Spinning Stripes

Ahhh, the colors of fall. The leaves are changing, the skies are cloudy and mysterious, and here in the Pacific Northwest the return of the rainy season means moss is springing back to life everywhere. I find that autumnal colors are the most inspirational for my spinning. I love the burnt oranges, bright reds, stormy blues, and mossy greens. The weather makes me want to curl up in warm scarves and squishy socks, and as I walk around the city I find myself constantly filing away color palettes for future projects.11-23-15 a1

When it comes time to act on this inspiration, sometimes it’s possible to find commercially prepared fiber that fits the multicolored image I have in my head. But sometimes it’s not. And even if it is, sometimes it’s just more fun to do it yourself! There’s something incredibly satisfying about doing the prep work to get the exact spinning fiber you want. Doing your own fiber preparation takes time, but for me it creates a deeper sense of connection to my final yarn, and whatever project it becomes.

I had the opportunity to watch Esther Rodgers’s new Card Wool For Color video, and holy cow is it a goldmine of info for those interested in preparing multicolored spinning fiber. The video is about an hour and a half long, and every bit of it is packed with knowledge that will help you create custom color progressions and striping yarns. You’ll find:

  • The basics of color theory for blending colors to create harmonious (or contrasting) color sequences
  • Layering colors using a drum carder, blending board, or hackle
  • Creating roving that changes color in one long transition, or many short stripes
  • Making fluffy rolags for spinning stripes that draft with ease
  • Controlling color transitions, whether crisp and clean or soft and gradual
  • Spinning and plying techniques for various color effects

While this video is a great lesson in creating custom color progressions, it’s also a comprehensive class on general fiber prep. By the end you’ll not only have gorgeous multicolored yarns, you’ll be able to use a drumcarder, hackle, or blending board with ease. So get out there and let the colors of fall inspire you!

Stephanie Berganini

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