For the last nine months or so, I have been focusing my time on spinning yarn (and spells, I am the Stitch Witch, you know!) I took up spinning yarn as a way to meditate, relax and create in a new way. For me spinning is somewhat of a metaphor for uniting the past and the future to create the NOW. When I hand-spin yarn at the wheel I pull out bits of fiber (this to me represents material from the PAST which includes the creation, the nutrition, the experiences, the skills, knowledge, talents and qualities inherit in the fiber and in life) . I then add energy to that fiber through the treadling and spinning of the wheel to draw in the twist. The fiber goes from being loose, weak and ephemeral to being strong and functional. It moves from the draft (the NOW) unto the bobbin as a “potential” (the FUTURE). What it is to become is still just a dream. It is complete in the now and yet holds the possibility of becoming something so much greater through the art of knitting, crochet or weaving. Spinning keeps me focused and in the moment. I also like to put forth prayers (spells) as I spin. Yesterday I reflected on this question….
As we enter 2018 I wonder “why can’t we all just get along?” as Rodney King asked back in 1992, it still seems to be as relevant a question as ever. The Republicans and Democrats becoming so extreme on both ends of the spectrum hold no hope of finding middle ground. The #metoo movement has left men and women wondering if they can ever find the trust needed to heal the wounds of past abuses. Even in my everyday relationships I’ve experienced disharmony when there is a lack of listening in a spirit of cooperation and a teamwork approach.
And so yesterday I spun a spell. Lavender, like the pink and blue of divine feminine and masculine coming together in Divine Unity. Like bi-partisan red and blue joining forces to become purple. Like a soft fine merino wool coiled around a strong core of cotton. Soft and strong coming together to make something much more functional, beautiful and lasting. When I spin with a core I let one of the “singles” ply loosely around the other. For this yarn I also added in coils (the bumps in the yarn where the coil is “bundled”) which took advantage of the thick/thin wool single that I had spun previously. The core cotton single was a yarn from my stash.
Lavender like a pale version of the Pantone Color of 2018: Ultra-violet. Coincidence? No, more like synchronicity!
If you would like to follow more of my spinning adventures, follow pamelapenneytextiles on Instagram. I will also be adding my hand-spun yarns to my Etsy Shop very soon…..go HERE!
STITCH + MEDITATION = INNER PEACE
It’s really a simple equation. And I find whether it’s knitting, crochet, embroidery, or mending it holds true for me (unless I’m under a deadline!) For me, finding meditation time is not just a desire, it is a necessity. It is how I deal with the world. It is how I stay sane. It is how I find answers to everyday questions. When I’m stitching, answers come to me like some people find them in the shower.
When I saw a post about A Year In Stitches a 2016 endeavor by Hannah Claire Somerville, I was smitten with the idea. Just a few days later a friend of mine created a Facebook group and invited a few friends to join her for A Year of Stitches 2017. Of course I hopped onboard. (I’ve recently joined a larger group on Facebook for A Year of Stitches. I’m looking forward to seeing more ideas and sharing there.)
I started on January 1, 2017. In order to make this project “my own” I made a plan to create stitched Mandalas with a different thread color radiating for each day of the week. Each Mandala would represent a week with seven colors each. At the end of the year I would have 52 Mandalas. My thought was that this would be a great way to ease into the studio each day. It would give me a “no pressure” way to get the creative juices flowing. I have completed week 11 as of today. Here is the progress:
What I’ve learned so far:
- I don’t always do my stitching each day. For whatever reason I miss some days. So, some days I do several days worth of stitching.
- Some days I do the color for that day and I would really like to keep going. It feels like I just get started and I have to stop.
- I have always finished up each week on time!
- It has opened up some other creative ideas and projects. You will see some of them soon including this….
This is going to end up filling a 12 inch diameter embroidery hoop. Right now it is just over 6 inches diameter. I am stitching this on a piece of ivory silk. This project gives me the opportunity to keep going on the days I get on a roll and don’t have other deadlines to meet. I’ve always been interested in taking on a “daily art practice”, but have either failed in the past, or hesitated taking on the challenge. This one has been perfect for me. Low pressure, stress reducing (not inducing!) and it has inspired my regular art making practice. I will keep you posted on my progress throughout the year. (Now that I’m almost 3 months in, I’m not so worried about “failing” my committment again.)