Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mixing Colors

When my Mom gave me her loom, 15 years ago, she also gave me a wealth of weaving literature, including all her back issues of Handwoven and other priceless journals, books and magazines. And while I may not remember a specific author or issue in which a project or article appeared, I have held onto all that great advice, including this: If you don't like a particular color of yarn in your stash, put it together with another color you dislike.

For this stash-buster/end-of-the-warp project, I have done just that. Awhile back, I had spun some madder-dyed silk on a drop spindle and it ended up looking a little too salmon-y for my taste. Remembering the long-devoured article about ugly colors, I put the salmon singles yarn together with a too-gold Thai silk embroidery thread that I found at Habu several years ago. The result is a little more mellow than either yarn would be on its own. The combination reminds me of a favorite cocktail from my younger days, so I have dubbed this rustic scarf the "Fuzzy Navel."

Bottoms up!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Quilted Sea

Here are a couple of beauty shots...

This is the joy of the blue mind. Nothing is as predicted. I sampled and got rounded cells. In the finished cloth, the cells are only a bit more rounded, but there was a surprise. There was a a small bit of differential shrinkage--just enough to make the floats ripple like ocean waves above the ground cloth.

I can live with that.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Blue Minded

I have sea foam in my veins, I understand the language of waves.
Jean Cocteau, Le Testament d’Orphée

I went to the bookstore cafe near my house meaning to while away an hour knitting an eternal brown sock (eternal because I am on sock # 2 and if feels as though I will never finish). Instead, I picked up a riveting little book by Wallace J. Nichols called Blue Mind.

This book so exactly describes my psyche that I could not be more pleased to tell everyone on earth about it. I feel a deep and constant need to commune with water in order to live and create and keep the various chaotic connections in my brain functioning at maximum efficiency. Now I have a book that actually explains why this may be so.

Although I am landlocked most of the time, I find healing in proximity to lakes, oceans, rivers and streams. Given a choice of vacation spots, I will always choose a place by the water--any water. I am soothed by the sound of water rushing into the bathtub. I long to have a water feature in the garden. I am a Pisces.

The colors in this handspun merino/silk singles are moderately "blue-minded." I meant to leave out any hint of brown, green, violet or red, but they wanted in, and were so surprisingly lovely in the midst of all that water that I could hardly refuse to include them.

This woven sample is even more in keeping with my watery self.

Waves of ocean color are created by widening the traditional M's and O's cells and keeping the floats shallow. (These will all be a little more rounded after washing and finishing. I promise to do a show-and-tell.) This is a typical cloth born of my blue mind. That is the part of my brain that is engaged most often,

As for the sock, it is still unfinished. I am going to have to learn how to knit two at a time.