Monday, February 12, 2007

No, I mean it, I REALLY love fibers.

It might kinda sorta be obvious to the casual reader of my blogs that I kinda sorta like yarn. Not to put too fine a point on it, I kinda sorta like fiber.

I know a lot of spinners and knitters out there. Some like coarse, heavy fibers like Navajo Churro. Some like fine, soft luxury fibers like silk and cashmere and angora. Some like soft, spinnable wools like Shetland, Romney, and mohair.

Me, I like 'em all.

Enough with the rolling of eyes and stuff, you guys, I know this is nothing new. It's just...I found myself getting choked up over the page for the Foxfire Fiber Farm. Specifically over the parts that talk about spinning. Also over the Jager Icelandics webpage, and their pictures of "Fresh Fall Fleeces".

I don't know what it is, really. I started spinning only a little under two years ago, and I've been knitting for maybe five or six years. I have always loved patterned, woven fabrics. I do have an appreciation for textiles in general. Still, there's nothing in my past that I can recall that makes me go all emotional for fibers and yarns.

My husband jokes that I'm part kitty because I play with yarn. My beloved Drakonlily once said, "CG, I think you don't just like yarn. I think you...LIKE...yarn." I go to Guild meetings and get a contact high from just being around so many fibers in different stages of preparation. I love the smell of lanolin, the feathery texture of angora and baby camel, the smooth sliding of silk or alpaca over my fingertips while I spin. I seek out every different possible fiber I can find, just so I have something new to try.

I revel in a thin, even single. I keep going thinner and thinner until it's hair-fine and still strong, always thinking of how I'll ply it to make a finer and finer finished yarn. I hold the yarn or the fiber or the single up to the light to study the halo of fine hairs surrounding it, and to see how deep the colors appear, like a newly-engaged girl admiring her diamond ring.

I do the same thing with my spindles. I sometimes take out my box of drop spindles to admire their different qualities--the slender, handmade, unique ones; the heavy beginner ones; the one I made myself; the unusual stone ones. I like to see how the bloodwood inlay on the top of my favorite spindle can look satiny when I turn it. When I spin on the small purpleheart spindle, I barely feel it moving, it's so well-balanced.

I dream of the day I own a parcel of land and can put sheep, maybe an alpaca or two, out to graze. Maybe I'll have a few different breeds, maybe even have a goat! I want a bunny. I'll get a llama or a dog to watch over them all.

I wonder if I'll have a wheel of my own. Or two! Or three! One to spin fine yarns, one for production, and one to take with me wherever I go. I'll settle for one. I'll probably end up making it myself.

I dream of spinning. My husband woke up a few weeks ago to see my arm sticking up in the air, and when he asked what I was doing, I made the motion as if I was winding on the single and put the 'spindle' down. All as I slept. I woke up this morning to find my foot 'treadling'...that is, pedaling the spinning wheel.

Here's the wheel I'm borrowing:

It's a Thumbelina "Sleeping Beauty" wheel, made in the early 1970s. It's older than I am, though not by much. :) I'm borrowing it from a fellow guild member, who will forever be thought of as 'the awesome lady who fed my fiber addiction in a big way'. ;)

And here are the first two bobbins of singles that I spun on it. The one in my hand is actually only about 100yd of singles; there was already some commercially-done yarn wound on the bobbin that I used to work on my treadling. The bobbin still on the wheel is more of the Scottish wool. I've since added more.

And now I'm some more of that baby camel/silk to spin. :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Expect a parcel in the mail soon! Soon now! It has a little of the fibre I used in the spinning. I hope you like it, but don't expect fine! For 80-odd metres of fine I figured you would knit nothing! So you have somewhat chunkier....
Your spin off spinning pal :-)