We have a veritable spinning goddess to feature today: Ashley Martineau of How to Spin Yarn! If you’re not yet familiar with Ashley, she’s an innovative spinner whose online spinning school and book “Spinning and Dyeing Yarn” have inspired and empowered many fiber artists. It’s a huge honor to have her on our blog today, and we hope you’ll take some time after reading to visit her Instagram feed and awesome website!
Plus.. we’ll let you in on a little secret.. there will be a giveaway of epic proportions launching soon, featuring Ashley’s glorious spinning school videos! Keep your eye on our Instagram feed for entry details, coming soon! And here she is: take it away, Ashley!
I love learning. I love teaching. And I love using my skills to promote and help others succeed. That’s my passion. I find fiber, and creative spinning, to be the most forgiving medium in the arts.
When I was a newlywed I picked up knitting, and on my tiny budget I couldn’t afford the quality fibers I loved – so I started unraveling luxury fiber sweaters to recycle yarn. I wrote a tutorial for unraveling sweaters, and then I decided I wanted to spin my own yarn. I found Lexi Boeger’s website (www.pluckyfluff.com) and her yarns were so joyful and whimsical – exactly what I wanted to create. I bought a spinning wheel, and taught myself how to spin the textures I saw in her photos. As I was teaching myself how to spin creatively, I contemplated starting an online spinning school.
Years passed, and I was approached by Rotovision to write a book. It took two years from start to finish, but I am thrilled with how Spinning and Dyeing Yarn, came out. That was a huge learning experience that brought my perspective as an artist to a new level of quality and editing. I took a lot of that experience to heart, and it completely changed how I ran my business.
In 2015 I decided to complete the momentous task of building an online spinning school from the ground up. I had over a decade of creative spinning experience, combined with my self-taught work in web design, graphic design, videography, and photography – and my experience writing a book and understanding how important quality and editing is to a brand. After a year of careful planning and research of how to organize everything I had learned about creative spinning – I put all my hobbies together and launched www.howtospinyarn.com
I am humbled by the positive response I’ve gotten from my Masterclass series. I have been so creatively inspired in this journey teaching others while also learning so much myself. It is one of my mottos to never call myself an “expert”, lest I miss an opportunity to try or learn something new. Arrogance is so unbecoming in the arts. I believe that Kindness and Humility are forgotten cornerstones in the arts, and part of what secures true, lasting success.
When I am not building my online spinning school, I am working with the SpinOlution company (www.spinolution.com). They hired me as an Associate Partner in 2015 and it’s been so much fun to help their business grow. It’s so rewarding to help people succeed. That is deeply fulfilling to me. I love using my talents to lift others up. I presented SpinOlution with the idea of an entry-level, affordable wheel that could be kid-sized – and they came up with the Pollywog – which is now their #1 product. I have also sent them design ideas for a carding machine and a rigid heddle loom.
I also do graphic design for PLY Magazine (www.plymagazine.com) designing impactful advertisements for small fiber companies and cottage industries to help their business succeed.
What does the future hold? I have no idea. And that’s my favorite.
Visit Ashley here: