WIPWed #83: All About the Art

For a while, I was like “Art yarn? But… why? What can you do with it?” And while I have yet to answer the second part of that question, I think I’ve finally understood the why.

I’ve been reading Jacey Boggs’ excellent book, Spin Art, and I’ve finally understood that people spin art yarn because it’s fun, beautiful, and offers endless opportunities for experimentation and discovery. Jacey is an incredible spinner and provides clear instructions and gorgeously inspirational photos, to boot. There’s also a DVD that I have yet to watch, but I’m already brimming with ideas for the techniques I’d like to try. My only wish is that she would have included photos of swatches knit with her lovely yarns, but perhaps she’s leaving that as incentive for us curious spinners to try things out for ourselves.

WIPWed #83: All About the Art | Woolen Diversions

BMFA Rockin’ Whorl Club Masham wool, colorway Indigo Dreams. Click for handspun page.

I am currently giving what seemed to be the most straightforward technique, thick-and-thin spinning, a try. I am spinning on the second whorl of my bulky flyer. This wool is easy to draft and it’s going pretty well but this certainly won’t be my prettiest yarn ever. I’m planning to keep this yarn as a singles, although there are additional art yarns one could create by plying or corespinning with it. Since I’m just dipping my toe in, though, I’m keeping it simple for now, and just enjoying the process.

Did you hear that? Little miss goal-oriented product-coveter is just enjoying the process. I swear, spinning has changed me. I don’t even care if I ever knit with this stuff, I just had to make it.

The Fiasco came across an interesting video about art yesterday. (Note: the guy in it is not an actual professor, he ‘teaches’ for a website that calls itself a university, but is not, and he only has a BA, not a MFA or PhD. So its legitimacy is suspect, but I’m sharing it anyway.) It features an artist who is criticizing modern art for it lack of skill, expertise, meaning, and style. It’s an interesting perspective and raises a series of questions: Does art have to be “good” to be art? Does it have to be “beautiful”? Who determines the standards? I am not versed in art history at all but I’ve often wandered the halls of modern art museums wondering why a blank canvas with one red stripe across it can be called “art” and feeling unsure as to what the point really is in pieces like that. What do you think?

As for other works-in-progress, here’s what I’ve been doing this week.

Garnet Tonic:

WIPWed #83: All About the Art | Woolen Diversions

VG Zaftig, colorway Kiss of Cabernet. Click for project page.

My Tonic Water cowl is coming along nicely. I’m 6 repeats in and have just about 1/8 of the 2nd skein left to work. It’s getting close to cowl-sized, but I’m thinking I’ll need to break into the 3rd skein soon.

Alchemy:

WIPWed #83: All About the Art | Woolen Diversions

BMFA Socks That Rock Heavyweight, colorway Tea & Alchemy. Click for project page.

Even though I gave in to my impulses and cast on a shawl for Malabrigo March, I have not completely forsaken my other knits. My dear Fiasco has been waiting patiently for this second sock and I’ve now safely turned the heel and am cruising down the foot. Soon, soon.

MalMarch Sundry:

WIPWed #83: All About the Art | Woolen Diversions

Malabrigo Yarns Dos, colorway Turquesa. Click for project page.

And about that Sundry shawl that I impulsively cast on for Malabrigo March? I regret nothing. Dos is such a delight to work with and I needed a little bit more garter stitch in my life. The swoop-y shape the shawl is forming is pretty fun, too.

Linking up with Small Things and Gracey’s Goodies this week. Yay for WIPs!

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