Sunday, September 4, 2011

More About Color

Once upon a time, I didn't like yellow - or any derivative of it - like yellow orange, orange, yellow green, olive, etc.. I could not bring myself to include yellow, yellow orange, orange or even a bright turquoise in a handwoven garment. Something was missing from my fabrics and I really couldn't put my finger on it. After all, I was choosing colors that I loved that "went together." This must have seemed a problem to a lot of weavers as Marcy Petrini, friend and weaving teacher, taught a portion of one of her classes entitled "How to Make an Ugly Color Disappear." We were instructed to bring the colors that we liked the least. Everyone showed up with some fairly hideous colors, in my opinion at the time. (I have since taken a liking to all colors.)  I took along a very shiny rayon of which I had space dyed in complementary colors, turquoise and orange. It even had the "benefit" of a little brown where it wicked in the middle. My thoughts were 'let's see what she can do with this.' (-:  With a little twisting of yarns in the more conservative colors that I loved and in varying amounts, I was pleasantly surprised! The twist of yarn in the colors I loved was no longer dull but full of life! I planned a project with just a highlight of that shiny turquoise and orange and the fabric was so alive that I used up the remaining of the yarn in other projects and had to dye more!

Since then, I have had opportunity to do a lot of testing with color and have found that I generally want a little spark or highlight in hand painted yarn so that the resulting fabric will be warm and friendly. If I don't add it into the colorway, I try to add it by using a highlight of mill dyed in the warp or a warm weft in a handwoven or knitting two together in a knit. In order to make life easier for times when I don't want to do a lot of color planning for the end fabric, I find it best to add a small section of highlight in the dye process, adding only a little so that the resulting fabric will have an appropriate amount of spark.

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