It’s a bit like writer’s block, I suppose. Except I don’t believe in writer’s block; if you said you had ‘writer’s block’ in a newspaper office, people would come and yell at you. So I don’t get writer’s block. After all, I depend on writing for my living. What I do get is an overwhelming desire to clean the fridge. Ahem.
But I do, quite evidently after our dyeing day described in my last post (oh, and sorry for the delay – work), get colour block. And that’s not colour blocking, as in a Vogue stylist’s idea for a feature. That’s being stuck with one colour (er, black is a colour, isn’t it?) or group of colours.
I rest my case:
See. Black. Purple. Grey. Gloom, despondency and a tendency to lurk in graveyards. OK, there’s something there that could be described as pink, but it’s not exactly cheerful. Miss Havisham would approve of my colour choices.
And I keep doing it. I’m sure I’m not the only person who gets stuck in a colour rut, or am I?
So I decided the time had come to do something about it. After all, I’ve got a basket of fluff that needs spinning up, and it’s all sorts of colours.
Yes, there is some familiar purple in there, but it’s mixed with other things; there’s even a hint of orange. And there’s green (though that is my default ‘I’ve got too much black’ reaction). But they’re all roughly the same palette. Hm.
Now, a bit before the informal ‘Dyeing Club’ we’d got together to play with a new drum carder. All sorts of exciting possibilities were available (yes, phew, there was black – I took some black merino along), and I produced several batts. I used most of the black merino on the first two, and then I had no choice but to branch out. So I went for it.
No, not brave enough to deal with that one yet.
And there was this:
Hm – a hint of mist, perhaps coming in off the sea, spreading out among the tombstones at Whitby? That green? Lichen on stone… Oh dear.
Significantly, and possibly unsurprisingly, the two I produced when I used all the black are the ones I’ve spun up already. Despite that, I was quite pleased; they didn’t feature purple or grey, they even had a hint of startlement with some bright blue silk and lime green thrown into the mix.
But I felt I could do better, so I bought a bag of fluff in some radical – for me – colours. Royal blue. Peacock. Turquoise. Acid green. Lime. Apple. Shh – yellow.
And then I got the fluff out and put my two spun skeins next to it, and I’ve done it again.
There’s no black in the fluff, but spot the colour palette:
Oh, for goodness’ sake. I need my head seeing to.
So I’ve decided to take special care with spinning this fluff up (it’s BFL – Blue-Faced Leicester – so it’s got a lovely sheen to it). I’m separating the colours to give me more definition, to make the individual colours sing out, to avoid any potential muddiness. I’m quite pleased with how it’s turning out, and I’m hugely pleased with my new wheel, which is a joy to spin on.
I’m really taking my time, but I’ve nearly finished the first bobbin. I can’t wait to ply this up – and I’ve had a thought. Perhaps, since the colour palette is so similar, this will work together with those two skeins when I knit them up? Hopefully it will cheer them up a bit, as well.
And in the meanwhile, I’ve another new bag of fluff.
Sigh. Well, there’s no black in it – this time. Why purple? Why? I know I like it, but I’ve got a lot already. Mind you, this is lovely. And it’s Polworth fleece, nice and soft. And there’s a bit of green in it too… I clearly can’t be trusted to take unconscious decisions when it comes to colour. I need to really think about it a bit more.
I’m good at doing it in theory; now I need to do it in practice. Red. I need more red. Maybe I should face up to that sunset-coloured batt next…