Thursday, April 10, 2008

Spinning Nature into Yarn

I realized recently that I post a lot about the things that inspire me (every Monday, in fact), but I rarely describe what happens with that inspiration. So I'm making a concerted effort to change that and to show a little more of the process behind the yarn (the myth behind the man woman).

Natural Inspiration
Lately, surrounded by blooming things, I've been inspired by nature. I think I've particularly attuned to it since this month's Project Spectrum Element is Earth and that the earth is really providing a beautiful palette. The first step in being inspired is to capture the inspiration. To this end, I carry my camera obsessively and take pictures whenever I see anything.

These daffodils were in a no-man's-land near my apartment, so I picked as much as my vases could hold (while still leaving enough outside to inspire others!)

Daffodil closeup
I particularly love their ruffly edge.

This tree is right at my back door and I love to watch (and document) the change from tiny green bud to barely open flower, to full fledge cloud of flowers:


Translating Inspiration:
The trickiest part in translating inspiration to fiber is getting the color just right. My dyeing process is extremely serendipitous, so it's a happy surprise when I get the colors just right:


Once the fibers are dyed, I have to decide how I want them to appear in the finished yarn. For Dogwood Blossoms, I wanted to highlight the three separate colors to symbolize the stages of a dogwood blossoms life, so I spun it long repeats (each 5-15 yards long)

dogwood on bobbin

Winding the yarn off the bobbin and into a skein is probably my favorite part, as it's the first time I feel the yarn and see the colors play against each other in the skein

skeining with my new skein winder

dogwood on winder

After the yarn is spun, there's still the issue of "styling" and photographing, which I think is vital to conveying my original intent.


I love to read about how others work with their inspiration and how it impacts their work, whether it's in fiber or another media! Let me know what inspires you and how it shows itself in your work, in the comments!


Alpaca Granny said...

Lovely, inspirational blog, Tara! But you made me think and LOL 'cause I stick to so many natural colors. Could it be because I shovel poop every morning?