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Hello, November

November 3, 2008

You’ve been a good month so far, November.  With Halloween over, all that costume-sewing stress is behind me and I moved onto other stresses.  For example, IT’S NOVEMBER?!?!?!  What happened to October?

But seriously, I started November by participating in my first ever spinning workshop.  Interestingly, the spinning workshop included absolutely not one bit of spinning.  Fine by me!  The workshop was Color Blending with Wool hosted by the lovely and talented Celia Quinn.

Celia Quinn

I am a Master Hand Carder (as determined by Me, the ultimate judge) because I spent two days straight blending a pile of boring shades of corriedale roving into interesting, deep, thoughtful rolags of all the colors in the world.  Well, maybe not all the colors.  But many colors were explored.  To wit, our first exercise:

color blending workshopHi Anne!

And we were just getting started!  We carded like crazy and tinted, toned, shaded, bronzed, darkened lightened – you name it, we did it.  Since yesterday, when the workshop ended, I have found myself not able to knit anything at all because my eyes now think all my yarn is just boring commercial crap.

So this morning, unable to find a reason not to, I began spinning some of my rolags.  I spun the ones from the picture with Anne above, one after the other onto my bobbin.  I separated them with a wisp of black fiber, just to make sure I could tell one color from the next.  I skeined them off onto my brand new mini niddy noddy (try that five times fast), popped them onto my umbrella swift, and wound the whole thing into a ball.  Then I found a ball of neutral-colored fingering weight yarn (I may or may not have cut the yarn from and pulled the needles out of a languishing WIP) and began knitting a wee little sample.

color wheel exercise
Little garter stitch rectangle, measuring approx. 4″x3″.

The singles were straight off the bobbin, and highly energized, but nothing could get in the way of me knitting this little swatch this morning.  The back is just as good (if mildly out of focus):

color wheel exercise
Hem. Neatly covering all those little wooly ends.

I am so excited about all this new knowledge that Celia gave us.  Can’t find the right color?  Make your own!!  It’s simple, but brilliant and inspiring.  I have this harebrained idea of spinning up all the rolags and making little knitted squares of all of the different exercises we did.  Man, that would be awesome.  Then I could put them in a notebook!

But then the lightning bolt hit.  I have my first fleece, all washed.  I have the knowledge and know-how to card and make custom colors.  I could make my Maggie a totally handspun fair isle vest.  Oh my.  I can barely think with all the possibility!  Harebrained ideas, here I come!

To finish, more pictures.

color blending workshop
Loving the Hand Cards, Part I.

yellow, much?
Study in gold.

color study
Matching colors.  This was a toughie, and I’m rather proud of my results!

ah, green
Loving the Hand Cards, Part II.

The end.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 3, 2008 4:43 pm

    awesome! i totally would have needed to knit the swatch too 🙂

    look at all those doors swing open.

  2. November 3, 2008 5:19 pm

    Very cool! Looks like so much fun!

  3. November 3, 2008 6:29 pm

    That’s incredible. We haven’t had any workshops this year and I’m definitely submitted this as a potential workshop for next year!

    I laughed about your commercial yarn comment – don’t toss it out! :o)

  4. November 4, 2008 1:40 am

    My best (and first) spinning workshop ever! I’ll share a workshop table with you anytime. Even though it gives me serious rolag envy. Really.

  5. November 4, 2008 8:10 am

    what a lovely children’s sweater that swatch could be. i am impressed and i am envious. i want to learn to spin too. more and more so. as if i had not enough to do with my big knitting projects already.

    looks like fun. glad you had fun.

  6. Katie permalink
    November 4, 2008 12:57 pm

    As usual, when the conversation turns to spin-talk, my mind is also a-spin. But the colors! And your swatch! So PRETTY!

  7. Lisa permalink
    November 4, 2008 1:54 pm

    Very cool. The colors are awesome! Better get thee to Ebay for some sweet hand carders!

    So does that hem mean you didn’t weaver in the ends?

  8. November 4, 2008 9:54 pm

    Wow, seriously creative. That looks like a lot of fun.

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