07 May, 2011

Spurs

With handspun, I determine what I yarn I spin and when.  It's great.  It's terrible.

Here, have a quote from Ruth Yeoman of Royal Holloway: "One of the very important values which underpins the craft ideal is autonomy, a sense of self-determination, control over one's work, independence of self."

Have another from C.S. Lewis' novel The Horse and His Boy: "'P-please,' said Hwin, very shyly, "I feel just like Bree that I can't go on.  But when Horses have humans (with spurs and things) on their backs, aren't they often made to go on when they're feeling like this?  and then they find they can.  I m-mean–oughtn't we to be able to do more even, now that we are free.  It's all for Narnia."

I suppose whether you set your own pace or someone sets it for you, it's perfectly normal to live with unresolved tension over the state of things as they are contrasted with a state of progress you would like to achieve.

I want to make more progress on the part where I take the handspun and make useful pieces of fabric.  The card weaving I showed you yesterday moved me a smidge in that direction.

I do not yet have all the proper tools, sufficient and suitable handspun, and a clear idea about proper gauge and patterns for card weaving, backstrap weaving, nalbinding, and sprang.  However, I do have these to a certain degree and I could be making more cloth than I am.

The other cause of inertia, which I'm sure I've said before, is that I like to spin yarn with a drop spindle.  So that's what I do.  Weighing fibre, tugging out a leader, getting the spindle whizzing, and defaulting to my usual drafting gauge (somewhere around 36-40 wpi): it's such an easy and enjoyable pattern to be in.  And the materials are right to hand.  Path of least resistance and all that.

On the positive side, spinning habitually this way means I'll build up a passel of similar skeins.  That should get me closer to having the sufficient and suitable handspun I need for weaving cloth or making sprang.  Though for sprang, half the yarn had better be spun widdershins.

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