2-ply dog hair yarn and knitted swatches by Lisa Horvath
About a month ago I received an email from someone who was looking for a local spinner to spin her dog's hair into yarn. It was somewhat of a strange request (but believe me not the strangest I've received via VY). Actually, I've heard it is not uncommon for people to have their pet's fur or hair spun into yarn as a keepsake after their passing. I'm not sure if this was the circumstance in this case, but in any case I found an eager and willing spinner, Lisa Horvath, who just happens to be the person that we featured as our monthly blogger this May. Click here for more pics on her blog. Lisa has done other custom spinning orders like this one where she spun 2-ply yarn out of sewing thread thrums.
Today I made my first visit to Plum Project Studio in N.Van. Janice, the owner, and I had a really nice visit. Her store is chalked full of wonderful organic fibres like the above fair-trade, organic, hand-spun cotton by Ecobutterfly. YUM!
This wacky yet lovely yarn is made from recycled silk fabric strips. So amazing!
Here is one of Janice's students, Haley, who is making her first knitted project (the bag pictured below). During my visit she polished off the 62 inch strap, cast on 60 stitches for the body and was knitting away as I left. I was very impressed.
Below is organic cotton by Pakucho which are all in the natural colours in which they grew, some a slight tint of green, others grey as well as a range of creamy beige. They come in worsted, aran and bulky weights if I remember correctly.
Janice also carries wonderful organic fabrics, some of which are printed in Toronto and San Francisco. They were ALL quite beautiful!
Here's what I brought home: a skein of the Ecobutterfly organic hand-spun cotton, and four skeins of their new stock of plant-dyed crewel yarn (AKA wool embroidery yarn). I have no specific plans for them as of yet but my imagination is a brewing (I'll definitely be dyeing the cotton)
Lisa Horvath is a textile artist who maintains her Carmine Studio blog, and we are featuring her this month. I asked Lisa a couple of questions about herself and what she does. Lisa is recent graduate of the two year Textile Arts Diploma program at Capilano University.
Q: What is your favourite textile technique and why?
A: My favorite textile technique is hand spinning yarn because I can create any color and style of yarn I want for all my projects, even though I just end up keeping the yarn for how it looks instead of using it.
Q: How do you design the yarns you make?
A: I usually just go with my intuition. I am currently working on a line of naturally dyed yarn with a larger quantity of yardage.
Q: Do you have any upcoming shows or events?
A: I have two upcoming events. The first one is "Sheep to Shawl" on May 22, 2010 at the Surrey Museum. It's a competition between local weaving and spinning guilds to make a shawl from scratch with in 4 hours. The second event is the "Maplewood Farm Sheep Day" in North Vancouver on May 30th, 2010. It's a day full of sheep sheering, herding and other cuddly animals. A few girls from the Textile Arts program at Capilano will be there with a table showing visitors how sheep fleece can be used after it has been taken from the sheep.
Janna Maria Vallee is a tapestry weaver, longtime knitter, and 2013 graduate of Concordia University's Fibres and Material Practices program. In her art practice Janna combines textiles and socially engaged media. She founded VY in 2008.