My story began in Texas, continued as I moved to different cities in Texas, and I am still, thankfully in Texas. As an school friend pointed out, that story is divided, but the the one thread that ties it all together is my love of all things fiber and the tools that go with it.
As a young newlywed, I already had sewing and tailoring on my skills belt, honed by years of Home Economics classes in school. The popular needlework of the day was crewel work, and I learned how to lay embroidery stitches in wool on linen and I developed a deep admiration of designer, Elsa Williams. Those first needlework skills also established a life-long love of the touch of fiber moving through my fingers.
Along the way, I continued to sew and stitch, then I picked up needlepoint which led to learning how to lay stitches on canvas. The fiber was wool, cotton and silk and the methods from cross stitch, Hardanger, and the many different fancy stitches on fabrics known as Congress cloth, which was a stiffened cotton, to linen, silk, and even paper.
Then one day it struck me that in many of the needlework magazines and related forums, the subject of knitting kept showing up in articles and discussions. My husband’s grandmother had taught me to crochet, so I had a basic knowledge of looped stitches, but no experience with two needles. I purchased a children’s how-to-knit book, bright red yarn, and a pair of size 10 needles, sat myself on the front porch right here on The Hill and spent all that day learning to knit.
Once my needles were flying, I started dropping stitches. I turned to the help section of the book, then studied the fabric. It was then the light bulb went on! To be a knitter, you not only create fabric, you must also understand the techniques, what they do, and when the errors show up, know how to fix them. The crochet skills helped me to recognize the structure of the stitches in order to repair the dropped ones, and it also meant that I already had the hook to pick up those stray stitches.
From cotton thread to wool thread, and now yarn from many sources, each are my connection with a need to create. Recently, I have been studying the different breeds of animals and types of plants of all those sources of fiber, the different qualities of fiber, and how to turn it into yarn. Spinning is my latest solace and challenge!
While participating for the first time in the Tour de Fleece on Ravelry, a forum for knitter and crocheters (and weavers and spinners), I spun this yarn on a Kundert, 1.2 oz. The fiber is from W.C. Mercantile in Navasota, Texas, and was blended by Petra.
I look forward to sharing what I learn along the way. Practicing weaving on my little Schacht Cricket another skill to hone. I would have never guessed those many years ago, just how many wonderful tools there are to support my love of fiber!
Thank you for stopping by for a visit. If you have any questions, please drop me a line at redbirdranch at hughes dot net or even the ol’fashion way by regular mail addressed to LaColline, P. O. Box 8038 – Huntsville Texas 77340.
And please, y’all do come again.