Deconstructed Yarn Painting

This is one of my latest pretties.

Remember all those yarn tails I had leftover when I was working on some free-form crochet? Since they were all from 100% wool yarn I knew that I had a special job for them. At the time I wasn’t sure what it would be. I tucked them into a little zip lock bag and put them away.

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of needle felting in preparation for teaching it. I’ve made my own needle felting pads to work on.

I used some of those massive bags of fiber that I purchased from Brown Sheep Yarns last year at the Scotts Bluff Valley Fiber Arts Fair. That means that all my felting pads are the same color as the pieces I’m felting. Not the easiest thing to see with my “mature” eyes, especially in the evening using artificial lighting.

Then I had the brilliant idea that I could add color to the pads, using my left-over yarn tails! I told my friend Sue, who also does needle-felting. At the time I was saying I would cover the whole pad with color. She mentioned that sometimes she works with color and having a white background would be helpful.

That inspired me to only add color to one side of my pad. That way I would have both a natural white surface and a color surface.

First I started pulling apart the yarn. I would un-twist the yarn and then pull off strands or turn it into fluff.  I found it a little easier to do if I cut the yarn tails into lengths shorter than 2 inches. The single ply yarn was also easier to pull apart than the multiple plied yarn. Though the multiple plied yarn strands did add some interesting “wavy” texture. I filled up a container with all the deconstructed yarn.

Then I spread the yarn remains over the pad in a random pattern. It was rather fluffy and vague looking.

But once I felted it in using my multi-needle felting tool it looked quite beautiful. My final result actually reminded me of the expressionist paintings I saw last Fall at the Denver Art Museum. I’m thinking I may have to experiment more with this method of “painting” with yarn.

I’m going to need a lot more yarn tails.