For the love of yarn!
My newest passion is fiber weaving for creating wall art and textiles... I am absolutely captivated by it. I'm an aquarian, so I am always on the look out for new things to entertain me. What got me started were two things that happened simultaneously: first, I was searching the internet for ideas for a large and unique wall hanging for my dining room wall; and second, I found this image (shown below) by weaver, Maryanne Moodie
When I searched out this piece and realized it was much too expensive to purchase (well, for my budget anyway), I thought how hard could it be to create something unique on my own. This was the catalyst for my newest addiction. I went in like gang busters, googling and you tubling everything there was to know about weaving, and fibres (sheep, alpaca, merino, silk, hemp, bamboo), and spinning with a spindle and yarn, and about all the different types of looms (floor looms, frame looms, ridgid heddle looms), and how to read draft patterns (plain weave, basket weave, herring bone, birds eye), and learning the terminology (heddles, shaft, sley the reed, warp and weft). It's a fascinating journey with still so much more to learn.
I love creating something from nothing. Using my very own hands to create something that is unique to me by me. It's an exceptionally satisfying process.
I've had to learn how to spin natural fibers into yarn using a top whorl spindle. It's a very soothing and meditative process. I could sit for hours just spinning piles and piles of lovely, soft clouds of wool into a yarn that I can then use on my loom.
I've also learned how to create my own loom using a recycled frame from one of my old canvases. Simply rip off the canvas, and hammer in some nails, and voila, instant frame loom.
So you can see, from start to finish, you can create something that is truly unique, and made by you from scratch. The process is just so damn satisfying. It truly fascinates me.
What captivates me even more is that I'm learning processes that have been used since the beginning of time. Ancient, trusty and true techniques, but creating things that are new and modern. How about that for alluring.
I find going into a wool store is just as exciting as walking into an art store. Full of colour, and texture, and possibility... so much possibility it makes your head spin. My favorites in Toronto are bar none, Romney Wool, and Lettuce Knit. If you can't find it here, you won't find it anywhere.
I've currently rented a schacht rigid heddle loom to experiment on, and to see if it's a loom I'd like to purchase. More on this on my next blog post.
I'll leave you with this sweet video of artist Olga de Amaral and her beautiful work. The possibilities are endless, you just have to let your imagination run free.