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How do I create a new yarn colour?

I often get asked, how do you come up with your yarn colours?

Well…  there is no straight forward answer to how I create a new yarn colour.  One of the inspirations often comes from an image.  Say for example this one…

Floral arrangement of various pink and green shades

This was a photo I took of a bunch of flowers sent to me. It was an exquisite floral arrangement. Despite it not actually matching many or any of my latest colours, the colour, the balance of the colours and how they all sat really appealed to me.  I am sure there is science behind this but I just go with it. I took the photo because flowers do not last and the photo becomes my palette.

From the image, I plan my colours, using the colours I have.  I decide what the depth of colours will be, how I will disperse the colours, taking into consideration, when you dye you need to use liquid on the wool and liquid moves!  I will draw the actual way I dye and clearly mark in my own short hand, the colour placement and liquid status.

Then the first test skein happens.  With time and experience the need to do more than one skein has markedly reduced.  80% of the time I get it right first go.  I patiently need to let the dye exhaust, cool, wash and dry.  It is not till it's dry, can I actually study it and know truly what it will look like.

Sometimes I will need to do some tinkering but the main thing, is knowing if this is a colour I want to share with you all. This was called Laura's Posies, because it was Laura who sent me the posies.

Hand Dyed yarn with various shades of pink and green

Yarn dyed with various shade of pinks and green rolled up in a ball

A lot of colours get designed but at this stage probably only 1/3 actually make it as a regular. It needs to be good enough for me and also (most of the time) match the colour palette I have.

Here is another photo I took which inspired me to make another colour-way.

A sunset with various red/orange pink shades with grey clouds

I took this one evening when the sky was aMAzing. The colours and variations was stunning. I watched it for a while and took photos. It was really interesting how it changed over the 30 minutes. Here was the finished colour.

Hand Dyed yarn dyed with various shades of pink and grey

Pink and grey colours on yarn rolled up in a ball.

This one was eventually named Gobsmacked Gala. I know the name has nothing to do with the original photo! Trying to name photos... well that is another blog post for one day.

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