Opus Daily Practice day 6. The prompt to create work was “repetition”. This is my comfort zone. Repetitive patterns and repetitive shapes in the drawing (still in progress). Repetitive movement in the re-spinning of scrap yarn (eternally in progress!). #opusdailypractice http://www.debra-hunter.com http://www.handmade-canada.com . . . . Ads belong to WordPress.
Seeing as I’ve been foot powered for four weeks I’ve been tackling quite a few projects. Here is what is happening today:
Crafted by Debra Hunter
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Just one more woolly post (I promise!) and then I will get back to more varied blogging.
Today was a day of weaving in ends, choosing buttons, and sewing on buttons. The stack in the picture above was only part of what I tackled. I won’t share how long this whole process took (forever!), the only good thing is it gave me an excuse to avoid reorganizing the studio (tomorrow’s dreaded chore!). I am amazed at how long it can take to choose the “right” black button; I swear I spent over an hour matching black buttons to different projects because all black buttons are not created equal. I still have eight pieces to finish up and then I can shoot the lot in the studio…….well after I reorganize it that is…….I’m avoiding the studio as I have 180 square feet of backdrop to iron. Fun. Not.
And spun. This time it is spinning much faster, it is less finicky and breaking less. Now the question is, can I have a big ball of this ready to go by Saturday when I take my daughter to knitting group?
Last week I shared a post called “Spinning Scraps”. It was a post describing an idea I had of taking small yarn scraps and turning them into recycled and re-useable yarn. In short it involved breaking down the yarn and re-spinning it on a Turkish drop spindle at an incredibly slow pace. It was one of those things that I just had to see if it would work.
Well it did work. The yarn formed on the spindle with all sorts of pretty mixed, naturally dyed colors, and I just had to see if the yarn could actually be turned into something. I decided on a quick project (because I was very impatient to see the results) and created a crocheted bracelet.
To add to the earthiness I incorporated some wooden recycled beads bought at Nu To Yu on Pender Island (British Columbia, Canada). Every time we are on the island I hunt through the bins at the shop looking for treasures to incorporate into my projects. The button, used as a closure, is also one of my finds.
This has been a fascinating project. I am going to keep playing with the recycling of yarn, and perhaps try a larger knit or crocheted piece next. It is unpredictable, it is organic, it is eco friendly, and it is a pretty interesting way of working.
Sometimes you wonder where an idea comes from, and then you wonder why you had to try to and make it work. This is one of those stories.
I have a ton of wool scraps from knitting projects. Short little pieces of yarn that I saw no point in throwing out. As the pieces accumulated I started to realize I really need to find a use for them. Some how I came up with the idea of re-spinning them. Perhaps a crazy idea, but I thought it was worth a go.
Not having proper carders, or willing to make an investment for such a crazy experiment, we picked up two grooming brushes from the dollar store to help break down the wool. Two dollars was the right amount of investment for the project.
My daughter loved working on the yarn; she likes helping with everything.
Then came the tricky part, spinning. I am a newby to spinning, very unexperienced, but I gave it a try. Some of the fibers were very short creating quite the challenge. It was VERY slow going, but it did resemble something like yarn. We’ll call it “art yarn”. I am thinking that perhaps we don’t need to break down the scraps as much and it still might spin. It appears the experiment will continue, an interesting recycling project.
( I apologize for the recent sporadic blogging, I have been slaving away creating a website out of an existing blog at www.debra-hunter.com . If you are visiting that blog, check out all the new additions in the top header, there is a lot to see!)
Sometimes the Classified Ads in the newspaper provide new experiences you don’t expect. Back in the summer my dad came across an ad in the paper, “bags of wool for sale, $20.00”. He knew I had been doing all sorts of knitting projects and thought I might be interested. It did seem interesting. We called up the seller and arranged to buy a bag. She didn’t know much about the wool, she was selling it for her sister who had bought it from a neighbor in rural Alberta. Genuine mystery wool. I wasn’t too sure how I was going to use it, maybe felt it or worse case use it for stuffing……well a lot of stuffing as it was a huge bag the size of a garbage bag stuffed tight.
Initially I used the wool to stuff a few mini crochet toys, this didn’t make a dent in the bag of wool. Then one day in late August I took a trip to a woolen mill and in the shop Turkish spindles. were being sold. I had watched a few tutorials on-line of spinning with them, so I decided to risk the $25 and buy a spindle and see if it would work with the mystery wool.
With plans to try spinning the mystery wool I started popping bits of fleece in random dye pots as I dyed yarn or fabric. There was no real plan, I just thought it would be more fun to try and spin the wool if it was colored.
I will admit it took a little to get the hang of spinning the fleece. The hook on the spindle gave me some trouble. I actually took the good old X-Acto knife to the hook to allow it to grab the yarn better; I may still have to carve out the hook portion a little more. The first tiny ball of yarn took forever, but as I spun more and more it went a lot quicker and easier.
The next step was to ply the yarns together. I was really looking forward to seeing the colors combine. The concept of plying was easy, the only issue is that the hook doesn’t seem to hold the yarn in place very well and keeps slipping off. I tried all sorts of fancy tying, winding and twisting, I even briefly attempted holding the yarn in place with an elastic band (did not work!), but the yarn kept slipping off.
I am continuing to persevere with the plying. The mixed colors look great and will be so fun to knit up. I am wondering if I need to pick up a separate spindle for plying, perhaps a spindle that has a metal hook instead of a carved wooden hook. I am thinking that may work more successfully with plying such a chunky yarn. Still, I think it has been a fairly successful first time spinning experience with mystery wool.