Monday, September 02, 2013

Advice from Picaso

I don't need to tell anyone that I've spent this year learning new things.  We got the boys and have had to learn so much to keep them healthy and safe and build a trust relationship with them.  I decided I wanted to process their fleece myself and so I got a drum carder and started learning how to card fiber.  Next was my spinning wheel and class and as you've all seen lots of unbalanced yarn!  I then decided I should learn to dye it and knit it - all of which I've now done, but none of them well!  The advantage of felting your knitted piece is that it hides all flaws!!! I've had lots of fun and I know my pieces are the end result of my practice, however, I need lots more practice and I really need to concentrate on the basics of spinning and knitting and it came to a crux today when I read the following quote from Picasso in a magazine today.  It was an aha moment of why I need to learn the basics!

Learn the rules like a Pro, 
so you can break them like an Artist!  

This is why I needed to take a basic sewing course and why although I quilted some little pieces they weren't as good as they could be - why, because I didn't spend enough time learning the basics before I got bored and quit!  Same with my art - yes I love painting, but I've not learned the basics and so often my pieces are lacking something - a depth, a dimension that is just simply missing.  I'm breaking a rule that I don't even know!  And now we come to fiber - carding, spinning, dyeing and knitting!  I need the basics in all of these and  I need practice, so I can eventually move into real art yarn and art batts and express myself within the yarns - but I really can't break the rules until I know them! Well, I've proven you can , but not with the result I desire.  

Most of  you who know me, also know, that I like to start at A and run as fast as I can to Z!  I would prefer to skip over all of the steps in between. This creates a "Jill" of all trades, but a master of none! I'm hoping that keeping this in front of me as I continue on this fiber journey will help me focus on  the rules, so I really can break them later!  Not even hinting that I will become a master, but I will be better than if I just keep plunging in and jumping ahead without learning step 1, 2 and 3 . . .

So off to the carder to process some of the boys fiber and on to the wheel to practice spinning yarn - we will see if I can really slow down and enjoy the journey to a balanced yarn!

Happy Labor Day everyone! 

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Knitting, Knitting, Knitting

Little did I know when I went to my favorite little wool store for my first knitting class that I would be totally addicted in four weeks!  My mom tried to get me to try it for years and I just wasn't interested.  The only reason I wanted to try it now was to knit some of my own yarn!  I just thought it would be fun to take my boys fiber, card it, spin it, dye it and then knit it.  Little did I know that I would want to knit all of the time and I wouldn't care what kind of yarn!

What??? My wool is turquoise?  
My teacher and owner of WC Mercantile, Stephanie, gave me a project Friday when I left the store to card fiber and spin over the weekend!  I have not been at the wheel, but I did complete the cowl I began on Friday and have begun a different size bowl.  I wanted to see what they would be like half the size of the first ones I made.  I think little bowls would be great to have on a kitchen counter or dresser to drop my rings in before dishes or bed and so that is under way.  Just realized the bowls have been on FB but I haven't thought to blog about them. They are really my first project, but with purchased wool.  They are fun to make and  have been my instruction to knitting in the round and circular needles!  I will do a post soon.

Colors blended very well!
I took the 68 yds. I had spun to Navasoto with me this week and Steph helped me dye it and I dyed two smaller pieces as practice earlier in the week.  That's why I took my longer piece to get help with the dyeing - my practice pieces were pretty one dimensional and I didn't want that for my longer yarn.  I loved how it turned out and Steph said I could add the two smaller balls in to use it all together.  That made me happy because one of the smaller pieces was spun from Lefty's fiber!  The rest was wool, but I was so excited to have fiber from one of my boys in my first piece.  Friday I started knitting my art yarn (that's yarn with personality) and finished the cowl on Saturday.  It was a good thing I had the two extra balls of yarn as it was barely long enough, but I like it and now I can wait a couple of months before it's cold enough to wear it!

Yarn was thick and thin and a hoot to knit!
I have to admit that if my mom saw my knitting and my yarn she wouldn't be real impressed!  I'm afraid she would put it with the girls I used to paint and my red hair as things she just didn't really understand!    I do have to learn some spinning fundamentals as Bill wants a scarf from the boys fiber and the project Stephanie gave me is to card fiber from the boys, spin it and get ready to knit!  My yarn will have to be a little more consistent to make a good scarf for Bill, so I will be doing a lot of practicing.

I love art yarn and this would sort of qualify - mine is thick and thin by accident and true art yarn would be spun with purpose, but it is fun.  I wish you could see the tiny little coils that are complete opposites from the huge pieces with almost no twist at all.  I seem to go from too much twist to no twist, but I love spinning, so with time my yarn will get better (I hope) and created with purpose.  We have exciting workshops coming in March with Jacey Boggs (Ply Magazine). She has written books and done DVD's on art yarn and I'm beyond excited to take a two day class with her and then have her in attendance at our Spin In!

Ready to be joined and worn in about two months! LOL
 So this is my first project from roving to yarn to cowl!  I still have to join it together and then I'll be able to use it in about two months or so.  I love it with all of it's booboos (hard to see with funky yarn) and all.  My first but sure not going to be my last!

Be back in a day or so with the felted bowls!


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