Decisions, decisions
Thursday February 08th 2007, 1:26 pm
Filed under: Knit,Spinning,To dye for

I once snagged quite a few pounds of an undyed light brown cashmere at $15/lb from a wholesaler I knew. The catch was that it was extremely thin and single-ply and too fragile to knit up even as lace; it had to be plied on a spinning wheel. Well, guess what I have. Hey. Ply, dye, felt the hanks with some merino, perhaps, for a little extra strength–I can manage all that.

I have made three afghans with it so far. My mother knitted some into an exceedingly elegant aran sweater. And I have five pounds, half of it dyed into all these colors (we are still working on the camera thing), all waiting to be made up into the next afghan; I’m picturing a windowpane quilting pattern or some such, the undyed skeins framing the blocks of color.

But it’s been sitting in the closet, ready to go, for several years. I’ve been thinking lately that I’m going to Stitches in a couple of weeks, that the new stuff tends to push the old stash further back in the lineup, and I’d really like to see this yarn finally grow up. So. I pulled it out and looked it over.

It stopped me, just like it has every time since I dyed it. Some of the colors came out brighter than the others. Swatch swatch swatch, and yet, I don’t believe I can really know how they’ll all play together as a whole until I’ve gotten a piece done that’s way bigger than a swatch. If it were an even balance of bright and subdued, but it’s not. It’s odd; I mean, they’re all overdyed on top of this same light brown, you’d think…

So the past few days, I’ve been thinking: my hearing loss makes it so I don’t hear some things, but, I notice things that other people sometimes miss, because they’re too busy hearing the whole words while I’m focusing on the nonverbal aspects of the conversation. So. I wonder… I have a friend a few blocks away whose husband is colorblind. The walls in her family room are yellow. I wonder, if I took that stack of balls over to them, if he could tell me better than I can see how the color tones/values mesh? Since he’s missing the distraction of the reds and greens, akin to the consonants I tend to miss. I wonder if it would be clearer to me myself, if I put them in the context of the yellow walls? Or if I put it on top of her white grand piano with the white living room walls as a backdrop and looked across at them rather than down. Curious.

7 Comments so far
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Go to a quilting store and ask about a Ruby Beholder. Quilters who want to make watercolor quilts sort the fabrics by looking through a red filter. It’s supposed to mask all the color and allow you to sort on value.

Comment by Debby 02.08.07 @ 4:44 pm

Huh. I’ve never heard of those before, thank you! We’ve got Eddie’s Quilting Bee near us, the San Francisco Bay Area’s place to go for all things quilting. I’ll go try that out, thanks!

Comment by AlisonH 02.08.07 @ 5:13 pm

I just love it that you are such a thinker. I am drooling just thinking about how wonderful an Alison afghan would be!

Comment by Lisa 02.08.07 @ 7:40 pm

There is a knitty artical on color theroy up as one of the surprises this issue. It sugested that you photocopy yarn and color cards with a black and white photo copier.

Comment by Teresa 02.08.07 @ 8:30 pm

Photocopy! Another thing I never would have thought of. Huh. The easiest thing to do, of course, would be to toss the errant skeins aside or just overdye them. I just hate to give up on any colors–let’s see, that too-bright one is dyed the same as this other project I did way back when that had all these happy memories from when I gave it away, and that one was done with the dye I used for this other project for… Yeah. I guess I’m trying to pack all kinds of spinning/dyeing/knitting memories through their colors into this one afghan. And some don’t quite necessarily fit. Well, hey; I really do have enough yarn to make two afghans. Plus, I have another two or three pounds on the original cones still to be spun up, so that if by chance I came up short, just go make some more.

Comment by AlisonH 02.08.07 @ 10:07 pm

I’m agreeing with Lisa here. I’m completely in awe of how gorgeous an Alisongan would be. I’m crap at afghans. I can churn out socks day in and day out and I don’t think I’d ever be bored, but afghans…I do a square, and then I’m all YAWN.

Comment by Kristine 02.09.07 @ 4:57 am

I like the ideas mentioned here already. I also think that it couldn’t hurt to ask your friend’s colour blind husband. He might be able to help. Regardless, I think the afghan sounds like it will be beautiful.

Comment by Shelley 02.09.07 @ 6:58 am

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