Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Spinning Newspaper

I did do some actual work through the summer too, as well as gallivanting all over the place demonstrating. As well as the usual sheep, alpaca dog and cat I was asked to spin 5kg of newspaper for a fashion student in London. It seemed like an enormous task - especially as I was only contacted about it at the end of June and it was needed by mid to late July!! But, me being the sort of person that can't resist an unusual project, had to try my best anyway.

It soon became obvious that I wasn't going to be able to manage on my trusty Ashford Traveller but after a look through the wheel collection I finally settled on the Louet S17, which worked perfectly.

The paper had to be cut into strips exactly 1cm wide, which I (stupidly?) decided to do by hand with scissors. Ouch, the blisters! I worked out from the length and weight of the particular publication that I was using, I had cut and spun around 20,000 strips to get to the 5kg target.

The strips had to be spun in to singles - not too much twist or they would snap suddenly, but not too little or the joins would fall apart. It took a bit of practice to get the technique right.

I did just manage to get the whole lot spun by the end of July ( I actually finished late morning on the 31st) but had posted the first 2kg earlier in the month, so the very talented designer could get to work.

The finished items that she knitted from the newspaper are truly impressive and I'm so happy that I was able to help. I have seen photographs of the whole collection but have been told that I'm not allowed to share them with anyone for the time being.

Seeing the pictures and handling the yarn, I have been inspired to do some knitting and crochet from newspaper myself in the future. I did do some sample pieces just to see how it worked up, it certainly has an interesting texture, it feels almost rubbery. I'd like to try a sunhat, hoping the paper would be rigid enough to hold a nice big brim. I might even post the results here..... watch this space.

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