Showing posts with label hand dyed. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hand dyed. Show all posts

New creativity!


I just want to spend my day making stuff!



I love creating! New yarns, new fabrics, new designs - if it's makeable without requiring a whole manufacturing plant on stand-by then I probably want to try it; at least once.

I've been enjoying new color dyes and new (to me) methods of hand painting. Twisting, turning, and coiling the fiber prior to dyeing is way more fun than I thought it would be. Initially, I wanted to experiment with more organic and less structured but I'm finding that waiting for the 'big reveal' is as much fun as waiting for Christmas morning present exchange. (I'm just a big kid when it comes to anticipation participation)



New items in the store! 

I've begun adding new items to the store in addition to new yarn colorways and handspuns.  Occasionally I take a quick break from yarn making and look for other creative projects.  My latest extracurricular project is designing fabric and sewing up yarn totes. I'm absolutely hooked! You can expect more project yarn totes and more designs in the future.




Yarn never gets boring

Ebb & Flow knit lace scarf pattern by Color Energy Designs
Finally getting organized!
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There are so many things I enjoy about knitting - the patterns, the shapes, the history, the yarn, the community. And it never gets boring which is a huge bonus for me. I know it seems like I get bored for the amount of WIPS I currently have but the truth is I get so excited when a new yarn or a new pattern crosses my sights that I have to stop what I'm doing and cast on right that second. I do cycle back around to those less sparkly projects....eventually.

Right now I'm enjoying a Craftsy class (Lace Shawl Design with Miriam Felton) and you know what that means - more projects! And with any luck, more patterns for my Etsy Shop. Right now I'm midway through a simple lace design scarf project. Ebb & Flow is knitting up in a nice rustic wool yarn in burnt orange. It's going to be perfect for the autumn.

As I'm taking the course I can't help but look through my handspun yarns. The worsted weights are nice but I'm still trying to decide how to incorporate some negative space in future knit pieces. There's so many stitches, so many yarns and just plain not enough hours in the day. But that doesn't stop me from absolutely filling as many minutes as I can with yarn. And you know what? I'm never bored. :)



Spinzilla 2015!

Handspun yarn by Color Energy Designs
Spinzilla 2015 - already planning for 2016!
 
This year I finally joined the Spinzilla event as a rogue spinner. For those that don't know, it's an annual global event to see how much yarn you can spin in one week. I thought about it in previous years but never did it - always with the excuse "I'm not good enough" or "I'll wait until I'm good enough". But then I read one of those meme's: if you wait until you're enough, you will never get started. So, with that thought in mind I signed up. I'm so glad I did.

I had set a goal of spinning a mile, I fell short at 1720 yards but I learned so much and the spinning exercise was worth it. The first thing I learned? I did not prepare nearly enough rolags for spinning. What seems like a mountain of fluffy, prepared wool is deceptive. The mountain disappeared quickly. But this did lead me to my second challenge: respinning my first ever spinning attempt into something nice.


Handspun yarn
Angry caterpillars!
 
The respinning adventure! To be honest, if I hadn't stopped to do the respin I would have been able to meet my goal but then I wouldn't be looking at a nice hank of burgundy BFL right now. Priorities? My first attempt was terrible! I gripped the fiber too tightly, my rhythm on the wheel was akin to Steve Martin's in The Jerk and the result was a ferocious row of evil caterpillars. I left it hanging in my craft room as a reminder of how spinning should not look. But midway through Spinzilla I decided to see if I could save that beautifully dyed fiber.
Saving the BFL

The 'unspin'
 
Handspun yarn
The 'respin'
As difficult as my first spin was, unspinning it proved to be just as difficult. At first I tried to unspin it on the wheel - I don't recommend it. The poorly spun fiber was already unfriendly and it definitely did not like being twisted in the opposite direction running along the flyer hooks. Then I decided to use the drop spindle - much better. All I really had to do was let the spindle hang in mid-air and let gravity do its work. It was time consuming but after a few hours, I had all 180 yards unspun and waiting to be fluffed, drafted and respun. I did save a bit of that first attempt though - it's always good to have a visual reference for progress.


Handspun yarn
Much better!

 My surprise of the week was the 'crazy' skein. I took all the odd bits from the previous plied skeins and put them all together. I love the end result, in fact it's probably my favorite skein from the week. The mix of colors has me rethinking the way I plan out my colors for future yarns. I plan to play around with some more 'crazy' skein ideas.

The week was a huge success for me, not because I think I'm a great spinner....yet, but because I gave myself the opportunity to experiment and to grow as a spinner. It's amazing what you can accomplish when you challenge yourself - true for spinning, true for every day life.




Handspun yarn
The 'crazy' skein <3
If you'd like to see what Spinzilla is all about, please visit www.spinzilla.org. Fair warning though: once you get the spinning bug, it's hard to get rid of (but really why would you want to?).

The only thing better than surrounding yourself with yarn is surrounding yourself with yarn you've dyed and spun.

Color Energy



What is color energy? A quick internet search and you'll find everything from auras and chakras to light refraction and frequency wavelengths. But what does it all really mean? The quick answer, and the only one of importance, is what does it mean for you!

Color plays an amazing role in our lives - it's literally everywhere and think about how it impacts you. Can you think of a strawberry in just terms of taste or do you associate a deep, luscious red with a trimming of spring green. When you think of the ocean do you automatically think salt and liquid or do you see those vibrant colors of cerulean, aqua and foamy whitecaps.


hand dyed yarn by Color Energy DesignsNow turn it around - look at those colors in the graphic. What do each of those colors remind you of? I could tell you that red has been assigned the role as a color of war, assertiveness, passion, confidence, etc. etc. But to me? It reminds me of the sour cherry pies my mother-in-law makes and the time we piled in the car to drive to Grisamore's U-Pick farm for the best sour cherries ever. And that blue? It has the fortunate qualities of trust and peace, calmness and freedom. But I think of the recent trip my husband and I took to the Bahamas. (Okay that one is spot on. Blue = Calm Blue Ocean = Seafoam)


Now for those that want a quick overview of popular color meanings:

Green - Spring, balance, harmony, growth, renewal.

Pink - hope, warmth, nurturing, intuitive, unconditional love.

Yellow - cheerfulness, confidence, optimism.

Purple - inspiration, imagination, spirituality.

Coral - warmth, loyalty, creativity.

Turquoise - communication, clarity, creativity, compassion, healing.

Brown - security, honesty, sincerity, strength.

Orange - warmth, happiness, optimism, enthusiasm, adventure.

Indigo - intuition, perception, faithful, selfless.

Magenta - happiness, creativity, appreciation.

White - new beginnings, innocence, equality, simplicity.

Black - sophistication, elegance, independence, mysterious.

Silver - dignified, glamorous, illumination, reflection.

Gold - abundance, prosperity, wisdom, optimistic.


3D Color Box image photo source: GraphicStock.com
All other photos: E. Stilson-Ouderkirk