Áine Kelly : Adapting Materials + Practice Micro Commission – 2. Scraps

I have heaps of yarn and textiles from previous projects. They’re all random awkward sizes that often can’t seem to fit into any new projects. So the heap just gets bigger and bigger by project and project.

scraps of leftover yarn

Weaving with scraps of yarn allows me to weave in short strips easily as opposed to weaving with a continuous ball of yarn. I wove the strips with the ends coming towards the middle and frayed the ends in order to keep the structure of the weave. The yarn is 100% sheeps wool so combing out the wool produces a lovely matted coat. It’s almost reversing the wool’s properties back to how it was when it was sheared off the sheep. It keeps together quite well and has the potential to become more sculptural.

test piece of weaving with sheeps wool

I tried another small piece with various types of leftover yarn scraps. This includes cotton, hemp, wool, linen and acrylic. All yarns frayed nicely apart from a particular cotton. I also experimented with combining plastic into the weave. It’s a bit of a mash of two ideas but I wanted to see how these two materials would work together.

side by side view of plastic incoporeated into the warp and the finished piece with scrap yarn
close up of test piece of weaving and plastic

There is something satisfying about incorporating an object into a flat weave. It gives the appearance of floating among the warp (vertical threads of a weave). Adding objects into the weave is something I think I’ll experiment with more.

Some scraps are so small that it’s not even worth trying to weave with. So I’ve started to collect these micro scraps until I have a big heap to card with. Carding yarn untangles and intermixes the fibres to produce a continuous web of fibre. After that I will attempt to spin the fibres to make a continuous ball of yarn to weave with! It will be a concoction of various natural and synthetic fibres so I’m curious to see how well it will hold together.

Doing this in combination with buying sustainably made natural yarns and second hand yarns could be a really good solution to lowering my impact. Repurposing even the smallest of fibres avoids landfill and reduces the need to consume more. It might sound insignificant which I’m sure many of us have felt when we make the effort to minimise our impact but making these small efforts are effective collectively.

attempting to card fibre