GUEST PEACE: Fiber.Spindle.Yarn

Laura is a 30-something California native who transplanted to the Midwest seven years ago with the love of her life. She isn’t always enamored of the cold weather, but she does love having a great excuse to knit and spin warm woolies. She is a knitter, spinner, podcaster and lover of all things creative.

I’ve been a knitter as long as I can remember. When I was 6 or 7, my grandmother taught me to knit. She patiently cast the stitches onto the needles and talked me through the process, helping me rip things out when I made mistakes and start again.

IMG_5896I knit on and off through my teenage years, but picked it back up again in college.  When I moved home after college, it was the early 2000’s and knitting and the fiber arts were enjoying something of a renaissance. Suddenly I wasn’t shopping at Michael’s any more, but at beautiful stores filled with nothing but yarn and fiber. 

One of the things I had never seen before was people taking fiber, whether straight from the sheep or processed and dyed in beautiful colors, and turning it into yarn. I was fascinated with getting to touch so many parts of the process. I decided to try it – I took a class on spindle spinning and created my first yarn, something that approximated boat rope.  I was fairly discouraged and went back to my knitting.

IMG_5890In 2010 I decided that I wanted to try again. I had made quite a few knitting and spinning friends online through Ravelry, and the spinners were posting gorgeous braids of fiber and even more gorgeous skeins of yarn.
Photo Aug 23, 11 40 08 PMI picked up my spindle again and practiced at it.  I had to learn how to handle the fiber. How to open it up and loosen the fiber (a process called drafting) so that I could then add twist to it and create a single strand.  Then I could wind multiple strands together (a process called plying) to create stronger yarn.
I spun happily on the spindle for about 6 months and then decided that I wanted to try a spinning wheel. I took a class at a local yarn shop and I got to sit at at least a dozen different kinds of wheels, and try my hand at spinning yarn.  I ended up with a petite wheel made by an Australian company, an Ashford Joy.
Photo Aug 23, 11 17 46 PMThese days I continue to spin almost every day.  I love purchasing colorful braids of fiber from dyers and turning them into one of a kind yarns. I sell some of my yarns in an etsy shop and others I use to knit my own sweaters and winter accessories and also to knit toys and gifts for others. I love photographing the entire process from fiber to knitted garment.

Love what you see? You can follow Laura on
her blog, The Corner of Knit and Tea,

Twitter

Instagram

And don’t forget to visit her Etsy shop!

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