• /wp-content/uploads/2012/11/slide1.jpg
  • /wp-content/uploads/2012/11/slide2.jpg
  • /wp-content/uploads/2012/11/slide3.jpg

Battle of the Bobbins! Neauveau Fiber Art vs. Spin Artiste!!

by The SpinArtiste on September 7, 2014

Oh, yes…this is a REALLY good one…When Ashley Martineau of Neauveau Fiber Art and I made the plan to do this, I knew I was in for a one of a kind experience and I was right.  To start with, I had a great time picking out what to send to her.  Ashley is a true master of spinning bulky yarns that are still delicate and elegant and often in a soft palette.  Of course, I could not resist the overwhelming temptation to send something as un-Ashley as I could imagine.  I think you will enjoy her write up and pictures and then I will show you what I received and what happened with it.  This was a lot of FUN!

From Ashley:

“I love non-conventional spinning. It’s my favorite way to get out of a spinning rut. When I received Arlene’s package, I laughed and started thinking about how in the world I could incorporate this poncho into my yarn. Life with a toddler means delay after delay, and this poncho actually served a few useful purposes on it’s way to becoming a skein of yarn.

Here is what arrived in my package. A bright orange rain poncho, some lei flowers, some fiber, and a little ball of yarn

AM - Pile
The first purpose the poncho served was keeping my husband dry on a hike up Mount Monadnock. I told him to get a picture of him wearing the poncho on the top of the mountain for me to include in this tutorial – but he forgot. He did take a picture of the view though, so here you go.
AM - The view
Then a couple days later, our toddler Sam left me a present in the bath. Brian bravely donned the Rain Poncho when he got home from work to rescue me from a moment of parenthood bliss.
AM - Brian in Poncho
I finally came up with an idea for my finished yarn, and employed some help to get me thru the preparation stage of spinning. With the help of a good friend, a puppy, and a little boy we got to work.
AM - Cutting poncho
After cutting the poncho into a ball of plastic ribbon, I took the fiber and spun it in a single. Then I spun the ribbon of plastic. I plied the fiber with the plastic and played with different art yarn techniques to see what would work – just in case I ever wanted to get in the business of spinning rain ponchos. Here are the results:

Plying: works great!
Supercoiling: waste of time
Stacking: works well!
Twists: meh, not so much

I still had plenty of poncho left over when I ran out of fiber so I plied the two-ply plastic/wool yarn with another ply of poncho and I ended up with a few unique boucle-looking yards. My stacks turned into blobby rosettes and the flowers turned into butterflies.
AM - Spinning process
Then, right as I finished the final yard – it began to rain. So I took the yarn outside and photographed it in the rain. This ends the adventure of Rain Poncho Yarn. Thank you Arlene for such a fun challenge!”
AM - Skein

AM - Skein on gravel

 Pretty amazing, huh?  So, while the orange poncho was being worn by Brian for various reasons, I had received Ashley’s package and was mulling over what to do with it.

ART - Pile to work with

What you are looking at in this picture is a pretty wide variety of components.  Starting from the lower left:  A small knitted piece in some type of cotton boucle yarn, a large pile of cotton threads that I believe were warp ends, teal roving, a doiley, a small ball of a naturally colored wool spun as single, yarn strands, fabric strips, a strip of lace, yellow locks and an assortment of feathers as well as some beads and some small gold leaves (not shown). In addition, there was a spool of wire. I did look at this for awhile trying to decide what direction I was going to take.  Included also were some dyed silk cocoons.  ART - CocoonsI decided I did not want the cocoons to hang off as add ins and I thought it was time I took a crack at de-gumming them and spinning the silk instead.  So, I soaked them and then I was able to create thread out of them.  ART - SoakingAlthough this experiment did not yield much silk to spin with, it did give me the point of view I decided to take in approaching making the yarn:  Deconstruction.  After deconstructing the cocoons, I separated all the weaving ends into piles of color.  Then, I unravelled the small piece of knitted fabric.  I separated the sewn edges of the fabric strips.  I cut the doiley into strips.  I separated the feathers into piles of colors.  And, then I separated out everything that was a neutral color.  That’s when the yarn design came into full view in my mind.  For the neutrals, I had a range from white to black.  For the colors, I pretty much had a rainbow once I lined up all the items on my work table.

ART - Layout of fibersSo, I decided to spin a three ply yarn:  1 ply would be the neutrals from light to dark, the second ply would be the colors of the rainbow and the third ply would be the wire. 

ART - BobbinsOnce I had my bobbins good to go, then came a marathon plying session with the wire, but I could tell that it was going to be worth it as I wound the newly created yarn onto the final bobbin.  And, when I took the yarn off the wheel, this is what I had:

ART - SkeinAnd, I loved it, but in the skein you could not see the color work as nicely.  Also, I know that I was going to sculpt the yarn in someway at the end because of the wire ply…so, I decided to coil it into a yarn “Slinky”…

ART - Coiled

ART - Close up

I really have to thank Ashley for this package!  It really took me to some new places with my spinning that I’m sure I will return to in the future!!  I really love the yarn I made.

Previous post:

Next post: