I Love Yarn Day 2015

As the title says, today, October 17th, is I Love Yarn Day.

I’ve always been attracted to the fiber arts starting with sewing when I was a teenager. I tried knitting in my twenties but couldn’t get the hang of it. Fast forward about 30 years and I renewed my interest in knitting. I even took a beginning knitting class after I had been knitting for several years. It was so informative and I refined my skills and learned not to fear cables. As most new knitters do, I churned out more scarves and hats than any one person needs to have. Then I progressed on to knitting purses and bags with wool and felting them. Then I tried to use up all the yarn in my stash and not buy any more unless I had a specific project. I’ll let you guess how well that turned out.

My yarn storage I call The Kraken.
My yarn storage I call The Kraken.

Then a few cotton seeds crossed my path and I started growing cotton. Now I needed to learn how to process the fibers and how to spin them. (Watch out! Slippery slope ahead!) After watching videos online, I made my own drop spindle using a dowel rod, cup hook, a few rubber washers, and an old CD. A local yarn store sold wool fiber so I taught myself to spin. Of course, after a few months of spinning on the drop spindle, I thought, “How much more yardage could I spin with a spinning wheel?” So I progress to a spinning wheel and had to learn how to spin all over again. Both tools are for spinning but the technique is very different. Now I needed more fiber than I could get at my local store. So I headed to several fiber festivals and now I am the proud owner of four alpacas, a llama, two sheep, and a goat. But only their fleeces. I promised my husband “no live animals.”

My home made drop spindle.
My home made drop spindle.

So I thought I was set with my knitting and spinning. Well, at one of the fiber festivals, they had a drawing for a spinning wheel and for a table top loom. I didn’t need another wheel so I put my ticket in for the loom drawing. And I won. (That slope is really getting slippery now!) So I had to teach myself to weave. I watched videos and read books and made all the mistakes new weavers make; like using acrylic yarn – too stretchy. I’ve perfected my skills and can whip out a shawl or scarf in plain weave in no time. Now I need to really read my weaving books (not just look at the pictures) and delve into using two heddles and incorporating different techniques.

Weaving in progress
Weaving in progress

Each of my fiber crafts is enjoyable in a different way. Knitting is portable but it takes longer to finish a project. Spinning has a Zen-like quality to it. Once the wheel gets going, it’s very relaxing to feel the loose fibers slip through my fingers and become yarn. Weaving is the most magical to me. Just by crossing threads, I can create cloth. Weaving is also the craft that I seem to complete the quickest. That is, if I don’t keep stopping to feel the cloth!

Why don’t you give one of these fiber crafts a try? I mean, what’s not to love about yarn?

Don't you want to take me home?
Don’t you want to take me home?
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