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!


Don’t Judge A Store By It’s Cover

q~Do not be fooled by the unassuming outside view of this store, the inside is a cornucopia of yarn and fiber delights. If you are in Hill Country, Happy Ewe in Jonestown, Texas is not to be missed!

happy ewe

One side of the store is filled with oodles of yarn just waiting to be fondled and knitting/crocheting supplies and patterns. The other half of the store is devoted to spinning and weaving and has fabulous fibers to longingly finger.  I could have remained in the store for the entire day, unfortunately Hubs was in the car patiently waiting.


The owner, Misty, is delightful, friendly, and super helpful. Ok, I’ll admit that she’s ringing up my purchases.

Two of the fibers I purchased were dyed by Heather Cabanas of Western Sky Knits (WSK) located in Woodlands, Texas. I wanted to purchase fiber from a Texas artisan. There was also an Ashford fire in colors of purple, orange, and black which I could not pass up. I cannot wait to card it in with some hand dyed purple, orange and black fiber. Super yum for Halloween.


A few of the knitted items on display that I was quite taken with:

Half Moon Shawl knit in Alp Oriental – free pattern
Austermann #30 shawl knit in Egytptian Mercerized Cotton – pattern free at Austermann’s website
Milanese Wrap knit in Jojoland Rhythm – pattern for purchase
Striped Shrug knit in Taiyo by Noro – pattern in Noro Magazine Premiere Issue

Oh great! Now there are even more things for me to do. 😎 If you’re ever headed through Hill Country, this is a great store in a tiny town.