July 4, 2008

diy rebellion and fibery things

in celebration of the 4th, i did a short post yesterday for threadbanger about revolutionary knitting, and i want to get into it a little more here. i’ve been reading a lot about the history of knitting and spinning lately (here and here and here and here and more) and one of the most interesting parts to me was the role knitting played in the colonists’ fight for independence against britain. with a ban on imported british goods, women organized huge spinning and knitting groups, struggling to keep the colonists all clothed and warm without the help of british yarn or clothing. they were fighting to proove they could sustain themselves on their own work and creativity.

i don’t know about you, but i feel a connection to this concept thinking about today’s diy culture, particularly with regards to clothing reconstruction. to me, buying used clothes at thrift stores and making them your own is a total revolt against consumer culture, unfair labor, commercialism, and uniformity. we may not have the same kind of unjust ruling nation to rebel against, but we definitely have malls, sweatshops, and, well, boringness to protest through our own diy revolution!

fiber5.jpg

and now in fibery news… last week pete was out of town for a couple days and i took advantage by dyeing up tons of fiber! (he hates the smell of vinegar and wet wool, isn’t he crazy?) this was in preparation for tour de fleece!!

tour de fleece

i’ll be spinning in the tour every day starting tomorrow through july 27th! also in prep mode, i splurged and bought intertwined (gorgeous!) and spinning designer yarns. i plan to try tons of new art yarn techniques, so exciting! so if all goes well, you’ll be seeing about one skein per day of new leethal handspun yarn for sale, probably bunched together in big updates once or twice a week.

blurry alpaca rainbow

for now, i do have one new yarn up! this one is 100% alpaca, hand-dyed rainbow colors, 2-ply, 125 yards! that’s a lot of yardage for me, usually my handspun skeins are around 50-80 yards. it’s a crazy, lumpy, bumpy, thick+thin, weird self-striping yarn – it’ll start at one end with solid purple, then blend to solid blue, then it’ll be a blue/green blend, then green/yellow, yellow/orange, and yellow/red at the other end, ending with a tiny bit of red/orange.

blurry alpaca rainbow

to tell you the truth, it’s not at all what i was going for… i spun the two singles, each striping all six colors of the classic rainbow in order, thinking i used approximately the same amount of fiber for each color in each single. so the vision was, each color would ply with itself to make a solid, and blend with the other colors on each side a bit, to make the full rainbow spectrum, all blendy. but, i was wrong in my fiber estimates, probably because i spun each single on different days, so the resulting yarn is much more arty and unique… but, i think it’ll knit up awesome, i really hope i get to see whatever it becomes! (i’m envisioning an amazing earflapped hat with wide stripes, someone make it happen!)

ok i have tons of other stuff i want to share with you, it’s been building up. so i’m planning to (hopefully) post more often, at least 2-3 days a week, to catch up and then stay caught up. hope everyone is having a fun 4th!

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