The Yarn Wench modeling her hand-dyed, handspun, and hand-woven ruana
My name is Lynn and I live in central New York State with my husband and two daughters. I have been spinning for over twenty years.
I got my degree in Fine Arts from Indiana University with my concentration in woven and constructed textile design. I studied with acclaimed artist/weaver Budd Stalnaker. A few years after graduation I moved to Kansas and I finally got enough bucks together to buy a Harrisville Design four-harness loom. A month later I met my future husband and we took off for the San Francisco Bay Area to begin our lives together. One of the first gifts my husband ever gave me was an Ashford Traditional Spinning Wheel. Quite a guy, huh? I taught myself how to spin and those first attempts were hilarious but I was determined to learn – those trips to Straw Into Gold in Berkeley were killing me financially. I needed a cheaper way to get yarn and the only way I could figure to do that was to spin it myself! Soon I joined Creative Handweavers Guild of Northern California and at one of the meetings Celia Quinn gave a spinning demonstration. Finally, I got to see how it was really done! The yarn I spun that afternoon was fine and straight, not thumb-thick and twisted up on itself. I spent the next few years participating in guild shows, craft fairs, and doing some commissioned weaving and spinning. With the first $400 that I earned I bought my beautiful Schacht spinning wheel.
Then along came the first baby and a move to New York State and it was all put aside for the duties of motherhood. The wheel was occasionally brought out but the loom was folded up and stored away. It was just too hard to thread thousands of ends with constant interruptions! I took up jewelry-making, papermaking, mixed media collage, and quilting - things I could do in the small increments of free time I had. The past few years I have devoted myself to writing a book called A Kindred Spirit: a Story Inspired by the Life of Hannah Duston which I hope to publish sometime in the near future. She was my seventh-great-grandmother and was notorious in her day for having killed and scalped ten Indians. Yikes! The only thing I have in common with her (besides a few genes) is the fact that she was a spinner and weaver, too!
My husband and I have been together for twenty-three years. The nest has started to empty, and I find myself with extra time on my hands. Recently I noticed the spinning wheels gathering dust in the corner. I visited the loom in my basement and checked on its condition. I bought a copy of Spin-Off magazine for the first time in many years. I started thinking about fiber again. It began to appear in my dreams on a nightly basis. My house smells like dye pots, and dripping yarn and hand-dyed wool top have taken over the shower stall once more. Okay, I’m obsessed again! I love seeing what the latest generation of spinners is doing and I realize that it is cool to spin thumb-thick twisty yarn! I’m excited to be getting back into it. How did I ever stay away? I hope you'll enjoy working with my hand-dyed, handspun yarns as much as I enjoy making them.
The Yarn Wench
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