July 11, 2012

Approaching Colour

I came into possession of most of a braid of indie dyed Gales Art BFL top in the colour proud peacock.  I pulled off a little piece, pulled off all the purple at the end to just spin the green section, and spun yarn while I waited in a restaurant for my takeout order.

Result: one restaurant worker who looked curious but didn't ask, and some yarn that might as well have been spun from a semi-solid braid.  Didn't take advantage of the subtle colour transitions.  Needed a new approach.

I played with the braid and discovered I could suss it out as being three distinct parts.  (I'm sure it would be four if I had an entire braid.)  Each part is a small enough amount of fibre for me to handle on a spindle without the spindle feeling logy.  (I'd use a larger spindle than the Crossman Crafts spindle shown above.)  The colour sequence of each part is a palindrome so there is a chance that when I ply using an Andean bracelet working from either end toward the middle, I could get clear colour without much of a barber pole effect.  And the transitional sections between one colour and another, those will show.  That is the plan.

There are handspun things I must make before I spin the proud peacock braid, including plain vanilla skeins that are going to be dull and unremarkable to post about.  Apologies in advance.  Colour adds a little more challenge to manage.  I recently watched Deb Menz's Color and Yarn Design for Spinners and the planning and blending techniques were far more advanced than anything I aspire to.  At least I know now what I was supposed to be doing with the many bits of different colours I was issued in a past guild challenge.  Menz seems a great deal fonder of heathered yarns than I am.  I hope to be able to apply her information about the role of colour value sometime.  Her method of working out colour combinations from inspiration reminds me of Alice Starmore's discussion of colour in her Fair Isle book, though the colour blending was achieved there through stranded knitting.

On another note, this braid will be the third-to-last synthetically-dyed braid of fibre I'll ever spin.  My stash holds this, another from Gales Art in lapis, most of a Gales Art velvet Elvis braid and that's it.  Everything else is either undyed–most of the stash is undyed–or dyed with plant material.  I don't have much of that, only two ounces Romney dyed with Scotch broom and one ounce DevonxHampshire dyed with walnut which I did myself, and a little mohair that was given to me already dyed with something that gives red.

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