale faceHe smiles at me and shakes his headI move towards him to helpBut as I approach he fades awayAnd I can't see him any moreI continue my wayFeeling sad yet warm insideWhat has happened at this place? Who is he? Where is he now? I walk on wonderingMy soul at peaceHe was before me and he lives onOur paths may still cross again