I had a hat box filled to the brim with nature dyed yarn samples. What a shame to tuck those astonishing nature dyed colours away in a black and white box. This was the impetus for the knitting of my Gypsum Flowers and Lilac Blossoms shawl. I wanted to find a way to use my small sample skeins, no one weighing more than 10 grams, in a project.
Once I took all the skeins from the box and separated them into colour families, I was particularly drawn to work with the neutrals. Colours I often hear referred to as muddied, dull or “blah” colours. Yes, these colours may pale a bit, when seen next to a red, yellow, rust, or rich brown. But separate them out and compare them to one another and your neutrals will start to sing. These are the colours that hold the power to make or break a piece. These are the colours with both rich complexity and subtle nuance. These are the colours that have the potential to bring unity to your work.
The skeins I decided to use had been dyed with the likes of logwood chips, black beans, magnolia seed pods, deep maroon hollyhock flowers, black-eyed Susan petals, Royal Sunset Asiatic lilies, birch bark paper, and Chianti sunflower petals. Once all laid out the bands of soft, warm, earthy colours reminded me of white basal sandstones and marine shales, muds and clays. Adding a single skein of a brighter, cleaner green dyed from lilac blossoms (third skein from the right) completed the mix; lending the line up of colour just the right balance.
Then the knitting began…..to be continued next blog.