the Intrepid Fiberwizard

adventures in spinning, knitting, gardening and life

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


To Inspire:
to animate the mind or emotions
to elicit, create
to affect, guide or arouse by divine influence
to communicate with divine influence
to breathe life into
...from the latin root spiritus, spirare... breath of God.

I love waiting for the moment when a fiber inspires me to create the perfect project. I'm a spinner and knitter who gathers fiber - the shelves in our living room are filled with color and texture. Some fiber inspires me the day it arrives, others simple lie in all their beauty, perfect as they are, yet unspun.
Finn wool calls my name today.
We belong to a group of spinners in the Great Northwest who meet for a conference every year in June. One of the events of the conference is a fiber exchange. Folks donate 8 ounces of fiberly goodness hidden in a brown paper sack. All the participants get to take home one bag, spin it and then make something from the fiber, and then gift back the finished product to the original owner of the fiber. You never know what you'll end up with in this exchange - and I love a good mystery!

Ah yes, so back to the Finn... and being inspired. Here's the fiber I received. Interestingly enough, there was an article about Finn sheep that came out in the Summer 2005 of Spin Off Magazine. Although my creative juices were flowing the moment I opened my fiber swap, I had other things on the bobbins, and the Finn had to wait.

This beautifully prepared fiber sat for six months on my fiber shelf, awaiting the little nudge from my mind to spin it. Since it was only 8 ounces, it wouldn't take very long... yet still I pondered.. thick or thin, worsted weight or lace.. or hmmm, perhaps even novelty yarn? blended or not, single ply or cabled?
I began to spin and the let the fiber lead.

Last November, I spun the green first, and ended up plying it with the purple, creating a soft heathered yarn. This fiber was wonderful to spin. Partly the fabulous preparation, partly the color.
The completed yarn rested gently on my spinning rack, awaiting the return of inspiration.

Many months passed - 5 more to be exact. Until a week ago. I was enjoying a particularly sunny day here, sitting on our deck reading kntting books. Books inspire me.
One of my favorite's is Viking Patterns for Knitting by Elsebeth Lavold.
This book is not just patterns, it tells the story of the designs - the intricate cables that criss-cross their way magically along your knitting.
Inspiration came. I have just recently learned to knit cables - and the wonderful designs in this book beckoned to me. Oh how I love the moment when a perfect pattern appears for the yarn you are hoping to knit. I leapt up from my perch on the deck, raced inside and grabbed my handspun Finn yarn and needles.... back outside I went. and the project began! I was inspired. My needles were flying along - I didn't stop for coffee - nor to answer the phone - I was enchanted by the cables.

The hat band was finished quickly - I picked up the stitches for the top , and my fingers continued to fly. Time didn't matter - dinner went uncooked (thanks for understanding K). I eyed my ball of yarn that remained. Would there be enough for the entire hat? I poured a glass of wine, took a deep breath and continued. Oh how I love this pattern - this yarn - the combination.
I decided to trust the inpiration -
to trust in the process -
and to remind myself that 8 ounces of yarn really IS enough for a hat (including all those yummy cables..) right?

Inspiration triumphed - the hat is complete.
I glance at the colors and textures on my shelf and contemplate... grateful for the art that feeds my soul.


At April 11, 2006 at 12:02 PM, Anonymous Leah said...

Just lovely. The design, the fiber, the description.

All, just lovely!

At April 11, 2006 at 1:46 PM, Blogger amanda said...

Teyani it is beautiful. I'm speechless. I have that book and I find it very inspiring. I love hearing about your process from spinning to choosing a pattern to seeing the finished hat. Perfect matching of fiber, color and pattern!

At April 11, 2006 at 8:27 PM, Blogger Chris said...

Wow, Teyani - that is amazingly beautiful! The yarn, the knitting - perfectly combined.

At April 11, 2006 at 9:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How fun! Way to go!


At April 12, 2006 at 4:36 AM, Blogger Jane said...

Beautiful yarn, beautiful story. I have loved that hat forever, it seems, and now that I've seen yours, I know why.

At April 12, 2006 at 7:31 AM, Blogger Fiberjoy said...

Great hat! Hmm, I wonder if Ed would like it...

Love your blog! It's so inspiring and encouraging for this toddling knitter/spinner.

At April 12, 2006 at 8:05 AM, Blogger Momo said...

That's a lovely story for the hat which is exquisite! What an awesome pattern. I didn't realize that the patterns in the book have a story with them. I'll have to check it out.

Great post!

At April 12, 2006 at 10:36 AM, Anonymous Emily said...

I love the poofy top and the colors are just lovely

At April 12, 2006 at 4:23 PM, Anonymous Ana said...

Simply beautiful, Teyani. Both the knitting AND the description. Thanks for sharing.


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