Diary Working with Wool

Making skeins

Making Skeins

i spend the morning spinning with this almost white fleece, I don’t know what breed it is as it comes from the carding waste. It has a beautiful lustre when it comes of the cob ( the cob is the wool which comes of the spindle). It was very still and quiete in the studio, the 1. Years are going through their induction phase.

Later on I wound the yarn from the cob into skeins with the help do a niddy noddy. When I mentioned to my partner first that I needed to use a niddy noddy, he thought I was joking and making it up.

Mine came from Carol Grace, retired Textile lecturer and it is a very useful tool to wind yarn into skeins when no helping “arms” are around.

The skeins are the next step of preparation for dying the yarn.

The Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers Cornwall is holding coming Friday an Indigo Dying day and I will attend.

It is quite humbling for me to see the fruits of my labor, by Friday , I will have 5 skein of whitish yarn. I didn’t clock the time, because being with the spinning, the process, the hand movements, which slowly but surely becoming more familiar is what holds my fascination. The feel and the texture of the fleece and  the still lingering smell of sheep bring the origin of my material back to me. The memory of an  afternoon spend on Bosigran farm, even though we had missed the sheering, the sheep and billy goats were still about.

Working with very little processed wool feels like going back to a source material, something basic and still so  essential ……

How does one give a reflective commentary about a meditative and grounding experience? It has to be experience, to be embodied , become part of life………………

The studio is deserted, students gone home, it is still, I can hear the traffic, the late afternoon light begins to fade, I long to be outside with my spindle……..

Diary Working with Wool, Wool and People

In the Studio Camborne College

Monday, 13. October 2014

Today was a  busy day involved with college activities, in the morning I went along the induction of the 3D workshop. Hopefully Andrew will very kindly help me to learn how to make my own Nalebinding needles.

before lunch making friends with the Mac and d projection screen in preparation for my talk to the 1. Years and giving talk after lunch. I appreciate so much to be given the chance to share my enthusiasm for Wool and my thoughts about a sustainable approach in my art practise.

the afternoon flew by and as in walking the talk I need to sit down for a while over a coffee and do some Nalebinding.

For everyone who’s wondering about Nalebinding, there will be a more in-depth text about the ancient technique soon. For today, Nalebinding is a technique to create a “fabric’ with wool using a wooden needle. It’s predates knitting and archeological find go back to prehistoric times. It was used worldwide, but remained in use predominantly in Scandinavia to make socks, mittens and hats or other small household items. It is closer to sewing and uses a length of yarn at a time. This explains why it went out of use when knitting, which uses a continuous thread.

Diary Working with Wool

Working with Raw Wool

Today is my 2. Day on my residency at Camborne College. I will keep a diary throughout my time here.
I appreciate so much to be given the chance to share my passion about wool,particular local and British with the students on the BA Conteporay Creative Pracises.

Friday, 10. Oct 2914
I am officially here now, with tag, email and internet log in!
Monday was my first day and I arrived with 6 sacks of wool!
The wool ranges from a Shetland fleece, I was given earlier this year for my birthday ( in conjunction with a lovely old spinning wheel), fleece from Bosigrian Farm on the North Coast of Penwith and carding discharge from the Natural Fibre Company in Launcton. Along side a big bag with spindles, carders and a niddy noddy ( skein winding tool, no joke! ).
Today, like Monday, I am washing the Shetland fleece, bit by bit, soaking with laundry detergent, rinsing, putting into a washing machine to spin and let it try.
In between I have picked out some fleece and I am carding it “in the grease” meaning unwashed. This is a very new experience for me, my hands love it, all the lanolin!
Today I will try to spin some of the raw wool.
The whole process give a strong in depths feeling to the material.
My thoughts wander to times when this was nessity for clothing people…….. Every piece of clothing we wear, starts with a spun thread….

The Joy of Stitch

Summer in the backyard or walking the talk

Resting in my backyard, knitting my summer shawl, quit music , a coffee and the dog under the table.

sometimes it take a bit of mental discipline to actually follow and do what I know to be beneficial for me, such as quite times.

the summer appears to be a time full of activities, swimming in the bay, dog walking, taking teenager to the beach for barbecues and surfing, Summer festivals, left, right and centre, Penzance just had the LitFest ( more in a separate post about my KnitLit afternoon last Saturday.

It is good to remember those precious moments of sitting still, hands gently moving and breathing ………..

The Joy of Stitch

Between Book and Stitch

I am essay writing and as it is heartbreaking to sit in front of a computer on such a beautiful day, as it is today, I am grateful for the chance to completely  be immersed in the thoughts of Sustainability and Art and where I place myself. And I got roughly an idea…….. In the meantime, it is good to walk the talk and do a few stitches, almost to rewire myself and let the other brain half have a go…..

The idea of Six nations is a metaphor for the all non-human and human being, equal, it sees plants, insects, birds, fish, mammals and human as a nation with equal rights.  An image which is strongly related to ideas from Deep Ecology.

The Joy of Stitch

Poetry

Sometimes I see something in this strange digital world and it feels someone has put into words,

what I feel. There is a sense of recognition and knowing.
These words   from Toko-Pa and the image from Polina Yakovleva went straight to my heart:

Lightening Fires of Affection

So many of us are out at sea, looking for home. We try this way and that,

battling the endless march of adversaries, led by cynicism and apathy.

We fight them with every poetry we possess. We are gentle. We yield.

We get back to navigating our crafts.

Every once in a while, exhaustion can turn into despair.

The tiny flame, which takes our every resource to shield,

blows out on an unexpected gust.

Even then, lightless and alone, some of us remount our enterprise.

It helps to think of more than ourselves.

It helps to see the earth workers, the artists, the mothers,

the lovers, the singers, the poets and dreamers as threads in a web.

By ourselves we are fragile strands, songs with no listeners,

but together we are a relentless network.

Wherever there is depression,

there is colour made vivid by the grey.

When I feel this fog rolling in on me,

I light fires of affection in the hearts of others.

I tell them in tangible ways

how the life they live makes me live mine differently,

how precious and important they are to the rest of us.

That fire then becomes like a beacon which burns through

the grey and which I can sail towards.”

Toko-Pa Turner

Artwork by Polina Yakovleva
Artwork by Polina Yakovleva

 

http://toko-pa.com/2013/10/18/lighting-fires-of-affection/.

The Joy of Stitch

The Japanese Inspiration

Vintage Sashiko
Vintage Sashiko

I have been reading in Jane Brocket’s book ‘The Gentle Art of Stitchning’ and came across Sashiko Embroidery. I amfazinted by the imagges of old, traditionalle Sashiko, which was used for darning and embellishing at the same time. I love the look of the worn and faded indigo dyed cloth, embroidered with white cotton yarn. I had come across these images before when I was researching about the Japanese  Wabi-Sabi philoshophy . So many aspects of this tradition appeal to me, it the simplicity of the stitch, the matrial and the underlying idea to use it for mending and caring.

The Joy of Stitch

The Show is up and it is all over (almost!)

Stitch Sampler
Stitch Sampler

Friday, 7. June, on the Train home,

It feels strange, to go home from the college and not being able to take out ‘The Small One’ and carry on stitching. All is done now in the space, the screens are up and running with my films, , the 3 cloth pieces in their hops are laying on an old bench together with the cloth piece of the event ‘Coffee, Cake and Stitch’. On a table are the Stitch Samplers layed out. A small table and three chairs are  in the space with the large cloth from the event. There is  an invitation to stitch.
For two weeks the three companion piece will be in the space and I feel almost bereft! During the show (Sat. 15. – Wedn. 19.June, 10.00 – 17.00, at University Falmouth, Woodlane Campus) I can work on them for a while.
It is a very strange feeling, almost sudden, even so there was a huge build up over the last two month and now its done, over, finished, in the public eye, scrutinized and judged.
What keeps me boyand and afloat are my memories of the lovely comments on the Stitch Samplers and peoples reaction on the event, and also in conversations.

I will have to start a new cloth, to keep me company!
The Joy of Stitch

THE STITCH SAMPLERS

I have send out more than 70 envelpopes with Stitch Kits and more than 50 have returned. Most days I find another envelope with a Stitch Sampler coming with the post!

The Sitch Samplers 1
The Sitch Samplers 1
The Sitch Sampler 2
The Sitch Sampler 2
The Sitch Sampler 3
The Sitch Sampler 3

These are excerpts from my documentation. It has been a very wonderful return!

It is still in the process to write down the comments, I will at least post some

Examples soon.