Spin-Off Speaks To Me

q~The new Spin-off magazine arrived in the mail yesterday. It wasn’t until page 26 that I realized the magazine was “talking” to me. Knitting Traditions had an article that spoke to me a few months ago, but with Spin-off it’s consistently on almost every page.

It starts with the cover “Paint with Fiber on a Blending Board”.  My spinning teacher purchased one for the class, which I shared on the Nov 15 blog: Batting 1000 which featured a video on using the blending board. I was unhappy with the rolags I made since they really weren’t “blended”, they were just big blobs of color, so I hand carded them and spun onto my “samples” bobbin. The article in Spin-off, “Carding on a Blending Board”, by Gwen Powell is excellent with photographs accompanying the text. As mentioned in my previous blog, you really can’t use a blending board properly without a brush. In the article is a warning, “…make sure there is no gap between the stripes because if you leave gaps, there will be thin spots in the rolag, which could make spinning a consistent yarn more challenging.” And that’s the truth, as you can see below.



Looking at the picture of the bobbin, the spun, re-blended rolags are spun on either end of the bobbin. The color in the middle of the bobbin is from a different sample. I use the sample bobbin to spin all of the different color samples we’ve been given in class, or that I get as free sample when ordering yarn. When it’s full, I plan on Navajo plying to keep the colors and samples true and then making a sampler scarf.

Delightful Handpainted Fiber Surprise

q~Hello My Pretty! I fell in love with this roving the minute I laid eyes on it at Happy Ewe! It is so not colors I wear. What was there about the braid of  85% Polworth Wool/15% Tussah Silk Fiber, color way: Rainbow Bright by Western Sky Knits (WSL) that called my name?

my pretty

As I was undoing the braid, I was overtaken with total amazement. I was expecting the colors of the rainbow because of the Rainbow Bright name: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Keep in mind, I’ve looked at My Pretty every day since purchase AND shared it with the spinning class but never noticed that I’m looking at a color way in the print color wheel!

Watch out, my science brain is taking over! There are 3 main types of color models/wheels which have different primary colors; dye, print and light. I taught this for 23 years but never had it “hit-me-in-the-face” before.

brief description of each without all of the vocabulary and science which usually accompanies a lesson.

1. Most of use are familiar with the dye color model/wheel we learned about in elementary school which has the primary colors of  red, blue, and yellow. Combining the primary colors give us the secondary colors of red + yellow = orange; yellow + blue = green; blue + red = purple.

2. On the printed page the colors we see are based on tiny little dots so close together that our eyes blend them together into colors. This is based on the CMYK color model: cyan (C), magenta (M), yellow (Y) and black (K). Get a magnifying glass and look at the Sunday comics, easy to see the dots. The primary colors of print are: cyan (C), magenta (M), and yellow (Y).  The secondary colors obtained by mixing the primary colors are not exactly the same as the secondary colors of dye, but create values of the colors: Magenta + yellow = orange; yellow + blue = yellow green; blue + magenta = purple. Combine all colors to get black, the black isn’t a true black that’s why real black is added. Think of the color cartridges you purchase for your color printer.

3. The colors emitted by a light source which go straight into our eyes; for example TVs, computer screens, stage lights are based on adding light together. The primary colors of light are red, blue and green. The secondary colors are red + blue = cyan; blue + green = yellow (yes, yellow); green + red = magenta. If all three primary colors are projected at a single spot, white light results. Next time you’re at a play, notice that all of the footlights are either red, blue, or green. The lights are combined to make different colored spotlights; including white.

So, when I unbraided My Pretty, much to my delight I noticed that the CMYK color model was used to produce the color way: magenta, orange, yellow, yellow-green, aqua, purple and black. And, as expected the black is not a true black it’s more of a very, very, dark, midnight blue. Here is My Pretty folded into a CMYK color model: Magenta, orange, yellow, yellow-green, aqua, purple, and black. Very clever dyer! Now it’s time to get to the wheel and have some fun!