Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Great Balls of Fiber

My friend Mary is the coordinator for our guild's evening group. (Our guild meets the second Saturday of each month, and we also have an evening meeting on the second Monday night of each month.) She was looking for ideas for programs, and I remembered seeing a description of a neat project on WeaveTech - I think posted by Cathie from New Zealand? That post didn't include detailed instructions, so here's what I wrote up for Mary to send out to participants.

Great Balls of Fiber Challenge
The challenge is to a) clear out fine yarns you no longer want and b) transform those yarns into balls of really cool, unique yarns that can be used as either warp or weft, or for knitting or crochet.

Things to bring:
  • a ballwinder
  • a pair of scissors
  • cones or spools or balls of fine yarns - any fiber, any color, any amount
  • a binder clip (to use as a simple thread guide)
  • a paper sack (to keep the things you're winding from rolling all around the room, and to take home what you create)
What we'll do:
SETUP: When we arrive, we'll put all of the cones or balls on a central table, and each person will set up their winding station with their sack, binder clip, ballwinder, and scissors. Attach the ballwinder to the table, put a binder clip on the edge of the table, flip one leg out to use as a guide), and set the sack on the floor below the binder clip.

SELECTION: When everyone is ready to begin, you will go to the yarn table and pick a minimum of 4 yarns to combine into your own unique Great Ball of Fiber.

WINDING: Place your source yarns in the paper sack. Grab the ends of each thread, holding them together, run the new yarn up through the binder clip and attach it to the ballwinder. Wind a ball until the ball is either large enough, or one of your source yarns runs out.

REPEAT: Keep choosing new yarns and winding new balls until time is up.

And here's what they made! Sure wish I could have joined them. (I had symphony chorus rehearsal that night.) Thank you Chris for the photos! I can't wait to see what they make with their new yarns.

(P.S. The NZ guild that did this originally didn't let the yarn creators keep their yarns - they had a big auction, and if you wanted to keep what you had made, you had to have the winning bid! Great idea for a fundraiser.)