Archive for 15/04/2011



The phrase that really kicked this off was perhaps that msot elusive of writing achievements – an innocent afterthought of a pairing of words that seemed to be off-the-cuff but could have taken days of agonising . . . or maybe it arrived in a flash of divine inspiration.

Pratchett was speaking, I ?think? in the book “Wyrd Sisters”, of the pros and cons of covenly witch activities performed sans clothes in the open air. He spoke of the danger of “sudden hedgehogs” – and that image anchored itself in my imagination in the most tangible of ways. I laughed out loud, in sheer delight at the thought!

So how does one spin a “Sudden Hedgehog”? I thought of pom poms, as dealt with in Lexi Boeger’s Intertwined – pom poms in rough, spiky jute or hemp twine, that would be a tactile shock in much the same way that a hedgehog would be underfoot! The book’s image seemed to evoke warm summer nights on deeply-grassed hillsides, with hidden grey stones and glinting stars overhead . . . but somehow spinning that didn’t really take my fancy. So instead I played with the idea of snowdrifts, and the play of texture between snow and hedgehog! What if I spun a thick, fat, soft, barely-twisted single and included the jute tufts?

What if . . . !! What if I put two thick/thin singles together, as I’ve done once before, and plied the tufts in at odd intervals just to make a statement? Here’s the one I did before; I made a few mistakes, mostly in the finishing, but overall I loved this yarn and really am keen to try it again.

South African top from Crown Mountain Farms in club colourway "Celtic Glow"

That settled it for technique – now, what fibre? Jute or hemp is going to be hard, rough – and I wanted something really soft and squooshy to counterpoint against that. The stash reveals a choice of merino in carded rolags – not great for thick/thin – targhee top, or polwarth top. Hmm. Being that I will probably muff at least one attempt at this yarn, let’s plan on trying both!

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This blog is meant to document and share my process as I explore the creation of yarn as an interpretation of a richly-imagined fantasy series – the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett. Many of the themes, elements and even phrases in the books have captured my (dormant) writer’s imagination, and I feel the need to express my impressions through my current medium of choice. So. Here we are.

At this stage, most of the yarns I have planned are probably going to be wheel-spun; however, as I do prefer spindle-spinning to wheel-spinning, I may well be using my growing spindle collection towards this project. Some – if not all! – of the yarns will have multiple iterations/incarnations, both to practice and perfect technique and to tweak the visual and textural elements to more accurately portray my inner vision of what I’m trying to create. And if all goes well, perhaps . . . just perhaps, I may move to Phase Two of The Project . . . but that is a long way down the track and Let’s Not Get Ahead Of Ourselves.

I’d like to quickly mention Ravelry; the guys and girls there have been instrumental in taking me, in the space of a year, from being an unimaginative and very unaccomplished knitter to being a wide-eyed, constantly impressed spinner-who-(sometimes)knits. I have learnt so much, I have made so many friends, and the input from so many Ravelers has indirectly had much influence on my embarking on this Project.

Please join me and comment, critique, add thoughts. Whether you’re here because you love the books, or because you love yarn, or because you love me (ha!) please make yourself known.