Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Learning new stuff is hard,

really really hard. Hard work, finding new ways to work your hands and remembering new timings .... last weekend was a reminder of what my students are going through most days. At the same time, learning new ways to do things is one of the most exciting things ever. Full stop. No argument - up there amongst the best times ever!

I do have some photos of my spinning from the Jacey Boggs workshop hosted by Majacraft and Vintage Purls in Dunedin last week. No photos of the class, I did take a camera but totally forgot to make any photos while I was there. I also have some new knitting, mindless knitting, the kind one needs when faced with challenging learning. One of the things I wanted to learn in the workshop was more about mastering making yarn, to have more techniques and knowledge so I could be more in control of what I was doing when spinning. I didn't expect to fall in love with some of the 'art-yarns' but I did, and mostly because I realize that a 'good' art yarn is not an example of bad spinning, or poor spinning, but mastery of spinning and I want to be there at that level.

First up Jacey had us spin thick and thin, reminiscent of beginner spinning but so much nicer. Balanced, and soft and lofty and regular. Wow, that alone was worth the workshop and makes me want to knit something really simple to show of the yarn texture ... what could I knit ... oh a Baby Blanket! Yes my standard handspun answer - but so right for this yarn, or a scarf maybe?

Having lulled us into a false sense of security, and having warned us she taught the 'most difficult' things first and saved the easy stuff for when we were tired at the end' Jacey then went on to the 'more difficult stuff'. I was as memorized by her teaching as by what she was teaching. Especially when Jacey explained that it was going to be hard and new and difficult and frustrating, and if we went home with three sort-of-right in a row then we had the skills to practice at home.

Some where in here, there are at least three working presentable coils, and there is are two variations on coiled yarn. Not pretty but evidence of learning.
Here is one that looks pretty, from day two of the workshop, a one step coil yarn ..... that if done right is balanced. Mine isn't done right, and is all twisty and kinky ....

At home I had sat down and tried again, using Jacey's dvd as a reminder. I here is my second attempt at coils, not quite there yet, my coils are loose and fluffy rather than firm and coiley (is that even a word?). Still with this one I feel like I have mastered the top and the bottom anchor - which means that my coils however fluffy and malformed don't move around ... next step smooth even durable coils.

But once at home I had a second go and look balanced coiled yarn! Jacey's new one step balanced coiled yarn! Soft, squishy and balanced!

and a closer view of the coils - there were times that I lost the balance between plying and covering - but my hands were getting better at the rhythm that was needed. I think this one has potential for small batts of precious fibre and making each batt go further ..... by sneakily converting it into a thick luscious squooshy yarn. I even see the potential of fibre with sari silk and sparkly bits and all sorts of exciting things mixed in. Those batts that in the past I didn't quite see the purpose of only because I didn't know how to spin them into interesting usable yarn.

And knowing that learning involves my brain and that can be slightly debilitating I started a new project - Mindless. Rowan cotton into a seedstitch wash cloth with garter stitch bands.

Just what I needed.
Normal blog service will resume next weekend ... as I'm here at home and not away from home doing fibre things. there is a felting workshop on but I'm being strong - I do not need to felt slippers, I do not need to learn to felt slippers .......I do not need to learn to felt slippers from Machiko yet ... I can learn to felt slippers from Machiko some time in the future not this weekend .... but it would be fun wouldn't it?

Na Stella

1 comment:

Knitting Linguist said...

Wow! That's a ton of very quick progress - I'm impressed. (And just think of how good that was for your brain!) I can't wait to see what you end up doing with that coiled yarn; half of the reason I haven't jumped into "art" yarns is because I'm not good at visualizing how I'd use them (not the best reason, but there it is).