The Long Winding Road
Gray Moon Fiber Studio has moved from my den sofa to a dedicated room. Now that I can spread out I've added equipment and can store a lot more raw material, either waiting on a wash or dyed and ready to spin. The space is filling up fast.
I took up knitting again a few years ago and realized what I enjoyed most about it was shopping for the yarn. Knitting is fine, the finished articles of clothing are nice, but what got me really excited was looking a the yarns. And then it occurred to me: I could make my own yarn.
Though I enjoy working with all fibers, I’m most interested in spinning from the locks of kid or yearling mohair and blending that with some of the long wools like Wensleydale and Teeswater. Add a little silk for extra luxury. There are so many possibilities, so much to learn, so many avenues to explore. I’ve only just begun......
My shop is full of yarns I have loved making. It starts with the fleeces. They are fascinating in their own right. They contain the colors and plant bits from the land they’ve lived on. Washing them is an education. Dyeing comes next. While I’ve enjoyed seeking out natural dyes, I’m a bit too impatient. I use commercial acid dyes to get a range of colors that appeal to me. I recently purchased a drum carder which I use for some of the yarns, but my favorite technique is to gather a lap full of super soft kid mohair locks and gently pick them apart. Then with a cloud of fiber in front of me, I’ll spin a variegated single. The natural curls of the locks are retained. The finished yarn is luxurious, unique and faithful to the individual goat or sheep that offered it.
I started out in life with an art degree in ceramics. I opened a pottery supply business in the mid 70’s as a sophmore in college. Went on to continue ceramics classes at the Museum School in Houston. Then off to graduate school where I switched emphasis from ceramic sculpture to jewelry making. Went to Cranbrook for a year for more studies in jewelry. Finally out of school I took a part time job as assistant to a well known artist. I’ve been with him, managing his gallery and publishing company for over 25 years. I don’t make jewelry these days, because now, it’s all about fiber.
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