Color Theory and Recycling

In Oregon, where I live, June is a season for rainbows. Here's Rebecca Fox to tell you about her adventures with a rainbow of "weft-overs" from her weaving friends. ––Anita

The May/June 2013 issue of Handwoven focuses on my favorite aspect of weaving: color! When I received my issue, I eagerly read the articles how other weavers use color (and got some really nifty ideas).

Rebecca's Rainbow of Bobbins
Rebecca's rainbow of bobbins

The issue also features a project of mine, Shades, Tints, and Tones, which came about in a rather fun way, and the evolution of my towels involved some fellow fiberholics. A little over a year ago, I made a request of my fiber guild: if they would give me their partially filled bobbins, I would take them to the beach (where I keep a 22-inch folding loom) and return their bobbins empty, well-rested and tanned (well, empty at any rate!). I was provided with over one hundred bobbins of mostly 8/2 cotton to work with (with heavier weights of cotton and even some linen thrown in)! I planned a black, grey, and white striped warp in which to use the various bobbins. It was lots of fun to randomly select a bobbin and weave until it was empty, then randomly select another. Just for kicks, I then took crayon-colored 8/2 cotton to experiment with. The resulting cloth turned into the Shades, Tints, and Tones towel seen in the current issue of the magazine.


Next, I experimented with making a square “gampkin” with the neutral colors in the warp. I still had a lot of bobbins left over, so I sorted them into a semblance of a color order and measured a warp. They turned into handsome straight twill table runners when woven with grey.

Rebecca's colorful warp  
Rebecca's colorful warp on the loom

Color theory is not difficult; we experience it every day and use it every time we weave. One great resource for learning color theory is Color Works: The Crafter’s Guide to Color by Deb Menz. This book covers all the topics discussed in other books on color theory but Menz specifically applies the concepts to fiber crafts such as weaving, knitting, and embroidery. If you are interested in learning more about color theory specifically as it applies to weaving, I highly recommend both this book and the latest Handwoven.

So if you're feeling inspired, just throw some colored threads onto your loom and then get out there and show your true colors!

—Rebecca Fox

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