How Back to Basics Does It Have to Be?

There was a discussion on one of the fiber arts groups on Facebook this morning about “cheating” by using a knitting loom. When your hobby is already practicing an old-fashioned back-to-basics skill like spinning or knitting, how basic does it have to be? Do we rank the “basicness” of our hobbies? Do we judge others based on whether they are struggling as much as we are for our art?

Introduction to Eco Printing

What is eco printing? This is a form of natural dyeing using direct-to-fabric or -paper printing from leaves, stems or flowers. Almost all plants have some color in them that can be transferred directly to the surface of fabric or paper, leaving the impression of the leaf shape on the cloth. Generally, the artist India …

More

From Sheep to Shawl: Dirty to Clean

I’m delighted to present a guest blog written by Heather Wallace on her Sheep to Shawl journey. Like many of us in the fiber arts, she was first captivated by handspinning when she saw a public demonstration. Here is the story of her Sheep to Shawl project: How It Got Started    Since you’re reading this …

More

Fibers Under a Microscope

Let’s get up close with some wool, silk, and mohair Nuno felt fibers. Really, really close. I always wanted to see the difference between types of fiber under a microscope, and got a chance today. You see, I live with a science teacher and I decided a few weeks ago that he really needed a …

More

Blog

Welcome to the SlowYarn.com Blog! Handspinning, dyeing, eco-printing, being an artist in a crafting world, wool allergies… if it has to do with fibers I’ll probably write about it! Check out the rest of SlowYarn.com for lots of information, how-tos, and pictures! Follow the menu above, or click here to start with About Slow Yarn. …

More

How to Shibori With Natural Dyes

  I’ve been playing. Obsessing, really. I broke out the Indigo and started to experiment this week. I wanted to try the Shibori tie-dyeing process using all natural dyes. You see, Indigo is kind of messy– at first. Once you make the initial batch, though, the stock can be used again and again before the …

More

Dog Hair Yarn

Have you ever been curious to know if you can spin dog hair into yarn? When people hear that someone has been spinning dog hair, reactions range from disgust, disbelief, and nose-wrinkling to excitement, enthusiasm, and willing offers of bags full of “I always thought there should be a way to use this” dog fur!  Let’s …

More

Art vs. Craft

It’s time to reevaluate the 500 year old idea that art is only for the richest people, and it’s only art if it is made with the traditional art media of painting, or bronze or marble sculpting.

Drum Carder Trick

I recently posted on Facebook asking friends for plastic netting that wrapped a ham or turkey.  I use them with my drum carder for a nifty little trick to lift the wool off the carding cloth. Discussion ensued, wondering if the little kind around cheeses would do, or the softer kind like tangerines and oranges …

More

Handpainted Warps

I remember being shocked at the price tag on a set of room dividers at a Handweavers Guild sale. It was over three thousand dollars for the pair, and that price tag drew gasps of either shock or admiration. I overheard one person say, “Who does she think she is, asking that kind of price?” …

More

Are You Allergic to Wool?

Are you allergic to wool?  A lot of people can’t wear wool, because it makes them feel itchy and uncomfortable.  Nobody wants to feel that way from their clothes.  It makes you wonder how people wore wool all the time back in the day.  Were they constantly miserable, rubbed raw from scratching, red in the …

More