THISmaker: Sandy Ryan

Sandy Ryan is the owner of Homestead Wool and Gift Farm with her husband Jim, located in Monroe, Wisconsin.  She is a shepherdess, a prolific spinner (of yarn and tales), and dyer of some of the finest fiber and roving around. 

What kind of maker are you?

I am a maker of a safe place for sheep to graze out their sweet little lives. They provide the beautiful fleeces I spin my yarn from. 

Why Art Yarn?

Art yarn is my favorite because I can just cut loose. With any fiber, yarn weight or trinkets spin right into the yarn. It gives me freedom to create from deep in my spirit. 

What inspires you?

The sheep inspire me most. Their fleeces talk to me and tell me how they want to be spun. The exploration of that fleece, each color, texture is obvious to your eye. What intrigues me is how different each fleece is. As I work with it, shades of color emerge right before my very eyes. The fleeces are as unique as the sheep they came from. 

What is your favorite type of yarn to work with?

I love to spin our lash yarn. (Tailspun). It is dramatic and really shows off each sheep.  I also love spinning yarn that makes no sense. Any fiber, any color and lots of add-ins like yarn snips, sparkle and trinkets. 

What is your favorite method of making (knit/crochet/weave, etc)?

Knitting is my favorite way to use my yarn. I am very novice but the handspun hides my mistakes quite nicely. My great grandma would have called that character! I also have a very basic knowledge of crochet and love to weave. Sleep is over rated right? 

What advice do you have for beginners using art yarn? 

Just have fun! Art yarn is sheep to spinner to you. Projects are a circle that brings us all together. There is no wrong way to use this yarn, it is just like any other-beautiful, versatile and exciting.  It is as special as the sheep, the spinner and the creativity of each artist. Dare to find your own favorite path to create with art yarn!