Friday, November 16, 2012

Art Yarn 101: The Racing Stripe

Now that I've been spinning a while and getting a little more familiar with fibers and the sheep that produce them, I've decided to delve a little farther into the making of "art yarn," or as master spinner Jacey Boggs, aka Insubordiknit, calls them...textured yarns.  (The point being that there is an art to making every yarn, from the thinnest, most evenly spun lace yarn to the chunky thick & thin, crazy-carded, multi-fiber yarn with all kinds of crap thrown in like skull beads and nuts and, I don't know, twigs & leaves.  You name it, it's been thrown into the yarn soup.)

So Jacey has a book called Spin Art, which is just exploding with ideas and photos of beautiful textured yarns she has spun.  Bonus!  There is a DVD so you can spin along with Jacey!  She wears a pinafore!  So worth every cent.  I do hope she will come to Asheville for a course.


The book is organized into lessons, and I started working my way through those lessons earlier this week.  First up--Racing Stripe, whereby you hold a second spun fiber in your drafting hand as you draft and spin a singles yarn. I chose some really pretty ugly merino I plucked out of a length of top I'd dyed.  It was hideous and perfect for practicing a new skill. I didn't have high hopes for this practice.  I striped it with a lace weight linen Euroflax linen, which I also dyed green.  It was gonna be ugly!

Here's what I love about making yarn, though.  Through the magic of spinning, these two elements came together into something that is actually pretty beautiful.  Look!

The linen gives yarn a nice sheen and a nice drape, and I'm a little sad that Euroflax is discontinuing their lace weight line.  Oh was fun while it lasted.  For me, there is no end to the yarn fun.  I love this job!

By the way, Jacey is teaching a course, a retreat, really, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, way out in Western North Carolina.  It's in April.  I'm saving my pennies 'cause I really really really want to go.


  1. Just beautiful yarn...wonderful made my day by inviting me into this serene sector of the fiber world. I dream of spinning, sheep...

    1. Thanks so much, Mia. The more I delve into it, the more I want my own flock! Keep spinning.

  2. wow! very beautiful and interesting!
    it was nice to see you recently.

    1. Thanks, Brenda. Looking forward to stitching with you again soon!