I have tried many different media in which to express my creativity. I think the fact that I have an urge to do this is a given. Even when working with something like metal. I’m using this as an example, because it isn’t a medium that I have a natural feel for. But if you put the tools in metal in the same room as me, sooner or later I will gravitate in that direction and start making something.
I think buying a spinning wheel and learning how to use it has been an absolute catalyst in my life, and it has changed how I look at my life. Yes, that is quite a bold statement! Absolutely true though, because I now live according to my creativity. When I create yarns, or when I help to make a new spinner in my classes. I am living by what I love doing, and that is a blessed place to be.
Auto ply super chunky thick and thin merino
Hyper texture. A huge array of wool, silk, fabric scraps, thread, to make a crazy batt to spin just how it presents itself.
Pastel coils resembling little seed pearls.
Bulky squishy super coils with all the colour
Loose and wild Masham locks in a tailspun yarn. Currently being woven into a scarf.
Inspired by Laburnum trees in bloom. Silk rods, yellow silk, shetland and felt inclusions. Textural joy.
Beautiful Teeswater tailspun on a Corriedale Core. Wisteria now lives somewhere in Maine with a happy new owner.
Seeing the potential…
I love what I do. So then why am I feeling a little frustrated with myself at the moment? I am so excited about working towards an exhibition with two other artists, I have wool, skill and ideas. I am not creating… This is my present debacle. Well. Not entirely true – I am busy knitting myself a jumper out of hand spun yarn and it will be chunky, beautiful, warm and mostly green. I am also in the process of knitting up some socks from my hand spun. I’m testing out Dorset Down wool. I have quite a lot of it, and will dye some for selling to spinners specifically those who want to make sock yarn. I am also spinning some awesome soft yarn for bedsocks for myself, out of a merino camel blend that I hand painted. This is purely a luxury item. And an absolute treat to spin – I splashed out on a little Snyder spindle last year. Great spinning tools really turn a pleasure into something totally luxuriously delicious! But still I’m feeling a little antsy… I’ve been mulling this over in my head, wondering whether I’ve finally encountered creative block. Then suddenly I realised that I simply have no time at the moment! It isn’t lack of creativity, it is too many other tasks that are getting in the way. It is ‘that’ time of year. Fleeces of all descriptions are coming my way, and I have about 50kg in fleece that I have to wash and card before I’m going to have time to spin too much up. Yep, and then there’s all the dyeing to be done… (poor me, eh? I love dyeing!) And then there will be more fleeces on the way. Plus the house is in an unholy disarray due to all the fleeces. The hallway is lined with bags of fleece and my box-room door won’t shut anymore. Ok,this is a real problem. I may have to call on some friends to help when the fleeces are clean… I had a huge push towards getting some of my fleeces washed and out of the way today. Realising that I can get back to spinning some art yarns as soon as I’ve made some space had given me huge incentive to work my way through the wool, and I am planning an awesome tailspun yarn with super-duper long Lincoln locks. And the thought of that gorgeous yarn has wiped all of the doubt from my mind, I’m feeling the inspiration, and impatience to get started. Plus, my mind has jumped to the exhibition, and I now have a whole host of projects. Every fleece I’m washing has a purpose or potential. I love what I do!
I’ve been wanting to spin this one up for about a week now. I dyed the long Teeswater locks, and gosh, they were so gorgeous with their lilac tips and shiny green ends, where they were to meet with the green Corriedale that I was going to use as a single ply base for the tailspin. And then the kids got sick… and then I started sniffling too. And sniffles turned into the flu. And still those locks were sitting there, calling me. But now we are all feeling sprightly again, and I got to turn my concept into reality. So here it is: Wisteria, Teeswater and Corriedale tailspin. I’m a little bit in love with this decadent yarn!
I’m about to post this on etsy – come and see some more art yarns at http://www.etsy.com/shop/clovetree
The yellows and the greens really reminded me of Laburnum trees – and I really wanted recreate the idea of the tree in yarn. And make something with amazing texture. This art yarn is a heady mix of silk rods, yellow silk, felt inclusions and uncarded Shetland as well as some Shetland Llanwenog cross breed. Never knew I’d become as versed in talking about sheep, but then life is full of surprises!
So here is my take on Laburnum – and I’m loving the process of spinning a tree!
It has been ages since I’ve been here. I have been exploring the world of wool, and I’ve upgraded to the new Aura spinning wheel. And now I can spin however I like. Keep an eye out for some gorgeous art yarns. I’m about to go and play with some hand dyed silk rods, shetland and hemp with occasional bits of silk maybe… I’ll post some pics when I’m done. These are the silk rods pre and post dyeing, and for now I’m just planning to use the green, but of course I might change my mind. I want to spin a tree.
Just a quick note, too much mayhem for photo’s and long diatribes, but my excitement cannot wait: I have my first spinning silkworm. More later.
My little silkworms are not so little anymore, and I am looking forward to these hungry little creatures to start spinning lovely silk. Most silk is produced when the cocoons are boiled, whilst containing the chrysalis. This seems rather cruel to me, and after much research, I found a method that will allow me to harvest the silk whilst keeping the chrysalis alive and unharmed. I can’t wait for my first batch of peace silk, although I am yet to discover how much, or how little silk I will get from about 350 worms. Although, by the time the next cycle of worms come about, there will be thousands!
It has taken absolute ages to check, double check and write this pattern out, without any typos. But at last, here it is.
In the mean time, I built myself a whole new website and shop for my patterns: clovetree.org is where you will find all my available patterns now. There’s more to come too. Hats, wristwarmers and a little wraparound top in Angora.
What a day! (week?)
Did my first craft fair in ages, and decided to show some of my handspun and hand-dyed yarns along with my felted goodies.
Of course colour is my first love, and I had a blast dyeing, mixing, re-dyeing, dip-dyeing, splashing, pouring and spinning. I discovered the trick of core-spinning and Navajo plying my yarns – a process that makes my poor old spinning wheel groan under the strain of super-chunky yarns. So, I will have to look into some new spinning accessories. It seems to me that my growth as yarn-maker comes with a price-tag… every time. (Groan!)
I’m particularly chuffed with my handspun silks. The graded colours are lovely, random and the silk just sings. Very difficult to photograph silk’s secrets – it seems to throw light at my lense, although the naked eye doesn’t quite perceive the silk in that way.
I’m contemplating selling these on Etsy. What do you think?
These patterns should be available within the next two weeks. Am snowed under fleece just now with tomorrow’s fair and all the yarn that needs to be sorted, packed, priced, etc. I have made the most fabulous coil-spun, Navajo-twisted bit of yarn ever. Kind of muted and bright. Must get some photo’s on. Feels really great to make something so lovely.