Monthly Archives: August 2015

Oh! The Places You’ll Go.

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Oh! The Places You’ll Go.

Background:

A friend of mine won a set of rolags from Defarge Yarns, which I offered to spin. There were all manner of colours and, especially, textures in the fibre. It was quite an adventure!

Story:

A journey like none you’ve been on before.

Verdant shrubs, wiry thicket, soft seagrass, beach and blossom.

Stroll the smooth dunes

Hop over the hillocks

Hide behind the boulders

Take time to look, and to see.

Appreciate the landscape, for it is unique.

It will take you places you’ve never been before.

The adventure is in the journey.

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Information:

Title: Oh! The Places You’ll Go

Composition: Mixed fibre

Weight: 50g / 13 WPI average / DK ish

Length: 117m / 128yd approx.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: July 2015

Skein code: 0055

Fibre: Mixed

Source: Defarge Yarns

Status: Gifted

Buttons Be Good!

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Buttons Be Good!

Background:

Spun for a friend, Kirsty of Buttons Be Good, this was another experimental art yarn. I had thought for a while that tiny, colourful buttons scattered through a yarn would be fun. I wanted to make the base a slightly thick’n’thin singles yarn and I had some beautiful falkland fibre to work with. This yarn became an experiment in how little I could do to the fibre in the creation of the finished yarn. It is very lightly spun in order to retain its softness, and lightly wrapped in a highlight thread which carries the buttons.

Story:

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When I was little, my granny’s button box was a treasure trove of adventure. I could dive my hand right into the well of shiny trinkets and feel the smoothness of them slipping past my fingers, making space for me. I could count them, sort them, arrange them according to colours and textures and sizes. I could build landscapes of imagination, and lose all time, lost in play.

I grew older. I bought my own button box! Excavated from a jumble sale, filled with another family’s memories.

Now it helps to create new stories, so maybe one day someone will look back and remember my button box, and all the places that it took them to.

Buttons Be Good!

Information:

Title: Buttons Be Good

Composition: Superwash Falkland, Polyamide Thread, Buttons

Weight: 138g / 9-10 WPI / Worsted thick’n’thin

Length: 133m / 146yd approx.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: July 2015

Skein code: 0058

Fibre: superwash falkland

Source: Wingham Wool Work

Status: Gifted

Nebula

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Nebula

Background:

A fun thick’n’thin singles yarn in bold and yet complementary colours

Story:

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Wait for a cold, clear night and look.

Look up. Find the hunter.

Three bright stars on the belt.

Betelgeuse and Bellatrix mark his shoulders,

Saiph and Rigel his legs.

Found him? Go back to the belt.

See, sometimes only a glimmer in the corner of your eye, the sword hanging from the belt:

Suspended between Alnitak and Alnilam.

The photons falling on your eye were born in Orion’s nebula.

Photons, stars and planetary systems are all forming before your eyes.

Universal nursery.

You’re witness to a miracle.

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Information:

Title: Nebula

Composition: 100% merino

Weight: 100g / 8 WPI average / Bulky

Length: 137m / 150yd approx.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: May 2015

Skein code: 0038

Fibre: 21 micron merino

Source: Wingham Wool Work’s Yorkshire range – Easington

Status: Sold

Kiss From A Rose

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Kiss From A Rose

Background:

This skein began as an experiment in a new fibre: rose fibre. I’m always keen to try new things so I had to give it a go. Rose fibre fast became my favourite plant fibre. It spun like a dream, which certainly can’t be said of many plant fibres, especially when spun on their own rather than being mixed with other fibres. The fibre is pure white, but with a beautiful pearlescent quality, which I found impossible to capture on camera.

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As I was spinning I couldn’t get the image of Alice’s Queen of Hearts out of my head.

Story:

Why order white roses to be painted red?

It may seem like a success from the outside

But inside the petals curl so tightly. Only the outer layers can be altered.

Tightly wrapped, the inner petals protect themselves, retaining their nature, shrugging off the disguise.

In the battle of nature versus artifice,

Nature wins.

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Information:

Title: Kiss From A Rose

Composition: 100% rose

Weight: 100g / 14 WPI / DK

Length: 181m / 198yd approx.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: May 2015

Skein code: 0037

Fibre: Rose fibre

Source: World of Wool

Status: Sold

Rainforest

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Rainforest

Background:

A thick’n’thin single in the most amazing combination of greens! Bursting with life.

Story:

Rainforest seems more of a sound than a sight. Humming with life. Glorious abundance. Packed with green upon green upon green. Shades, tones, hues, textures, shines. Sights and sounds come together and surround us. Rainforest excites all the senses.

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Information:

Title: Rainforest

Composition: 100% merino

Weight: 100g / 9 WPI average / Worsted to Bulky Think’n’Thin

Length: 117m / 118yd approx

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: April 2015

Skein code: 0024

Fibre: 21 micron merino

Source: Wingham Wool Work’s Yorkshire range – Letwell

Status: Gifted

Tapestry

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Tapestry

Background:

I think this is one of my favourite yarns so far. The colours were so rich and the way they played together with the navajo ply was immensely pleasing to the eye.

Story:

The story’s in the fabric.

Covering the stone walls,

Cushioning the room from cold,

Warming the space.

Woven by artisan:

A cottage industry creates, so the wealthy can flaunt.

The richness of the colours – burgundy, forest, ultramarine – mirrors the richness of the owners.

And the characters, the lady and the unicorn, give silent witness to the ostentatious splendour before their unblinking eyes.

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Information:

Title: Tapestry

Composition: 100% merino

Weight: 200g / 13 WPI / DK

Length: 535m / 586yd approx.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: July 2015

Skein code: 0019

Fibre: 21 micron merino

Source: Wingham Wool Work sample day

Status: Sold

Slow Making

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Slow Making

Stop.

Don’t read ahead yet.

Think.

What did you think when you read the title of this blog post? “Slow Making.”

Save your answer. Write it down if you like. I’d love to hear it.

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Was it a positive or a negative emotion? Or simply neutral?

Did you think ‘This is intriguing,” or

“That sounds depressing,” or

“Time to take pleasure in the process,” or

“Sounds like a long, slow grind,” or

“Boooooring!” Or

“That sounds tedious,” or

“That sounds exciting,” or did you think I was going to tell you about something I was struggling with?

The word “slow” often has negative associations in our culture. Speed, busyness, productivity at all costs is prized. What are the key words in that sentence? At. All. Costs. For me, that isn’t a high enough aspiration for life.

Story Skeins is primarily a vehicle for our shared creative journey, and to facilitate the coming together of our fibre community (something which happens in many ways, through the work of many people.) I also offer yarn and fibre for sale, but I always try to keep in mind that making things to sell is not my primary purpose.

Why not? Well, making purely to sell focuses on the end product and the success criterion becomes whether or not someone else chooses to hand over money for what you’ve made. Now, I’m not saying you can’t run a successful, profitable business from your creative work. But if your only aim is to sell, maybe you will be losing something.

I can make yarn that I absolutely love. But if I’ve not paid attention to the process, if I’ve not been present, if I’ve not engaged with the ‘doing’, but rather focussed on just getting to the end, then instead of a joy the work itself has become a chore. That’s not how I want to live.

So I will never be a production spinner. I will never aim to produce yarn at a fast pace. I won’t make things just because other people like them, if it comes at the expense of the processes I want to try out and the yarn I want to play with. I will stick with slow making. And if you are kind enough to buy from me, you may have to wait a little while, but you will know that my precious time, attention, love and care infuses the product you receive.

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My success criteria are more to do with the question “am I living the life I want?” It has little to do with end results. I’ve made yarn I love (great!). I’ve made yarn I don’t like (great!). I’ve made yarn that others love (great!). I imagine I’ve made yarn that others hate (great!), although so far you’ve all been too polite to tell me. I’ve made yarn that’s sold well (great!). I’ve made yarn that hasn’t sold (great! More for me to play with!).

Why are all these different outcomes great? Because none of them matter to me. By the time I’ve reached the point of having a finished yarn, or a sale, or a non-sale to judge, I’ve already met my success criteria. I’m doing what I want to do, in the way I want to do it. I’m living a creative life and getting the most out of the process. And I’m enjoying, slowly, every bit of it.

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