Sunday, February 19, 2012

Postcards from Camp Pluckyfluff (Part 2)

Saturday, February 18

The sharing table.  Sharing is good karma!
This morning, we arrived at Downtown Knits with wheels and fiber in hand.  Lexi was being secretive about what we would be doing, so we eagerly awaited our instructions.  First, we did a practice yarn where we tried a few different techniques for plying with thread: basic thread plying, granny stacks, beehives, and twists (kind of like eyelash yarn).

Kayleigh's practice yarn
After everyone finished playing with their practice yarns, Lexi told us to cut some fabric into a blindfold- yes, a blindfold.  She then instructed us to choose some lofty fiber and fluff or card it together.  She told us to stick with fiber that is easy to spin with a small amount of fun stuff for texture.  After we set up our wheels, Lexi told us to put on our blindfolds and refrain from talking for 20 minutes while we spun the fiber we had chosen.  This spinning meditation was meant to teach our hands to know what to do and to train us to feel what the fibers want to become rather than overpowering the fiber and forcing it to do something that is unnatural for it.  While not everyone was happy with the results, we were all amazed that we could actually make yarn while blindfolded!

Lexi and Esther were impressed by our impeccable posture!
This was a relaxing experience.  We were able to be in the moment while spinning instead of trying to plan ahead and grab certain colors at certain times.  We just dealt with issues as they came.  The various wheels in the room making their own sounds an rhythms created peaceful music during this Zen activity.  Every spinner should try this at least once.

Our "blind" yarns!
Spinning blindfolded is a Zen experience.
After lunch, we were shown a yarn that Lexi calls a Coil Boil (as seen in her new book).  This yarn is created in three steps, two of which we had time to do today.  Step one is to fill a bobbin with corespun yarn.  The bigger the bobbin, the better since the end result is one-sixth the length of the original corespun yarn. The next step is to coil that yarn around another thread core.  This creates a yarn that looks somewhat like a thin rope.  We'll see what the third step is tomorrow!

Wish you were here!
Our coils, not boiling yet...
Kelly and Kayleigh

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