With a foot of fresh snow and temperatures hovering around the zero degree mark here in Alaska this week, I felt the need to create inner warmth.
I don’t mean turning the thermostat up or starting a crackling fire in the wood stove. Those are givens. We do what we can when it’s this cold outside.
No, I mean pulling a vision of warmth and sunshine from within. Close your eyes; feel the sun on your face, the caress of a summer breeze across your cheeks. Open your inner eye to a soft blue sky with maybe a few fluffy white clouds. Smell the grass underfoot.
Now … how to translate sunshine, blue skies and summer warmth from the vision in my mind into a tangible form?
For me, the thought of glowing sunshine starts out with a pale yellow palette. PALE yellow. My substantial fiber stash offered up no fibers in a soft, buttery, pale yellow. Darn.
The stash did spill forth a large package of bright, taxi-cab yellow 🚕 wool roving.
OK, not ideal by itself (and has me wondering why I bought it in the first place), but I can work with it. I started out by blending 2 oz of bright yellow (80% merino wool/20% silk), with 2 oz of my creamy white Cormo wool.
At 50/50 , the yellow was still much to dominant. I want the yarn to say “sunshine”, not “bouquet of plastic sunflowers”. So, adding two more ounces of white cormo, I passed the batts (four of them now, each about 1.5 oz) back through the drum-carder a couple more times, blending the fibers well.
Once I had achieved the desired saturated but mellow sunshine tint I was hoping for, I basked in my accomplishment overnight, toasty and warm, while I mulled over where to take it from there.
All right, I’ll admit, I also had the electric blanket on. Ronni insisted.
In the back of my mind was a long, bouncy scarf that would go well with blue jeans and brighten up a dark, midnight blue coat. I think it might be nice to have a little sunshine on a cold, winter day.
With this in mind, I dove back into my stash and pulled out several different shades and tones of blue in a variety of fibers. A light, sky blue seemed appropriate, but when laid next to the yellow, I could see the overall palette was fading into pale pastels. Not quite right.
In the end, to achieve (I hope) the look I envisioned in my mind, I went with two blues; one a deeper, almost ocean blue fine merino wool that should hold up visually against the yellows and streaks of white cormo, and the other a pale, shimmery aqua made from dyed white pygora.
After carefully weighing and separating the yellow, two blues and white (with yellow being the primary color), so each batt would have equal amounts of each color, I set about doing one final blend. I ended up with eight multi-color batts, each weighing about .9 oz.
I’m going with gut instinct on this. Summer sunshine and blue skies … and, because honestly, you really can’t blend blues and yellows on a drum-carder without a little color overlap, I’m betting the end result will also have a kiss of green grass here and there along the edges. All good!
The spun yarn should show some nice definition of colors, but half the fun of creating your own yarn is not knowing for sure what the final result will be until it’s spun and plied. Stay tuned! ☀️