Sunday, January 29, 2012

What I learned at Camp Pluckyfluff in Atlanta

1. You are never too old for the fun of a spend the night party.

2. Let's face it, you were probably never at an age where you could spin until after midnight, stay up until probably 2 am talking, and still feel anything like rested when the alarm clock sounds at 7:15 am.

3. At some point, the coffee stops working.

4. Lexi Boeger is an awesome teacher. You must go take a class from her if you get a chance.

5. Legacy Alpaca Farm is an amazing place to take a class. You've got to take a class there. Terrill and Mike are wonderful folks, and did I mention the alpacas?

6. Have I mentioned that I was so busy spinning and visiting that I didn't even see the alpacas?

7. If you plan to take a 2 day spinning workshop, it might behoove you to sit and spin for a little while beforehand, especially if you haven't done any spinning since maybe August. Trust me, you are going to hurt otherwise. (Pass the ibuprofen.)

8. Just know that if you go to a workshop where you're going to get to use drumcarders different from the one you already have, you're going to want to buy another one.

9. Number 8 also applies to spinning wheels.

10. Fiber classes are addictive. Just know this. Plan for it. Budget for it. Win the lottery so you can have that new drumcarder and spinning wheel before your next class. After all, resistance is futile.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Color Inspiration

I've been thinking about blogging a lot, but as you can tell, I haven't done any for ages. Now that we finally have joined the 21st century and have wireless Internet, it makes it easier to do more blogging!

Have you ever wondered how a dyer finds inspiration for her colorways? I can't speak for any other dyers, but I thought I'd tell you how I do it.

I usually get them one of two ways. The first is that I think of a color name. For example, the Phat Fiber Sampler Box's theme for October 2011 was The Witching Hour. For me that was a particularly easy one. I've read the Witching Hour and most of the Mayfair Witches books by Anne Rice, and the colorway that almost immediately popped into mind is Mayfair. I'll have to post pictures of it later. :)

A main component would have to be the Mayfair Emerald. A huge emerald set in gold and inscribed with Lasher on the back gave me two colors right away - green and gold.

Lasher, the mysterious spirit who has haunted and helped the Mayfair family gave me the second color, the brown of his suit which is how so many passersby saw him on the porch with poor, doomed Deirdre. It's how we first see him in the books too.

That gives me three colors, green, gold and brown. I wanted something more, so the black of the wrought iron that surrounds the house on First Street became color number four. I decided to add purple mostly because I've been in a phase where I've been buying yarns and fibers from other dyers with green, yellow and purple, and it was time I tried my own interpretation of it.

Now I have 5 colors. This is when I start experimenting with dye concentrations to see how it looks and can I use any of colors I've already developed. Eventually I find the colors I like, and a new color is born.

Way number two is that I see something that inspires me. Butterfly Bush is a colorway inspired by the butterfly bushes that grow in my yard. I took pictures and examined the colors more closely to see what about it attracts me most. Then I start mixing dyes and experimenting again.

Sounds easy, doesn't it? It is and it isn't, if that makes sense.

Happy knitting!