Tuesday, 18 November 2014

I wad given some rayon

boucle yarn by my friend - the one I was helping at the craft fair. She has asked me to make something as a sample. It is hand dyed in various shades of green.
There are two skeins of it - yes, skeins and not balls.  I have to wind this stuff!
I have a "swift" - one of those strange devices that look like a merry go round lattice fence or a moving yurt frame. You put the skein of yarn over it and then, hopefully, wind merrily away.
The Senior Cat made this for me some years ago. He also made one for the knitting guild I belong to. It was a fiddly thing to make.
But, you need the right tool for the job and this was it.
Unfortunately one of these skeins was tangled - played with perhaps by a customer who wanted to see what the colour progressions were like.
It is sometimes hard to imagine these colour progressions in actual knitting. Unless you are a knitter it will be hard to imagine this but try to imagine a circle of yarn with rings of colour around it. It will not knit up looking like that. Knitters talk about "striping" (obvious I think) and "pooling" (blotches of colour caused by the same colour coming together) and other colour variations. Experienced knitters have some idea how something will turn out but even they can be surprised. And no, I am not talking about the fancy, so called "fair isle" sock yarns made by commercial companies. That is something entirely different. They are designed in a different way.
No, this is hand dyed and hand painted - literally painted with brushes. It means that no two skeins are ever exactly alike and, if it is difficult to match dye lots in commercial yarn, it is impossible to match dye lots here.
But these two skeins were, I imagine, "painted" at the same time. They are very close in pattern and colour. I will still alternate the yarns. That should vary the colours nicely - from pale green to dark and back again mixed with dark to pale. We will see.
I often look at colours mixed together in gardens and wonder how they would translate into hand painted yarn. The colour of the jacaranda flowers against the rough texture of their mouse brown-grey bark would make a wonderful combination - perhaps with a hint of sky behind? Or what about the darker lime green of nasturtiums with all the brilliant yellows, oranges and even reds peeping through at intervals? I don't do much dyeing but I love colour.
But, what to make with it? I have to design a top. It will be interesting to see what happens. I can "see" a top - perhaps with spaghetti straps. It is not in the least the sort of thing I would wear but the rayon feels like silk and should drape nicely. It is, I think, the sort of thing a teenager might wear if dressing up for the evening - although Ms Whirlwind was not impressed by the idea. No, it isn't her sort of thing either. "But A.... would wear it," she told me. A.... is one of her friends who manages to look elegant even in school uniform.
I may get A... to model it if the idea in my head turns into reality.

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