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Going Down the (Woolly) Rabbit Hole




A few years back, I heard the lovely Louise Scollay talk about working with wool in "Nature's Shades". I was intrigued. I had not given much thought to this, though hanging in my dining room was a poster from 2012 trip to Shetland with all the different color combinations of sheep. As I Iistened to Louise and began to explore, I fell down a rabbit hole of exploration. This included creating a giant wrap of Shetland and Orkney finger weight (pattern is All the Shades of Truth by Laura Aylor. Link is to her Love Crafts store).


That knitting project was the start of the journey that led me to learning about Yarns International, Betty Lindsay and Bonnie Hassler, and the patterns of Ron Schweitzer. In creating a line of yarn that was undyed, they were challenging us as knitters to think differently about color and pattern. Rather than relaying solely on our common associations between color and story, such as green field, these patterns ask us to think of shading and shape as well. For example, in Ron described Driftwood (Chesapeake Collection) "...found art...sculpture by water and weather." Using four colors, the pattern trys to capture the shape and flow of the wood on the sand and rocks.


Through the first two pattern collections, the palette was just five colors (now colors 2001-2005 of Jamieson & Smith, Shetland 2000 Jumper Weight). For the third collection, there were four more natural colors and with the fourth, naturally dyed colors were added. In next Friday's blog, I will explore those naturally dyed colors and some of the patterns created for them









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