It has been said that necessity is the key to invention. Such was the case for Lynn Snell, the lady behind Spinderella’s Creations.
Mother of four, all of which she has homeschooled, as well as caring for her youngest son, Deanie, who has a disability and continues to spend his days with mom in the shop, Snell learned how to weave. After discovering she was unable to find the particular yarns she wanted to use to create things she had envisioned in her head, she decided to create them herself.
“This all happened by accident over 30 years ago,” Snell says. “My friend suggested that I learn how to spin, so I did, even though I didn’t really like doing it. In weaving, you always have a lot of waste called ‘thrums’, and I just couldn’t throw them away. The lady who used to process the stuff I would spin, told me to cut them up and send them to her and she would re-card them. I was so excited. But then it came back like dryer lint, which was not what I wanted. So, I started to play with all the ‘waste’ myself and carded the wool so I could spin it. People started clamoring, asking where I got it, and if they could have some of it or even buy it. I started thinking, ‘I need to sell this product.’”
Snell began tossing the thrums into freshly dyed wool and carding them together, using a carder she purchased. She calls it the Meriwether. In 1995, Snell and her husband Jim, opened their business to the public, offering washing and carding services only. Now, Spinderella’s Creations is a processor for wool, alpaca, mohair, and llama fur for ranchers all over the country.
“We get this sturdy, filthy stuff in. I wash it and then we card it. Sometimes we send the product back so they can sit and spin it, or we do, and make yarn, batting or fleece with it,” Snell says. “As an artist, you do get tired of producing things for someone else, so a year ago we started to add our own products. We created a line of blankets, scarves, ponchos, and wooden rocking sheep. I am not a crafter; this is my living. Some people do not understand how much work is involved. Years ago, we started calling it a ‘slow craft,’ trying to educate that this is a slow process.”
As custom fiber processors, Snell feels it is important to educate the public about the sources, the animal raisers, shepherds and shepherdess’ they work with. Keeping in line with her original objective of not wasting any of the product, Snell passes on the organic waste left behind after fleece washing, to local gardens where it is worked into the soil, depositing magnesium and other nutrients naturally back into the soil as it decomposes.
Visit the Spinderella gift shop at 1640 S 600 E, Salt Lake City