Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Importance of "Playing"....not "Making"

So a few friends & I got together here last night and played with colors on the drum carders. We decided to do this, instead of our usual monthly felting challenge, because not one of us has felt (no pun intended) particularly inspired or motivated lately to "create" anything. Willa's been trying to use up odds and ends of yarn so her stash doesn't take over the house; I've been too overwhelmed by computer & online stuff that I haven't felt my head was "clear" enough to take on anything new; Lynn's been busy writing and not motivated but hoping that the pressure of some upcoming classes would get her going again. And Linda's been busy teaching and hasn't had the time to do anything for herself. All situations I'm sure you've all experienced at some point or another!
So our hope was that just "playing" with color and fiber without the pressure of "making something" and in the guise of a social gathering, might spark the creative juices again and help jump start us.
And it worked! We all were mumbling about things we might like to try next on our way out the door.
I'm not sure any of us learned anything new about color, but playing reminded us of a couple of basics. First, as Lynn commented, it was a good reminder that everything is darker than you expect after felting so you really need to have some little burst of color or light to make things "pop". Also, as Linda's sample reminded us, for felting (as opposed to spinning) you really need to have thin layers if you want the colors beneath to show thru. We all liked the ability on the drum carder to add color "edgings" or highlights.
And we all were surprised we hadn't thought of this before: since we all make yardage and work with commercial merino or merino/silk top....rather than laying out yardage by laboriously shingling wisps it would be a TON faster to take the top and card it quickly into thin layers and then shingle the batts!
So my takehome from this little gathering....play more & work less! Something I'd lost track of lately. Don't always get caught up in feeling like every free minute for fiber must be used to "make something"! Simply "playing" without an end in sight is very freeing...there's no long term commitment to a project to weight you down and if you don't like what you "played" with, the garbage can is handy and easier to use if you've only invested a couple ounces of fiber and 15 minutes of your time! And it just might inspire something grander.
The samples of some of our playing can be seen on the gallery (I don't want to bother posting it all over again, so check out this link for the photos here.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Light at the end of the Tunnel!

I can't believe it was October 16th when I last posted anything! Kind of pathetic if you think that my intention with this blog was to share some new information or technique that I'd learned each week about fiber.

It's not that I haven't been learning....it's just been that my learning was, most unfortunately, diverted these past 5 months to the realm of computers, websites furnaces & pellet stoves! I think that the aggravation and frustration of equipment & software not working well just didn't leave room in my psyche to create, play or experiment with anything fiber. It made me lose my muse and I really hated it...I have been so uninspired and unproductive.

But now that all is working again (fixed the pellet stove this morning with a metal tablespoon and a Lancome eyeshadow case - I bet that's a first!) I'm finally feeling open to diving back in the sandbox to play!

To jump start my muse this weekend (assuming Shutter Island doesn't traumatize me Saturday night!) I intend to play with fiber on the drum carder all day Sunday...I've got pounds and pounds of fleece I dyed this past summer I need to card and blend. I've already done a few experimental runs and spun it up and am looking forward to breaking out of my usual color prejudices and come up with some novel combinations (I was thinking this little trial was novel, but now that I look at it closely I see both my favorite orange and my tried and true lime green!). I'm expecting that perhaps some of my felting group friends will be joining me Monday night too, so, that will be fun and I should have some show & tell and some interesting things to share next week based on our gathering Monday night!
Until then, may your muse stay with you!