vrijdag 14 december 2012

Find your inner yarn hero!

A little while ago I found out about Suzy Brown´s ´Woolwench´ on facebook. Suzy is a great Dutch yarn spinner (born in New Zealand though)...I added her to my facebook contacts, to stay updated on her beautiful work. Not long after, she announced her very first workshop: ´Find your inner yarn hero´! Of course I couldn´t resist, and subscribed together with my bestie Eef.

Last weekend it was finally time to drive to Suzy´s cozy home in Soest. Packed with our weels, lots of roving and fibers (and also some finished yarns for inspiration) we arrived. Normally I´m never awake so early on the saturday morning, but the drive was very worthwile! The rising sun gave the snowy world a magical touch...

(I should really stop making pictures while driving though...).

Anyway, when arriving at Suzy's, the room was already full with crafty ladies (or: 'women with wheels', as Suzy said!). Varying in age and origins, but all with one shared passion: spinning! More specifically, spinning 'art yarns'. That's what this workshop was all about: learning to make those wild kind of yarns, letting your creativity take a free flight and going crazy on textures and colors.

Suzy definitely knows how to spin art yarns. She had some of her finished hanks displayed in the living room...what an inspiration! Singles, thick & thins, coils, plied, and her amazing LOTR-themed yarns: every piece unique in it's own way and seemingly made with lots of joy and care. After seeing this, I decided to hang my own finished yarns like this (in hanks) as well, instead of putting them away as a skein or rolled up ball. It shows off the textures and colors way better!

One of the things I really hoped to do this day, was carding my own batt. Well, it didn't take long before Suzy invited us into her garage, where two Louet drum carders were ready to roll. There was a whole table of fibers, prepared by Suzy especially for this day. Mohair, alpaca, angora, BFL, glitters, merino...in all colors you can imagine. Us ladies felt like little girls in a candy shop: so many to choose from to put in our batts! Suzy showed how to us the carders, and only minutes later we were throwing fibers in the carders like crazy :)

In the next picture you can see my very first handmade batt, and the corespun yarn I spun of it. Suzy showed us exactly how to perform this specific technique. I should treadle slower than I'm used to though, to avoid getting to much twist in my yarn. I'm such a speed devil when it comes to treading, heheh!

Once back at home I finished this yarn, and set the twist using hot and cold water like Suzy explained. The final yarn came out pretty balanced, yay! The colors and glitters remind me of unicorns (my boyfriend was looking pretty weird when I said this though...hmm :P). Oh well, I'm proud of it anyway!

I couldn't help myself and just hád to make two more batts. For these I used some of my own roving (together with a selection of Suzy's yummy fibers) that I didn't really like. Now, processed into the batts, I love them more than ever, and can't wait to spin them up! One reminds me of autumn, the other one of the sea & mermaids (I probably shouldn't say this to my boyfriend as well, right? :P)

After some spinning, explaining and carding, it was time for lunch. Suzy and her friends prepared a wonderful and delicious meal for us, including pumpkin soup and an extremely tasteful carrot pie (one miss let me eat the leftover icing...I don't remember her name but I'm still thankful for that, my goodness!). With satisfied bellies we proceeded our spinning. Suzy taught us how to 'navajo-ply' on her beautiful LOTR-themed spinningwheel.

She also told us more about puffy coils, bulky yarns and auto wrapping. I almost can't remember every little thing, but she was so thoughtful to make a summary for us on paper, including beautiful color pictures. 
Suzy: thank you for this wonderful day. It was SO worth it to meet you and to be educated by you! I'm inspired to bits again and driven to spend every free hour behind my wheel. 
To all the other women with wheels that were there: thank you as well, for your pleasant company and inspiration! Maybe until next time! X

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