Saturday, December 12, 2009
I love fiber. No, I love fiber. I just spun up and knit some intentionally lumpy, bumpy, and possibly even ugly yarn and I adored every second of it. The feel of the stuff in my hands, the colors, (may I say the feel of it in my hands a second time?), the feel of the stuff in my hands, the smell (if there's any), the transformation of almost nothing into something, the rhythm of treadling a spinning wheel and the rhythm of knitting. . .ach! No words can do justice to the pleasure I derive from fiber-related activities.
I've heard painters speak of paint this way. I am a good painter, but I've never loved the smell of paint, or turpentine, or the feel of a brush in my hands, or charcoal on my fingers. All the good artists I know love the tools and the materials they use, but even as I am facile, even accomplished, as an artist, I've never loved any of it the way I love fiber.
I'm a re-born spinner. I was an expert almost twenty years ago, an expert in the ways of spinning on old wheels, and spinning in old ways. This was not very creative. I loved doing it, but there was no thrill of discovery. There was satisfaction; spinning flax into perfect thread that I'd weave on an 19th century loom was wonderful. But, no, there was no exhilaration.
Back then, I eschewed the "art yarns." I saw them as technically sloppy and useless. I had no use for color for many years of my life.
Now, what's above is not crazy colorful (though I'm working on many things that are). The reason I'm posting this image is that just that this pillow top full of fluff made me very happy. It started out as a piece of garbage-y felting wool which could have easily been thrown away. I pulled it apart with a dog comb and discovered that it was as soft as a cloud. I'll spin up a little bit of yarn with it and present it another day. I also liked the photograph; it looks like there's haze in the air. I used a finger to block some of the flash and that is the result.
Did I mention how much I love fiber?