Sunday, January 31, 2010

Busy Hands are Happy Hands

That was one of the things my father would say as he doled out a list of chores for us to do and we were grumbling about it. Who knew I would so embrace the idea later in life?

Another great day at Wave Hill. Despite the cold, we had a nice group come by, including some of my favourite people on this fine earth.

And when some of your favourite people on this fine earth are sitting near you, quietly spindling...well, it is very, very nice.

When I started this project, I thought one of the key components would be the trust between me, as the maker of the yarn, and the knitters, who had no real obligation to return with a hat. But somehow that issue seems a small point, almost besides the point. The real point, as it turns out, is the experience of making the yarn together. Even the hats are besides the point. Everyone is enjoying seeing them come back, and some people are doing great things, but they are like little pieces of candy after a great meal. The meal, as it turns out, is being there together.

As is the way lately, I must almost immediately turn my mind from dyeing, carding, spinning and talking to the next big thing. For me, the next big thing is the project at Simmons College. I will head to Boston on Monday for day full of meetings with faculty, art students and a visit to their archives. It will be a long day with lots of train travel but I plan to take full advantage of this to get to work on the first of (I hope) several crochet pieces for that exhibition.

In amongst the pounds of fleece I have been dyeing each week, I managed to drop in several skeins of merino sock yarn I had on hand.

This was an attempt to re-create the fabulous cochineal red. After reading more about it, I tried adding cream of tartar to soften the effects of the tin mordant, which can be harsh on the wool and make it brittle. The final result is a totally different colour, but still a good one!

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