Long ago, I threw my energy into creating a handspun yarn that would follow the colors and textures, from start to finish, of the film The Wizard of Oz. This was a huge labor of…not necessarily love, but a compulsion to see the vision through to its completion. I don’t know of any other film with visual design and plot that can be so well represented through series of colors and representative shapes/objects.
The initial idea struck me in the middle of the night, and the details started flooding in, so it had to be done, whether I wanted to do it or not! In theory, a very fast yarnie could put the movie on and start working on the starting end of the skein, and whatever is going on in the movie would be reflected in the yarn they’re working with.
I’m not a big Oz-o-phile, but I studied the movie intensively for about a month (including its cultural impact, which interests me more than the film itself), and with a large, sturdy paper I created a notebook of colors, patterns, scene progressions, and ideas for possible add-ins and yarns/fibers to use.
When I knew what I wanted to do with each section, I drew a map of the layout of the yarn so I could work on different sections as I saw fit and connect them later on in the right order.
Then came the process of gathering the materials from near and far. Dyed batts that Ravelry members were destashing. Angelina fiber for the ruby slippers, but firestar fiber for the Emerald City, to have the right kind of sparkle for each. Pink tulle for Glinda’s skirt. Curly, golden locks for the Cowardly Lion. Raffia to serve as the Scarecrow’s straw. Metallic gray fiber for the Tin Man (the best answer to this need, after an extensive search, was mulberry silk).
Some scenes and characters became represented by buttons and beads from my stash; i.e., there are 3 pink buttons for the dancers in The Lullaby League, followed by an orange button, a green button, and a blue button for the Lollipop Guild. The marvelous amydice crocheted some elements for me in the OTT Wizard of Oz swap.
Then there were the many, many hours with my drop spindle. Some of the components, in their early stages:
I don’t know what the total yardage was, but before plying there was at least 1300yards spun up, not including all the yardage of commercial novelty yarns that are also in it. The LYS owner let me use her drum carder; here was the Munchkinland fiber I carded up:
Now let’s go scene by scene…