More Than One Way to Spin a Yarn

I’m absolutely fascinated with the fabric arts. There really is something almost magically about weaving, crochet, knitting, sewing.  It’s just so easy to get lost in spinning or embroidery (yeah, I’m one of those people that can sit down with a cross stitch and 12 hours later still be working on it and only get up because it’s gotten to dark to see the pattern). I’m hoping soon to be able to resume my large scale cross stitch projects, and will be sure to do a post about them when I do. If I can find the few complete ones that I still have in all the moving chaos I’ll probably post a picture or two. I took normal patterns and did them on monks cloth with unseparated embroidery thread. It creates this really great tapestry look to them.

There are a lot of phrases that take things to do with making fabric and use them to describe story telling, such as spinning a yarn or weaving a story or relating a plot line to a thread. Big tales often feel like a tapestry where every time you look at it you see some new detail. Two characters that really embody the wonder of fabric arts to me are Sandry from Tamora Pierces Circle of Magic books and Rose from East by Edith Pattou (I highly recommend both authors by the way, especially the unabridged audiobook versions). East has a kind of epic fairytale quality to the story and the heroine Rose is drawn to sewing from a young age; something her mother encourages as an attempt to keep her wayward child settled. Sandry is a mage with a form of ambient magic that revolves around anything to do with fabric. It sounds really mundane as just a concept, but the way it is used in the stories is wonderful. At one point she even accidentally spins several mages’ magics together. The way Tamora Pierce takes such everyday things and makes them something truly magical is what has made her my favorite author since I was eight.

Something I’ve recently been really interested in is yarns, particularly making them. I thought I’d share with you some videos I’ve come across in my curious wanderings.

Spinning Yarn on a Drop Spindle

There is actually a little mini series from this person that shows how to draft wool, using the drop spindle, finishing a skien, making two ply yarn with a drop spindle and using a wrist distaff; as well as a lot of videos of her cat (hell, who doesn’t like a cute kitty).

How to Make Yarn from Plastic Bags

A great vid for the basics of making plarn.

Plarn – Going Beyond the Basics

Okay so you already know how to make plarn. So how do you spin it for stuff that doesn’t require the mega hooks and needles. (Yes your speakers are working, there is actually no sound for this one).

Plying Plarn

Great info on how much you can actually get out of a single bag, and how much you get once you turn it into a two ply yarn.

How to Make T-ROPE T-shirt Yarn

This video has some great tips for making yarn from t-shirts, such as how to deal with different weights of fabric. I love t-shirt yarn. The stuff you make from it seems nearly bullet proof.

How to Unravel a Sweater for Yarn

These two are really short (probably would have done fine as a single vid), but give some really good tips on unraveling old sweaters for their yarn. There are TONS of knit sweater in thrift stores, and even though the sweaters are usually really ugly, they still have great yarn. So save the poor yarn the embarrassment and make it into something it doesn’t have to be ashamed of.

How to Make Toilet Paper Yarn

Ok, I’ll admit it, this was one of those video titles that I said “what the” and just had to click.

How to Spin Tissue Paper Yarn

Great use for left over packing materials and the remains of sewing patterns.

Spinning Yarn on a Pencil

If your house is like mine a spindle may be easier to find than a pencil, but for everyone else this video is for you.

Here are also some great Instructables I came across:

How to Make a Yarn Baller – Shows how to make a yarn baller using a drill.

Duct Tape Swift – Seriously, is there anything you can’t make out of duct tape? And I thought the cannon they made on Myth Busters was epic.

How to Make a Drop Spindle – Have some junk CDs laying around? Turn them into an inexpensive drop spindle.

And to finish off this post, here is a funny music video with a REALLY big ball of yarn. Next post will be the Dragons to Keep gift guide, see you then.


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