Guest Author - Beverly Elrod
Living in-or close to-a big city a person has more opportunities to shop for a larger supply of yarns or threads. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way when I moved from a large city to a very small town. While a small yarn store will start up business, for a short period of time, they don’t last much more than a year before going out of business. When this happens we’re left with a small selection at the local department store. Even with this opportunity, the craft department will often shrink and then slowly rebuild, only to discontinue items later on.
This left me with the thought that “there’s no reason why we have to limit ourselves to just using yarn or thread”. With just a short search on the internet, one can learn of various things that fiber artists have resorted to using. Some of these choices include using newspaper, clothes line rope, jute, wire, upholstery yarns, rags; only to name a few. And, the very devout artists will get even more creative and use something else. One day, I’m sure I’ll find myself using cast-offs of rubber-coated electrical wire which is still on the large spools they are shipped to electrical companies on., a Weeping Willow limb, soldering wire or a number of items that come in a long tube, spool or a number of any other items that contain anything that is limber and comes in a large quantity. There’s no reason why we need to limit ourselves to yarn and thread.
When considering what you might try, first think of any large electrical store/manufacturer/store that repairs electrical items/etc, but your best bet would be a place that uses large lengths of your potential new medium. Consider cable, phone or satellite companies that are near you. Don’t be afraid to call them and ask what they do with any wire/ cable or other matters that are too short for them to use. If they simply throw them away, ask what it would take for you to pick up some of this. If they say that you can have them, you may also need to accept the spool that they’re on as well. These spools can be made of wood and very heavy, so make sure you have some muscles with you. And, these wooden spool are easy to get ride of because many people with sand them down, varnish them and then make coffee tables out of them. Once you have your home full of these coffee/end tables, you can start selling them for a little extra cash or even cut them up for firewood.
So, don’t be afraid to think outside the box and do a little investigating to see what you can find in your neighborhood or even on your way to a large city. Once you’ve developed that “work” relationship with a company, be sure to make them something, that can be used in their office (such as a rubber coated wire-or metal crocheted, with a soft cork glued on the bottom-coffee mug or something) to show them your gratitude. This can also open the door for them to inform you of any new companies they deal with, locally, that you might contact for more materials.