Where will your mistakes lead you?

When mistakes lead you down the right path after all

Kathryn on the set of her new DVD.

Singles with a lot of energy.

Energetic singles create dynamic designs.

I mentioned earlier that Kathryn Alexander came to Colorado to shoot a workshop video about spinning (and working with) energized singles. Now, that was a fun project (stop envisioning a bunch of unattached adults twirling around with enthusiasm—this was about spinning handspun yarn)!

Kathryn borrowed my wheel for the shoot and commented on some yarn that I had on my bobbins; wondering how long it had been on there; if it was fresh or not. Some of it was fairly fresh, but some of it had been on my bobbins for years. (Seriously, years. Sure, I had spun other yarns over the top of it, wound it off, and spun more—but still. Years!). I was relieved to learn that sitting on bobbins, even for months or years, isn't a death knell for energy in yarn. I learned from Kathryn that you can permanently kill the energy (that's what she says!) in fresh yarn if you finish it aggressively right after you spin it, but that you can revive sleeping twist in yarns that have been dormant for a long, long time simply by washing them, and that energy will always be in the yarn.

Kathryn makes amazing surfaces in her knitted and woven cloth, harnessing this inherent energy in the yarn to create fascinating surface textures. She simply pays attention to the direction her yarn is spun and uses the twist energy in her Z-twist or S-twist singles to create swirls, bumps, and patterns on purpose. Sure, the first time she did it was an accident, but she learned from that "mistake" and hasn't stopped exploring the possibilities. In fact, it has led her in amazing directions. It gives me hope for my projects that have gone awry (remember the Printed Silk Cardigan? I'm still working on it!).

So, if you're interested in harnessing the design potential of the energy in your handspun singles yarn, you should definitely take a look at Kathryn's DVD. She has an infectious creativity that is bound to get you started down an intriguing path of exploration and creativity.

Happy spinning,

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