My inspiration to process fiber came from herding sheep with my dogs. Learning about their care and their fleece when the herding facility I trained at had their shearing day. The shearer was great at explaining about the different breeds, their fleece, what was desirable/undesirable. It sparked the desire to learn how to process and spin this great resource.
It wasn't long after I first began spinning that I got bored real fast (I have Border Collies, so like them I need to be stimulated in my work). What I call "Drone Spinning" wasn't keeping me motivated. Plain, small yarn was getting old and was loosing interest. That is until TEXTURE arrived after researching other spinning ideas. Nothing got me more excited than learning more about how I can create the look and feel of texture in my yarns. It was exciting and liberating.
I began experimenting with different things, only to jam up my poor little Ashford Scholar Mk II single treadle spinning wheel. Enter, Ashford County Spinner! Oh baby, she was hungry and I fed her all the fiber she could handle. There is no greater excitement and motivation in spinning than creating texture in yarns. It was instant gratification. I had skeins hanging everywhere, scheming colors, fiber and style.
My friend, Rustine Samples from Faith, Fiber and Friends, encouraged me to keep spinning more and going to trade shows with her. I was excited to show off my fiber creations and see what other texture creations others were making. Unfortunately, my fire was doused at the first show I showed up to with my big fat wheel. I was creating some of my mutant mohair plied with beaded thread waiting for the fiber enthusiasts to arrive when the fun police caught sight of my spinning.
In our neighboring booth was an alpaca breeder (a.k.a. fun police) who spun the "traditional" style yarn from her alpaca. She was watching me, I could see from the corner of my eye. She kept getting closer, but tried to make out that she wasn't watching. I thought she was just curious. As soon as more people came by our booth and started talking, watching and asking questions about what I was spinning, she finally came over. At her arrival I found it wasn't curiosity. She was disgusted by what I was spinning. She said she did better when she first started learning to spin and my yarn was so uneven and bulky. I won't tell you what I was thinking, or what I wanted to say to her. I still had a day and a half next to her.
Well, needless to say I was pissed! How dare she! That was the whole point, texture and substance. That was what got me excited and kept me motivated. However, it wasn't long I had a smirk on my face. People were facinated by my yarns and genuinely curious about my creations which took my mind of the "traditionalist" next door. When our traffic was greater than hers, I smiled.
Although art yarn, textured creations, bulky or whatever you want to call it isn't for everyone. I enjoy making it and enjoy seeing others happy with it. That is the whole point right? While I don't knock those that are different than me (traditionalists), I appreciate their craft, style and preference. No matter what your craft, your creativy should make you happy. As it turns out it was only a matter of time because now art yarns are becoming more popular and appreciated. Thank goodness.