Friday, 27 September 2013

Assignment 4 - Project 8, Stage 1: Making a Yarn Collection

For me this exercise was about reviewing my yarn collection rather than making one, as I probably have enough existing yarn and thread to open a shop.  My stash has been acquired over many years.  Some of it is leftover from craft projects, much has been donated or inherited, some of it I have recycled by cutting old clothes etc into strips.  To the amusement of my friends, some I have bought for no better reason than it's unusual or I've liked the colour or texture.  It's not a shameful, dusty abandoned collection though, I know exactly what I have and dip into it regularly.  Whereas some people see a project they want to do, then buy the materials, I look at what I've got to see how I can use it.

Large cones and balls of yarn stored by colour
Storing all this is quite a challenge, especially as a good deal of what I have is not labelled. Through experience, I can usually identify natural fibres by sight and touch. Man-made and fibre mixes are more tricky.  I've found, after trying various systems, that what works for me, is grouping my yarns by colour in see-though lidded plastic boxes, in the same way I store my fabrics. Smaller reels or skeins are grouped by type, with the occasional impostor! 
Clockwise from left: Pearl cotton & cotton crochet threads, miscellaneous variegated threads, strings of beads, rayon (viscose) machine embroidery threads, tapestry and space dyed wool, lace reels, more machine embroidery threads.

Stranded cotton and metallic polyester embroidery floss

Any small amounts left over I wind onto bits of card and keep them in a portable box for a good variety that I can take with me on workshops.

In a similar way to making fabric colour bags, sometimes I keep a variety of yarns grouped by theme for inspiration. 

For Project 9, 'Woven Structures', we need a good selection of yarns of different fibres and textures.  I've prepared the seascape-inspired collection below.

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