I love it when my fibre friends gift me something to spin. It's such a beautiful gift. This is my Christmas present batt of silk, wensleydale, shetland and merino from Moonspinning. It was a joy to spin. Equally, I love giving home-spun yarns to my non-spinning friends to crochet. This mad colourway was blended just for Ildi's psychadelic tastes.
And I love that when you're a spinner, inspiration is all around you. Mother Nature's colourways are spectacular. She never gets it wrong. Be it vibrant fallen autumnal leaves
or soft, heather strewn moors.
And life's full of glee when you're a spinner. A tweak during blending, a dab of this when you're carding, an adjustment of the tension, all these tiny things surprise you with a different combination. It's like being an alchemist.
I don't know, maybe I'm easily pleased, but at a base creative level, I find it the most rewarding thing I've learnt.
If you haven't already dived into the world of spinning, what's keeping you?
Yep, this Aussie flu, which was so kindly packaged up and shipped over to the UK by my fave antipodean nation has kept me busy this holiday and seems to have taken up residency for the new year. Cheers Oz! I'm onto my FIFTH (yes, fifth!) bout of the lurgy.
For those keen of eye, you'll spot that cheap gin has made its way into my cure pack now. I'm trying to sterilise myself from the inside - and no, I'm not using the beloved Hendrick's gin, as I can taste NOTHING, so it would be wasted.
Now the gin has no medicinal qualities, but I could call this research, as I'm actually working on a piece about micro-organisms at the moment. I can't show you the piece until it's ready for the gallery, but here's a blurry tease.
It's all for the UK DIY exhibition at the Turnpike Gallery in Feb. If you're in the UK and don't know about it yet, well you're going love this!
We'll be celebrating just how fab the new wave of craft is, how wonderful, versatile and all-encompassing it can be and how ACCESSIBLE.
Not only will there be sculptural pieces, (provided by yours truly and Ildiko Szabo) but a myriad of cool things going on, including chances to learn to crochet, a craft fair on the opening day, and....
......Coolest of all, the first official public showing in the UK of Faythe Levine's special promotional edit of the film Handmade Nation.....
Yep, you heard me! What a coup! We've all been waiting for it and I for one will be at the front of the queue.
The opening is on the 14th of Feb and the film will be on show throughout the UK DIY exhibition at the Turnpike Gallery, Leigh between February 14th and April 26th.
No, not a competition-winning yarn that I've come across, that's not what I mean. I literally mean, a yarn spun from all the odds and ends of EVERY fibre project I've worked on in the last year.
All the dog ends of balls and batts; the threads cut when I'm
sewing; the tiny slices of fabric cut during clothing alterations; the
string used to tie up my batts when I dye them. EVERYTHING went into a
bag and then on New Year's Eve I carded and spun them into yarn.
When I look at this yarn, it makes me smile from ear to ear. I can remember all the little bits and pieces and where they're from.
Tiny yarn ends from when I sat on the stoop in Brooklyn, crocheting with my mate Subway Hooker.
Acid-coloured plastic bag yarn cuttings neatly gathered from warm sunny days hanging with Helle Jorgensen on my deck.
The pair of jeans I took up to go cocktail drinking in Dublin with Moonspinning, before washing and shrinking them - consequently they now hang at half mast (schoolgirl error!)
Dyeing courses taken, friends made, gifts given and received, curtains hung, wine drunk, reefs crocheted, laughter had, exhibitions opened, cushions stuffed, packages untied, clothes slimmed out of, knitting machines snarled up, sculptures failed and realised. They're all there.
I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet, as it's pretty impractical, but boy, am I glad I've spun it. And it was the nicest thing I've ever done to close an old year and open a new one.
Inga Hamilton is proud to say that diversified technology company 3M support her art and community work by providing 3M 4251 Maintenance Free Gas/Vapour and Particulate Respirators for those involved in her projects.