Do you think yarn should be simple? Smooth? Admittedly some yarn is pretty straightforward because its sole purpose is function and it needs to knit up easy on those manufacturing knitting machines. But there is a world of fiber arts out there where yarn is not only useful, beautiful, and unique, it is ART! Welcome to Art-Yarn.
Spinning pioneer Lexi Boeger, otherwise known as Pluckyfluff, has led the charge in changing the way we think about yarn. What’s allowed with this new perspective? ANYTHING! Really, anything? YES! Like feathers and thread and silk cocoons and fabric and chains and anything? YES! What if my yarn is over-twisted or bits stick out or it’s really fat and fuzzy?
One word. Awesome. That is art-yarn.
Lexi’s advice in her newest book Hand Spun: New Spins on Traditional Techniques is to connect with your fiber through all the stages of it’s life. Start with a fleece by getting to know your local alpaca, sheep and goat farmers. Clean it and card it yourself, get to know it intimately and find inspiration in the individuality of that animal. Dye it any color you want. Spin it thick or thin, crazy or serious. Each step has a hand in the creative process.
Beginners often make art-yarn by accident, but as they become more experienced their yarn often becomes more traditional and smooth in the process. Many times that’s the goal and it takes time and skill to make such lovely yarn. Art-yarn also takes time and skill, you must learn how to manipulate your fibers and your wheel to achieve your goal.
Be inspired. Try something new. Follow the rules, don’t follow the rules. Make new rules and teach them to others. Pluckyfluff had a vision and has enthusiastically shared it with the world. I thank her for that.
Read about Unwinding with a Drop Spindle on the Crafts Blog.