Thursday, December 10, 2009

All About Camp

Camp Pluckyfluff lives up to its name. You need pluck and fluff and wheel and a weekend to get get buck wild with fiber and have one helluva good time.

On Saturday last we gathered at the Urban Craft Center for a two day extravaganza with fiber and our spinning wheels. The gang was assembled and ready to spin. We learned lots of techniques of which you can find in Lexi Boeger's book Intertwined: The Art of Handspun Yarn, Modern Patterns, and Creative Spinning. The hardest part for me was core spinning. This is where you wrap fiber around a core, sometimes thread and sometimes fiber that you are simultaneously spinning. This technique definitely will require more practice for me, but according to Lexi if you can master it you can make any type of yarn you dream up.

My favorite part was working on the drum carder and creating the different batts from all the available fluffiness. The picture shows a row of carders that we worked on. We put those carders to good use.

My favorite batt was made of mohair and was the lightest cloud of fibery goodness. It was fun to spin up too.

This was one of my favorite yarns of the day. It was thread-plied and depending on the angle in which you held the thread created all kinds of interesting waves and wiggles in the yarn.

This is the mohair in action. It was spun around a purpley pink mohair core, which shows up through the translucence of the mohair batt.

Mohair is not my favorite thing to knit with but it is a beautiful fiber to spin with and creates an amazing yarn.

The entire weekend was all about making yarn and it was so much fun. Lexi is a great teacher with an intuitively creative and curious mind. There is something about the playfulness and randomness in creating these art yarns that appeals to me. I believe it is finding a sense of freedom in and from what could be an exacting and precise pursuit, such as spinning. There is technique and foundation and upon that knowledge there is the pursuit of playful manipulation and pushing the boundaries of the medium in order to stretch yourself in mind and body and yarn. Personally this is where I find a bit of personal satisfaction. It is easy to become trapped by the pursuit of perfection but this workshop showed me that there is beauty in the playful imperfect perfections that I create. This is the stuff that gets me excited and taps into what I know is true for me but sometimes I forget. There is something very meditative about spinning and it is no surprise to me that all kinds of other thoughts and meanings and threads of half formed thoughts have been stirred by the creative endeavors of the weekend.

If you spin I highly recommend going to Camp Pluckyfluff. You will love it. It was actually stumbling upon Lexi's yarns early on in my knitting that made me even consider learning how to spin. I picked up her first self-published book in 2005. Her yarns were like nothing I had ever seen and that was my inspiration to learn how to spin. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to go to camp.

Now let's talk about the Urban Craft Center. Great place. If you live in LA and you haven't been to the Urban Craft Center, you should drop by or take a class. This was my first time to the new location and it is very nice. I had a Needle Felting Birthday Party at the old location and we all had a blast. The new space is light and airy and with plenty of space and equipment for projects. The retail space is great with fabulous fabrics and lots of other artsy crafty must haves on every shelf.

Tis the season to be crafty and I hope you are enjoying all your projects!

No comments: