I love yarn, (which is probably obvious, since I wrote about the joys of a yarn stash on my main blog today, too). But I do love the stuff – I adore digging my hands into it, squeezing it, feeling it reflect the heat of my hands back to me. I relax when I feel yarn – it’s a very tactile sense of calm. Sometimes, when I’m working on a new design project and don’t yet see the pattern in my mind, I will walk around the house holding a ball or skein of the yarn. Doing that lets me meditate with it, commune with it, and let it speak to me.
I know that probably sounds a little wooly-bully (or, let’s face it, a little nuts), but it’s true. Designing for me is a very tactile process. I think it has to do with the fact that I don’t translate 2D to 3D in my head, so my design process is physical and not conceptual. By holding the yarn, I literally “get a feel for it” and am able to see what kind of textile I want to create with it. Is it light and airy? Do I want to make something lacy? Is it heavy and chunky, with a strong body? Cables might be more the ticket. This particular yarn in the picture is a Merino wool and alpaca blend with a little bit of silk I think, if memory serves. It doesn’t have a whole lot of bounce to it, so it’s not very springy; but it’s very soft. The shine that it has, which isn’t all that visible in this picture due to the lighting, says “sparkle” to me – and I plan to use beads in the lace.