Thursday, October 14, 2010

Color My World

I may have mentioned before that I love fall.

This particular fall has been very busy, with several little side projects popping up unexpectedly, along with the usual business of getting Julia back to school.  Then we had Brendan moving out to Vancouver, which involved a father and a U-Haul trailer, leaving me holding down the fort.  The seasonal flurry of emails about next years Fibre Week tied me to the computer, and the inevitable back-to-school flu really nailed me this year, eating up 10 days of my life.

And this fall will get busier in a week.  I will be off to SOAR and immersed in the colors of Northern Wisconsin, the colors of Katherine Alexander's energized twist creations,  the colors of Sara Lamb and Deb Menz's painted yarn workshop, the colors of Demetrio Bautists Lauzo's cochineal session, the colors of the get the picture.

Color has been popping up everywhere in my life these days.  There are the ever-spectacular fall colors of Northern Alberta...

...which are now fading into mellow beiges and grays in preparation for winter.

There are the colors of my new fall wardrobe, rich with plums and teals.  There are the colors of indigo vats... product of which is the cotton yarn that I am now obsessively knitting to finish before I leave for SOAR.  The drapey, sleeveless top is coming together brilliantly, and I spend almost as much time adoring the glorious blue and the sheen of well-spun cotton as I do knitting.

There are the colors and patterns of the cochineal-dyed Shibori scarves that I made as a demo at a dying workshop during Alberta Arts Days...

...that have been hanging around the living room, waiting to be pressed.  (No, I do not iron in the living room.  That's just where the scarves have been hanging.  So I could admire them.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

But what triggered this post was the odd similarity in colors that I have noticed in my latest dye project and the world around me. 

You see, I'm prepping to teach a Master Spinner Level 1 class in Sedalia, MO immediately after SOAR.  Level 1 is pretty nitty-gritty.  Basic drafting, parts of your spinning wheel, how to prep fibre, understanding fleeces.  Lots of great stuff and some steep learning, but mostly a lot of basic, white fibre.  A few instructors like to liven things up with some color, and I'm one of them.  So, being the clever bunny I am, I decided to rainbow dye an interesting fleece and take it along for the class to play with.

I washed half of a BFL/Merino cross fleece from Jodi McLeod,  then put it in just enough water to barely cover it.  I sprinkled dye powder over the fleece, putting different colors in different areas.  Then I heated the pot up, put the lid on and let it simmer for half an hour.  Lid off, let the water cool, and voila!

Pictures were taken of the stunning results.  Pictures were uploaded to computer.  Pictures were viewed.  And lo and behold, right above each picture of the dyed fibre was a scenic fall photo that matched.  First, there was this...

Then, right beside that was this...

I made no conscious choices to achieve these colors.  (In fact, the golds and coppers were achieved by accident when I sprinkled from the magenta dye tin instead of the fuchsia one by mistake.)  Clearly, I am so attuned with my world that I can subconsciously conjure the colors in a dyepot.

Or maybe it was just an awesome coincidence.

Serendipity.  Glorious serendipity. 

I love it when I look clever by accident.