In Praise of Threads

For me, creativity is taking a simple length of thread and creating something marvelous from it.  Or, if not something marvelous, then at least something useful!

Now, my attempts to manipulate thread can be as messy or as beautiful as my life.  It can be boring, exciting, calming, stimulating, even painful.  But sometimes the joy of playing with thread simply takes my breath away.

I decided to commemorate my progress by capturing pieces of threads in pictures for my journal.  Here I celebrate the entrance of 2017 by using thrums from the turned twill napkins just completed.  This picture will be added to throughout the month as more threads flow through my hands:  thrums from the weaving looms, folded samples from the spinning wheel, cut ends from the knitting needles.

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And so, in celebration of life and threads, I give you a glimpse of the threads I am playing with this week.

On my spinning wheel, it is back to basics with 100% Organic Polwarth wool, hand-dyed by local indie dyer Kinfolk Yarn and Fibre.  The colour combination of blue, purple and green has been named “Unsung”.  I’m spinning a nice, soft singles in worsted backward draw, just letting the colours come as they may, later to be combined in a two ply yarn.

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My looms are freshly dressed, and weaving will be happening.

I have three looms dressed in my weaving studio, with three projects in process.  One of my priorities this year is to shop from my existing inventory (OK my stash) as much as possible.  I have some “more expensive” yarns that have been on my shelf for a number of years, so what can I possible be saving them for?

On “Loomella”, my eight shaft Schacht baby wolf loom, I warped this fun blend of cotton and paper yarns from Habu textiles, in navy blue, apple green, and brown.  The textured yarn, is a linen and paper blend.  The yarns feel a little like raffia, and are very springy.  I thought plain weave with some supplemental yarn floats and an open, airy sett would be the best way to show the yarns off.  This is intended to be a scarf, but may turn into something else, depending on the drape of the finished product.

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On “Amy Ashford”, the eight-shaft Ashford table loom on a stand, I have a lovely double weave patterned cloth that I have wanted to make for a long time.  The pattern is from an old issue of Handwoven magazine.  I am nicknaming this piece “The Newspaper” which is the answer to the old riddle, “What is Black and White and Red all over?”

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And being wound onto  “The Queen”:   I raided my handspun stash to combine all the turquoise blue yarns into a mixed yardage for a jacket.  The boucle is a commercial yarn, but everything else is my own handspun.

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Finished!  This morning I finished hemming this set of nine napkins, made from organic cotton and woven in a turned twill pattern.

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As I am working this week I am enjoying the sun pouring through the windows of my studio and bright blue skies.  It is cold outside as the temperatures remain below freezing.  I am so grateful that I no longer have to commute into the city, and can work in my warm, cozy studio.  I appreciate the calmness and space of this week, after the rush and bustle of the holiday season.  The creative process, combined with a burning curiosity remains central to my being.  After enjoying a glorious day, I leave you with this picture taken from my studio window as the sun was setting last night.  Peace to all.

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One Response to In Praise of Threads

  1. KerryCan says:

    Such fun to see how different your three projects are! And i really do like the idea of your journal and using thrums to create it–turning waste into something precious!

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