There are as many definitions of “art yarn” as spinners who make it. The older terms “designer yarn” and “novelty yarn” have their own connotations.
“Novelty” in particular might sound frivolous, like a temporary fad without serious merit or historical roots. Yet ancient textile finds from various places and eras include feathers spun into yarns, precursors to today’s art yarns. Novelty yarns include a wide variety of yarns made with unusual features, structure, or fiber composition.
Whether your taste is more traditional or you’re interested in creating innovative, eye-catching yarn styles, you’ll love the techniques and tips to inspire all spinning enthusiasts to unleash their creative spirit. In this collection of articles from Spinning Daily, you’ll find a number of techniques to add to your repertoire for spinning designer yarns—or any yarns.
There is nothing more satisfying than knitting with handspun yarn and then wearing your beautiful yarn creation for friends and family. Feeling the natural texture of the fiber flowing through your fingers as you spin connects you to the creative beauty and organic nature of the handspun yarn process. Then, take the process a step further and use your yarn to create your favorite hand knitting patterns. To get you started (whether you’re just learning or have been knitting for years) we’ve put together this beautiful collection of free scarf patterns. Whether you’ve been looking for a simple lace scarf, a spontaneous scarf combining different scraps of yarn, wanting to try out short rows, have been dazzled by modular knitting, or have been hoping to find a knit scarf pattern for a plush pygora, you won’t be disappointed. Each of these knitting patterns for scarves stands on its own with charm and versatility.
Spinning Prepared and Unprepared Fibers
By Symeon North
You can alternate using combed or carded wool with locks to make the untamed fibers really “pop.” Prepared fibers are generally easier to work with than locks are; depending on the preparation method, the fibers are all loosened or going in the same direction. Using unprepared fibers will create more texture and provide a unique look to the yarn.
Plying in Locks
By Symeon North
Instead of adding locks in singles, you can create yarn with unspun elements when plying. The twist that holds the plies together can capture additional fiber and hold it firmly; instead of locks, try sari silk, lengths of yarn, or other items.
By Jacey Boggs
Autowrap—the name says it all. With a traditional orifice, this is a wrap that wraps itself automatically. If you have an outie orifice, a delta, or a ring, you can get similar results, but it’s not quite so automatic. Requiring minimal labor, this great technique gives a yarn mystery and zing with its peculiar perpendicular wrapping and just gets more impressive when combined with other techniques.
Making Fine Bouclés (Not quite from scratch!)
By Judie Overbeek
Making bouclés is wonderful fun and results in an endless variety of bumpy textured yarns to use in knitting or weaving projects. Fine bouclés, for use as carry-alongs in knitting or as accent yarns in weaving, don’t necessarily stand on their own but become textural color enhancements wherever they are used along with a background yarn. They are constructed from fine yarns, either commercial or handspun, and sewing thread.
This art yarn tutorial download is an essential resource.
Do you find yourself bored with standard yarn? Reach your creative goals this year and cross learning how to spin art yarn off your list. Discover the ins and outs of creating innovative yarn that truly stands out. Be inspired to spin your own uniquely textured yarn with the tips and detailed instructions in this free guide! Along with this amazing resource, you’ll also receive a free membership to our Spinning Daily community. Your membership provides you access to our free projects library, our spinning community blogs, and our daily email newsletter!