Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A spring flood of inspiration

I've been dyeing and spinning up a storm. Spring has already offered a flood of inspiration. This past long weekend we escaped into the North Cascade mountains. Though we didn't get much climbing done, we had ample opportunity to explore one of our favorite places in the world and to take explore. This world of alpine colours and texture offer an inspiring palette for the little manic dyer and spinner in me to play with.

From wildflowers to the magnolia tree across the street, from lively meadows to breathtaking mountains, from fire to ice, they have all hijacked my imagination. Here's some photos of things that have inspired my first bout of dyeing and spinning mania:

Here is the wool I've dyed so far. All the wool is from local farms and include alpaca, Lincoln, Romeny and Hampshire sheeps wool. Most of it was washed, some of it in rovings and only the Lincoln was unwashed. I'm thrilled that I'm well on my way to producing 100 mile garments. An extra bonus is that I'll finally have yarn that suits my needs. Over the years I've lamented the lack of certain colours because they weren't in fashion or that the colourways changed too quickly leaving a choppy, variegated effect which is fine if that's what you want. However, I prefer a slower change of colours and a blending of one colour into the next.

I have three projects in mind that I've dyeing and spinning for. One is a Scandinavian sweater. If I'm going to knit up another Scandiavian sweater, I might as well go old school for inspiration. I've decided to do a sweater inspired by the Norse origin myth where the beginning of life was fire and ice, with the existence of only two worlds: Muspelheim (fire) and Niflheim (ice). Seracs, glaciers and the mountains were an obvious inspiration for the ice colourway. I'm attempting to replicate the colouring of a wood fire for the fire yarn. The sun is another muse for the fire component. I'm still drawing up the pattern but in the meanwhile, there's plenty of wool that needs to be carded and spun.

My second project is a blossom sweater. A simply pullover with a petal-like assymetrical collar. More like a lily or magnolia petal. The colours will draw from all the wonderful blooms of springtime. The pattern has been going through a number of evolutions.

My third project is a forest/moss project. Perhaps a cape or a heavy shawl. This one is but murmurs of ideas in the back of my mind.

The time spend dyeing, carding and spinning the yarn offers an oppurtunity for me to meditate and deliberate over my projects. It's definitely given me space and time to let my ideas grow and evolve.

So many ideas and so little time. I'm going to change my initial goal of using local fleece for half of my projects. I can definitely turn to locally raised fibers for a majority of my knitting. I've even gotten a couple of folks interested in buying some yarn from me! So exciting!

Gotta get going. That wool isn't going to spin itself ;P


Nananimo's 100 Mile Diet Challenge


Wooly Woman said...

Your wool and dyeing is lovely! Good for you!

jeanius said...

very pretty wool! that drak green is amazing in it's depth! you are so talented