But Why?

Wherein she tries to explain the need to create.

It’s hard to explain to another person why one chooses to knit socks or sew your own skirt (they’re so readily available and cheap at the store!) or spin your own yarn (the stores are full of it!).

For me the drive to create has always been there. It’s not necessarily because I think my product is better. I do believe the hand made article will be unique and can exceed the store bought in quality, however, for me the thrill is going back to the beginning and creating something from scratch. Doing like my forebears did and making something from what appears to be nothing. I get a deep sense of satisfaction from this act of creation. The more practical and usable the better.

I have created many things over the years. I will spare you my poetry and the book that never did happen. As you know, I knit. I have long resisted the urge to spin, the call of the fibre. It just didn’t seem right that I should spend any creative time away from knitting to spin something so readily available. Of course, ultimately, I did give in…

Second attempt at spinning
This being my second attempt at spinning. Not too bad but quite thick. If I wanted to ply, it would create a heavy worsted weight yarn, so I’m using the singles to create gloves for DD. I did, however, wish to create a thinner yarn, something lace weight but I only had this Turkish spindle and it was too heavy for thinner weight yarns. So I searched the web and found a site that showed how to make your own. It’s an Akha. I thought this should do the trick.

Broken spindleI don’t know what I did but it wasn’t correct! The spindle kicked and wobbled. Maybe the yarn was too heavy for the Akha. Maybe I was trying to force the whorl up the spindle too far. Maybe I should buy a light weight spindle and get some experience!

Spinning Success I have success, a much thinner thread! When I ply it …

Skein of homemade yarn My first skein of 2 ply homespun. I think I need some practice plying! It doesn’t look all that impressive and it isn’t quite lace weight. According to many sources this 20 WPI yarn could be considered lace weight, according to others, it is a heavy sport weight or light DK weight.

20 WPI

At any rate, it is not yet lace weight in my books. I wish to create a soft lacy scarf for my mother for Christmas. I guess I will need more practice.

The question still remains, however, why do I spin? It’s a question I ask my self. If I truly enjoy something, then, it is worth doing. My painting teacher told a story of wanting to learn to play the violin. She loved the idea of playing beautiful concertos on a violin. She loved the sound. She did not, however love the process of playing the violin. The bowing and fingering were not for her. So the violin became merely a prop for still-lifes and interesting stories. So, do I love the process? I don’t think I do yet, I’m willing to give it a bit more chance. I will spin some Merino/Silk for Mom and then we will see… oh speaking of painting, class started last week.

warm up picture We warmed up by painting with our weaker, less dominant hand. This I painted with my left hand. I know it doesn’t look like much here but it looks much better in person. In fact it looks much better than the painting I did with my regular hand.

The real picture My right hand sucks! I think I’ve got it all worked out. It is impatience. The painting with my left hand looks better because I had to slow down and watch what I was doing. With my right hand, I’m impatient and think I should be able to whip up a good painting in minutes. Nobody can, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking I should be able to. Do I enjoy the process? I don’t know. I certainly enjoy the outcome… at times.

All in all, it is the process that I love. The spinning, the knitting, the painting and writing. Nothing feels better than when things go right, smoothly and correctly, or when problems are surmounted, barriers leapt, I love it when I’ve done something quite clever!

Will I continue with the spinning and painting? I certainly will give it more of a chance, perhaps more focus and less rush. Then, we’ll see…

Keep creating, no matter what you do.


3 thoughts on “But Why?

  1. Céline


    I too am just starting to spin, and I really hear you when you talk about liking to make stuff from scratch, even if it takes that much more time. And the importance of loving the process. Myself, I got instantly hooked on spinning, but it does spook me the amount of time I’ll be spending on it.

    Your thin thread is superb :-)

    I think you are quite brave to have tried to make a spindle from wood. On the Interweave Press site, they show how to make a spindle with a CD. It might be lighter, and easier to adjust for it not to wobble. http://www.interweave.com/spin/projects/equipment.asp

    And personaly, I think your right hand is quite good.

    Love your posts,


  2. Pingback: Saved by Zero « CreativeWhimsy

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