Being part of my local Spinners', Weavers', and Dyers' Guild has been a wonderful experience. It's so enlivening to be part of a gang of people who are enthusiastic about experimenting with textiles, and sharing their experiences. Trying other equipment is also a great bonus. I have been eyeing up various drum carders for a while, so I have done a traid with one of my lovely Guild chums. She has taken Bliss home for a test drive, and I have her Classic Carder to try out for the month.
I downloaded Color and Yarn Design for Spinners' from Interweave quite a while ago, and really enjoyed Deb Menz's approach to colour matching without having to use a dye pot. The more I coat the kitchen in plastic, and mess about with all those chemicals; the more inclined I am to avoid dying. It's just something I don't enjoy. I have enjoyed mixing colours on my hand carders, and have been intrigued by the depth and interest added to the yarn by having a number of shades and tones in the yarn. I've been itching to find out how easy this technique really is.
This morning I took one of my favourite old cardigans (for the colour, not so much the style), and set out on my little colour matching adventure. I started out with red, and added yellow and blue; to try and get the muddy maroon colour.
This definately gave the red more of a browny tinge, but didn't have the depth I was looking for. At this point I'd run out of blue, so tried a bit of purple and green to see if that would give the batt a bit more of a bricky browny hue. It worked, sort of, but the resulting batt wasn't nearly a dark as I would have liked. That's where the navy and natural Masham brown came in.
I ran the final colour combo through the carder a few times get the best colour match that I could. As you can see, I was heading in the right direction, but didn't quite get there with my limited colour selection. The difficulty was in getting the right depth of shade. It was hard to make light fibres appear darker just by adding darker shades. I suspect that probably works the other way too with mixing dark colours with light.
Unfortunately the carder goes back this week, so my little adventure has come to an end for now. It's definately a process I'd like to try again with a specific project in mind. And I'm looking forward to the return of Bliss, so I can see how this little batt spins up.