the yarn museum   Gallery/Spin Challenge #5 February 2008
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Congratulations to Jacey Boggs/Insubordiknit, voted the winner!


Pluckyfluff issued the following spinning challenge in her blog. Participants had one week to spin this yarn (til 2.9.08) Voting took place on Sunday, 2.10 on Pluckyfluff's blog. Submissions are shown below - scroll down!

Oh yes.....it's that time again! time to put everyone's spinning Will to the test! Only this time there is a damn good reason to get off the couch (or stay on the couch) and spin. You all know Holly of the fantastic fiber famed HollyEQQ...and if you are not familiar with her and her amazing fibers...check her site out ASAP! Our good friend Holly has run into a whopper of a medical situation as many of you may know from her blog. So it's fiber-friends-unite! form of a spin-auction...a spauction!! Sandy from Homestead Wool and Gift Farm along with some other pals, is going to host an auction on her site of yarns and goods donated for the Holly cause. How does this effect the spin challenge you say? Well....every yarn entered in this challenge will be donated to the auction! So only enter the challenge if you are willing to donate the yarn!!

They have decided to call the auction CIRCLE THE WAGONS.....since everyone is gathering round and working together to help out a fellow pioneer. So that will be the theme of this challenge.

Challenge #5 CIRCLE THE WAGONS!

The criteria: this challenge is more open to interpretation than we usually do, so have at it. It just has to relate to the theme "Circle The Wagons". This could range from a very literal visual interpretation to a more philosophical take on the meaning of "circling wagons". Any material is fair game. this challenge will last one week. As usual, submit entries to The Yarn Museum.

Challenge ends: Sat. Feb 9th.
Submit to The Yarn Museum
(send images, ideally 350 pixels square to: submitATyarnmuseumDOTcom)
VOTED at Pluckyfluff's blog, Sun. Feb 10th.

After the voting all yarns will be posted on HomesteadWoolandGiftFarm.com for the auction. Thanks everyone!!!!!


           


    Pluckyfluff"s materials and yarn...see more here              
    spin challenge 5/yarnmuseum.com              
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Eva Echenique/Atomheart

Healthy Pink Cell Yarn
The idea I had for the Circle The Wagons Yarn was more of a philosophical one. My idea behind this yarn was to collect all the love from the fiber community and cocoon Holly within it. This is a thick and thin corespun bulky yarn.

Holly is represented as the Aqua Blue Sparkle Ribbon (looks like her Oceans Of Fiber site!) that I corespun with an eclectic crazy carded mystery batt by MoustacheridesYarn. It includes peach and pink wools, black merino, mohair, recycled sari silk, recycled denim, random string bits, and bunches of sparkle. I spun cocoons into the yarn with Lincoln locks that are dyed hot pink and also included coils (black to represent fear and pain) and a peeking out of the corespun ribbon as candy striping ( Holly reaching out and embracing the love). The shreds and pieces of different materials shows the destruction of what we know/our security items The shredded pink bows are spun in to represent the feminity and the beauty in breakdown.
Pink is the color of healthy cells so this yarn is sending Holly all the healing pink light I could muster to conquer and overcome her current health issues. She is in the Circle of the Wagons. Buddha pictured here riding the pink healthy cells wagon yarn.

             
    spin challenge 5/yarnmuseum.com

             
                   
    Katherine Ruiz

This yarn is called 'Prairie Dawn'. It represents the peace of a misty morning's sunrise following a night of tension and worry. It represents my best wishes and hopes for my friend Holly.
             
    spin challenge 5/yarnmuseum.com              
                   
    Marie-Christine Gosse

My thanks to Holly.
I was working on her Magic Mushroom fantasy bag, browsed on the Yarn Museum, Lexi's blog, saw the "Circling the Wagons" challenge for Holly. I tried immediately to participate and at first, this expression I didn't know seems to mean, for me "all in the round and close together", a protection attitude. Alternated and very opposite textures and colors seem to be the answer I could show, meaning everybody, whoever you are. I tried to show the positive gathering energy Holly gives in her colors work, her words and pictures.
             
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    Lynn Stallone/FuzzyFibers

Like the circle being made around the wagons, I wish for the sun to circle its warmth around Holly and bring brighter days ahead for her." Sunshine on My Shoulder" is a yarn that brings a warm bright ray of hope and a smile to anyone!
             
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    JoAnne Gerwe/Moa Handknits

Prairie Home Companion
Alpaca, BFL, linen, yak, hand dyed wool, metallic thread, and other special Prairie ingredients. Yarn resembles tumbleweeds, dust-bunnies, clouds on the horizon, and sunset over the canyon.
             
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    Joyce Abbott/Banadura

Instead of literally circling the wagons, I'm sending Hollyeqq my best wishes for care and recovery with "Triage". White superwash wool, strips of sterile pads, ace bandages, and band aids plied with a red cotton thread.
             
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Shannon Herrick/The Spun Monkey Fiber Shoppe

Ghost Girl of the Illinois Prairie
Tattered remnants of prairie dress and Merino/mohair locks of wildflower (dyed by the fabulous Holly EQQ herself), wrapped around a silver-green wild prairie grass base of handcarded BL/Romney cross, Coopworth, straight-up Romney and more. Hugged all around by a cream wool thread and a lavender cotton thread. I was inspired to bring these materials to a local spinning circle that I had never before attended.

             
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    Elizabeth O'Donnell/YarnPunk

Talk of wagons always brings to mind wagon trains, and the human beings whose lives became intertwined for better or worse on those long and arduous journeys. I think that despite the hardships endured by those souls that pioneered the West, they could not fail to be moved by the natural beauty of the vast landscape they traversed, how such moments feed the soul and restore our fortitude. I had hoped to capture some of the colors and texture of that landscape- of sweeping sunsets across vast horizons, golden grasses, dried clay, sage brush and cacti.
             
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    Cindy Cole/Studioloo

When I think of 'Circle the Wagons' I thought of a community of semi-gypsy people from the plains who had a community based on simplicity and protected each other. I immediately felt that the feminine among these folks would be very beautiful but also simple. So, I wanted to take materials that had a little ruggedness to them but also were quite pretty in their simplicity. The fabric used is a flowered print that I would imagine a lot of prairie dresses would be made from and I thought of market squares with vendors selling natural wares like seashells, little wooden handmade things. This was the inspiration for this yarn and how I envisioned the theme.
             
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    Linda Scharf/Stoneleafmoon

In "Seven Arrows" by Hyemeyohsts Storm, he talks about the Circle, The Medicine Wheel, which he says can best be understood if you think of it as a mirror in which everything is reflected. "The Universe is the Mirror of the People, and each person is a Mirror to every other person."

I'm sure many of us spin with intention, so our yarns are filled with spells/prayers/hope and humor. And through touching and working with the yarn, the next person to possess the yarn adds their own Beauty to the world, as we all continue our journey around the circle. And if the circle is a mirror, the health that we wish for others is also reflected back to us, and we all benefit and are protected.
I used the colors of the Medicine Wheel, white, black, little green shells and gold string for this yarn. Added some coral colored locks for a little levity and feminine Superpower energy :)
             
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    Elle/Vintagek

Hope
This yarn was spun in colors to represent the rough roads we sometimes have to travel. The dirty gray/brown representing the roads, which can be a challenge, with all of their lumps and bumps. Yet along these travels, we will meet many people who will open up their hearts with love, hope and kindness. The red represents those such people. The ribbon tufts spun in throughout, represent the ties we make along our way, together providing added strength in which we can rely on to keep us (the yarn) strong. The heart represents those of us who bond together in such strength as spinners, that we unite for such causes as Holly's.
As a sister of a brother who has a brain tumor and one who has battled her own cancer, I submit this with hope that Holly will find peace and strength from all who have submitted yarn in this challenge and all who keep her in their thoughts and prayers. Blessings to you Holly and may your road be filled with hope, peace and love.
             
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    Barbe Saint John/Saints and Sinners

Jumping Wolf - The Indian Trail Guide
This yarn honors the Native Americans who helped guide wagon trains safely thru the West.
             
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    Lynn Wigell/Yarn Wench

All that Glitters Sure Ain't Gold
This yarn is my take on the settler's westward push for land and gold and the decimation of the Native Americans that went along with it. Seems it is always about acquisition, be it spices or gold or oil, and no matter the human toll. It consists of natural gray wool, a vein of gold angelina, strips of hand-dyed, bleached, and hand-printed fabrics, Wensleydale/Border Leicester locks, and feathers all plied up around a turquoise thread.
             
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Angie Brown

Wagon Train
Spun from brown Rambouillet wool which resembles earth or woods, green Cotswold curls - grasses, rose polypay wool - roses or flowers, light blue and white polypay/cotton - sky and clouds. It has old fashioned dotted cloth strips with tulle and daisy ribbons to resemble the dresses the women used to wear when they were on their journey to a new beginning, a new strange place or an adventure. And they would circle the wagons when needed to help out each other and to show that they care. My best wishes and hopes for Holly to get well soon.

             
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James

This yarn for Holly is symbolic of hope and healing. The brown, beige and tan colours represent the colours of the desert sands that seem so barren and yet so beautiful in the desert landscape. The light blue and white is representative of the turqouise blue skies and fluffy clouds. The darker blue is the water and rains that come and bring forth the flowers. The red cut outs are cactus flowers cut from an old felted sweater and the yellow centers are dyed yellow Cotswold both symbolic of hope and the warming sun. My best to HollyEQQ : )

             
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    Stephanie Nericcio/Stitch Ewe Yarns

The Duke
I took the more literal approach to Circle the Wagons. All I could think of is the star of the silver screen - John Wayne. Rough, tough and doesn’t take crap from anyone!!! My yarn is a pile of jute, cotton thread, wool, linen, and red sparkle fibers. A couple little homemade patches of guns, sheriff’s badges and a covered wagon complete the look. Also, a second skein of wool, cotton thread and red sparkles over-dyed in a denim color help create a strong, cowboy themed set. This is not a cuddly yarn set!!!

Strength played a big part in this. We as friends need to be strong to support a fellow fiber artist, Holly, and hopefully our strength will give her strength.

             
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Sharon Beacham

"Smoke Signals for Holly"
Messages of health and well - being sent to her from the fibre community - even all the way from Australia! The first singles is a 100% Merino roving that was dyed by Mandie of Ewe Give Me The Knits!. Then for the the plying singles I've used shades of brown wool which represent the wood of the fire & of the wagons, as well as the earth - then added in some polar fleece "Indian blankets", white wool for puffs of smoke, and some cantaloupe (rockmelon) coloured merino for the "lick of fire". (Don't worry - I always put the smoke puffs between the fire and the blankets! lol!)

             
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    Melissa Renfrey/CosmicKnits

The concept behind circling the wagons is protection. I therefore knew I wanted to heavily feature the color white, which is generally regarded as the most powerful and protective of colors, and that I wanted the yarn to be warm, soft and squishy. I am new to spinning, and only discovered Pluckyfluff and Holly's blogs this week after buying Pluckyfluff's new book "Intertwined". I was struck in Holly's blog by the beauty of her beach photos. It is obvious that the beach not only brings her inspiration in her work, but is also very special to her. In honor of this I dyed aqua ocean colors to ply with the white.

             
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    Jennifer Schermerhorn/Whirled Yarns

The phrase "Circle the Wagons" made me think of how the pioneer women had to come together and support each other out on the frontier. Here on the Kansas prairie, women still come together to support each other in times of crisis. There are often pancake suppers, rummage sales and quilt raffles to raise funds to help women and their families through rough times.

"Prairie Circle" is thick/thin spun Blue Faced Leicester dyed the colors of the prairie summer grasses. It is intermixed with strips cut from an old quilt top. Quilting was the backbone of women's circles out here on the plains. I liked this quilt top in particular for this project because it had been made from silks and heavy satins (many disintegrating now) which made me think about how the pioneer women soon learned they had to leave the trappings of their more glamorous lives behind in favor of what was really important.
It is plied with metallic gold thread strung with flower sequins, Swarovski crystals and poetry beads. The beads state what is of most important during difficult times like love, live, cry, kiss, hug, give, and laugh. There is one dainty brass "helping" hand bead, numerous pewter leaf beads and it is all topped off with a big silk prairie flower.
             
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    Guin

I thought for a long time how to do this challenge. Would it be something like the circle of wagons at night or during a dangerous time? Or perhaps the long dusty trails, the grassy oceans, the steep cliffs and swift rivers. I thought alot about the Laura Ingalls Wilder books my Dad read me when I was little. But in the end I ended up turning a handcarded batt (one of my first made) called "Sunset Ripple" into "Campfire" boucle.
To me the loops, coils and hoops are the circle of poeple working together to cross an untamed wilderness, they're the circle of the wagons and of freinds. And they're also the campfires family, freinds and comrades gather around to celebrate life, eat, honor those gone and just live life.

             
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    Lorraine Barrick

Little Yarn on the Prairie includes bits and pieces of the Ol’ West: denim, wool, grandma’s hankie, the canvas from the wagon, and man’s best friend (woman? Oh. No—dog.) Some feathers from the coop and a few old buttons from ma’s dress round out the prairie experience.
             
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    Suzi Stone/Lili's Garden

Coming from Australia, we don't have much of the Prairie/wagon culture. So this yarn is based on my perception and probably mostly comes from TV stereotypes (for some reason "Little House on the Prairie" comes into my mind!). This yarn is made from Superwash Merino that I have dyed green, brown and yellow. Partly to represent earthy, dusty conditions but also to reflect the fields of produce that may have been grown by pioneers, I have also included some cut up plaid homespun to represent work wear that may have been worn. Lastly I have included some dyed mill ends in red and yellows to represent the camp fires that the wagons would circle. To me this is where we would have a discussion on how to help Holly and what we would all do! I know this will all turn out OK, Holly!
             
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    Jacey Boggs/Insubordiknit
Voted the winner!

You know, my first inclination for Circle the Wagons was to do something gruesome, it would have been so easy and natural. However, I really wanted to challenge myself, work outside my normal gory-osity, I decided to take it in another direction, go for pretty, go for green, go for hope, and friendship, while still evoking the prairie. I wanted this yarn to be about everyone being there for everyone else, so I used only gifted fiber. Every bit of fiber in this yarn was given to me by fellow spinners. Have a look, if you've ever sent me fiber, it's probably in there! I started finding green and then by carding wonderfully soft locks and roving together with tussah silk noils (natural and green) and organic natural caramel cotton. I spun this into a lumpy bumpy single around a core of blue cotton that I unraveled from a placemat that I received in a recent fiber swap. I also autowrapped it with a really thin single of natural Merino wool, letting this wind on of it's own awkward accord, much like life twists and turns of it's own accord. While spinning this single, Ii held some sweet smelling hemp to the side and let it grab on at an angle, mimicking the tall Kansas prairie grass waving in the wind above the smaller, shorter tufts of green. I also spun in some flowers I hand felted out of flame-dyed, uncarded polypay wool with yellow and pink centers. Not too many flowers, just enough to pretty up a long journey, to bring home the fact that on any trail, any hard journey, there's beauty, even if it's small and unpredictable. The same thing goes for the sky, throughout I switched tension and let little cocoons of the threaded blue sky poke out and lighten it up a bit. To top it off, I spun in is one huge handfelted Sun, because the sun is always there to shine on everyone, no matter what you're going through. All in all, I wanted this yarn to speak to a long journey, to the helpfulness and love of friends and community, and to the prairie, which had all of that in abundance. With love and hope to Holly
             
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    Woodyett

Oenothera biennis (Evening Primrose)
This wildflower posy consists of wool, burrs, mohair locks and silk noils spun as a single and coiled over a core for strength. Prairie flowers withstood the seasons, and each spring bounced back with full bloom, sharing healing properties to those who were wise. Be Wise and Be Well Holly.
             
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