Friday, July 20, 2007

Colorwork at Harrisville

A few months ago Sandy, Pam and I did a dye trade. The fibers and yarns from that trade were posted on Twisted Friends and Handspuncentral. A lot of you followed this trade and some tried it yourselves. It was so much fun and so successful that I'm going to include this exercise as a small part of my dye class at Harrisville in a couple weeks. Class members, don't freak. We won't be trying to do a finished project in class...just the dye part.

Here are our finished projects from our trade. Sandy's entrelac bag is a the right, Pam's hexagonal throw below and my intarsia panel at the left.

We all agreed on three stock colors: Lanaset Scarlet, Washfast Acid Bright Orange, and Washfast Acid Ivy. Each of us added our own fourth color. I used Washfast Acid Brilliant Violet, Sandy used Lanaset Sun Yellow, and Pam used Washfast Acid Rose Pink.

Our three main colors were two analagous spectral hues plus a compliment. We didn't set out to chose these colors on a formula, but by happy accident, any colors we added to this mix would be harmonious, as the main colors anchor the whole. If you wanted to try this with different colors, chose two colors that lie beside each other on the color wheel, such as green and blue, violet and red, green and yellow, etc. Then chose the compliment of one of those hues. For instance, if you chose green and blue, your compliment could be red, orange, or for fun, red orange, a mixture of the two. Then chose a fourth color.

Once you chose your colors, you can mix them any way you like, dilute them etc. All of us just happened to start with a full strength version (FSV), then did a lighter version (LV) to match. Although the lighter versions didn't seem to go that well with the full strength ones in the fiber, just look at how lovely they are in this intarsia panel. The brilliant red based yarns are Sandy and my FSVs. The dark areas are Pam's. Warmer LVs are Sandy's, cooler ones mine. I saved Pam's LV for socks...couldn't part with it.

Pam groups most of her FSVs and LVs together. You can really see a lot of her LV in this throw. She connected her hexagons with black handspun which gives this quite a honeycomb effect.

BTW, thot I'd include the inspiration for our colorway. This is a Kaffe Fasset quilt from Museum Quilts. We didn't use his exact three main colors, but ones that were similar. All three of our main colors were brighter and warmer than this, and we all used a lot more red.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

New Hampshire, Aug 6-10 2007

Look out Harrisville! Take two! This year will amp up the class by dyeing and spinning expressly for colorwork knitting. We'll play with entrelac, intarsia, mosaic and stranded colorwork. Get ready to do what you love in the quaint, quiet beauty of New Hampshire.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

My Yoda

Right after Alabama, Sandy and I returned to Sewanee to enjoy a small town 4th of July. Dear college buddy Len arrived to party with new to us pal Mark. Did I say party? Mark carried his cooler like it was a boombox. Awesome. So he and Sandy were getting to know one another and he asked how she had met me. She told him that we'd been friends ever since she taught me how to spin and dye years ago. Mark, who is a quick read, says, "Wow, so you're Lynne's Yoda!" Bingo! Now why didn't I think of that?

Sandy sent some awesomely gorgeous fiber for classes at Harrisville and Grass Lake. Did I bring any home? Hardly. The box arrived late at Harrisville, so there was much drooling in anticipation. Finally the box arrives, the seam is slit and Pandora's box is opened to gasps, sighs, swoons, and subsequent feeding frenzy. Reminded me of pirrhanas. Many of the hanks of fiber never even made it to the viewing table. So I got to tell my Yoda story as I snatched up the hank I wanted (see photo above...that's me hoarding MY hank of Sandy's BFL as I'm handing out fiber for the class to dye).

Meanwhile at Grass Lake, Carla was zealously guarding three boxes of fiber in preparation for our Spinning for Colorwork Knitting class. One was from me and two were from guessed it...Yoda. Carla just dove right in, exuberantly explaining, "I thought your fiber was gorgeous, but then Sandy's boxes came and, well, they were even more...", she faltered as I giggled. So I told the Yoda story. Yep. Sandy's (alias Yoda's) dyeing is the best. As I get better, she gets better still. May the force be with you, Yoda.

Check up on "Yoda" at Twistin Sandy

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Twisted Friends blog

Announcing Twisted Friends, a group blog our Shakerag/Alabama class just started. Since we've met twice now and want to meet again, we decided to keep up with each other's spinning and knitting this way. This blog is growing daily, so check all the pages. There's some lovely stuff here.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


For those of you who are curious about what we do in my workshops, here's a little taste. These three pics were taken at Shakerag last year where we had a week to spin, dye and knit. The blue and turquoise roving and colorful yarn were dyed and spun by Jennifer T as an example of how many different yarns you can spin from one multicolored roving. The wild little bags are the works of Lori Lawson who along with Sandy Sitzman assisted me in the workshop. Lori just started knitting these experiments to see what would and could happen with yarn she spun from her dyeing experiments. The deep colors of roving with the sample swatch are the work of Pam Harris who learned to spin for the first time at the start of Shakerag. The yarn in her swatch is some of her very first handspun. She was a novice dyer also. Not anymore.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Sweet Home Alabama

Everyone left smiling from the first Shakerag 2005 reunion at Red Rooster Retreat in Crane Hill Alabama Sunday, even those that smiled thru misty eyes. Three new people joined us this year and soon felt right at home. Everyone went home with something new, some with a whole new outlook on spinning and knitting.

As the summer wears on, all my classes are filled this year except for Taos, Oct 3-5, 2006. Sandy and I will be teaching Spinning in Color the
wed-Fri before the Taos Wool Festival. This is a spinning and knitting dyeing this time. For me, just being in Taos in the fall is enough. I can't wait to refresh my memory of the aroma of pinon smoke wafting through crisp crystal clear air and once again view the brilliant chamisa, silvery sage and turquoise sky. Check out the schedule at

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Spinning for Colorwork Knitting for Red Rooster Retreat, Crane Hill, Alabama
June 29-July 2 2006

Spinners have all the advantages when it comes to colorwork knitting. They can design the yarns they really want, spin the colors they dream of. In this three day class we’ll start an indepth exploration of yarn desiign with respect to various forms of colorwork knitting, a journey that participants will continue well beyond the three days of our class.

We’ll cover the use of singles, two and three ply and Navajo plied yarns and combinations of the above, concentrating on how to put color where you want it. We’ll knit our sample yarns using colorwork knitting techniques such as mosaic, jacquard, intarsia, entrelac, and colorfield knitting. I’ll also show you how to graph these techniques, how to work with selvedges, bind off and cast on edges so that you can build one piece on the other and how to combine different techniques in one piece of knitting.

This class has enough to interest the most advanced spinner and knitter but don’t be daunted if you are a beginner. As long as you already the basics of spinning and knitting you will fit right in. Regardless of the smorgasbord listed above, I encourage all participants to take what they need and leave the rest…to work at their own pace on whatever interests them most. We’ll provide fiber and yarn in class, but participants are encouraged to bring yarns and fiber from home to add to class materials. It’s impossible to spin enough during class time to have a full palette for all the techniques, so please feel free to bring your stash, especially small balls and leftovers. Original patterns for treasure bags, socks, and pillows will be provided.

For more specific info, contact Blaine.