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I have tons of knitting yarn. More yarn than I can probably use in my lifetime. My skeins fill baskets, bins and burlap sacks. I have a dozen unfinished projects spanning decades. I don’t need any more yarn. I made a pact with myself about ten years ago; I was going to knit it all up before I started acquiring more.

I reined in my yarn enthusiasm and knit up a lot of what I had. I resisted setting foot into yarn shops. I made a nice dent in my hoard. One day, two years ago, everything changed. I entered a swanky knitting store and was overwhelmed by how much the knitting world had changed while I was ignoring it. There I found tantalizing blends of alpaca, silk and mohair in sumptuous textures and delicious colors! How could I resist knitting up a few things using these lovely yarns? My resolve was blown.

The multi-colored and subtly variegated yarns held a special allure. One can no longer only associate variegated yarns with hideous cheap acrylic. The new breeds are truly luscious. As a dyer, I was curious about how color is applied to these many-hued skeins. I asked a number of dyers at the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival about the ins and outs of “hand painting” yarns and gleaned a rough idea of how to go about it.

Last Saturday morning after looking through my color palettes for some color inspiration I dug out my dyes and dusty dye pot and five random skeins of natural colored wool and launched into my first attempt at hand painting yarn. It’s a lot more time consuming than dying solid colored yarn and makes a lot more mess. But I loved mixing the colors and applying them to the yarn. I am surprised and pleased with the results of my messy morning!

The “painted” skeins look a little scary-Grateful-Dead-tie-dye-ish in this state but once the colors merge in the dye pot and the skeins are re-wound the stripes disappear.

Once they  are-wound the tie-dyed look disappears.

Finished hand painted skeins. There are two different types of yarn, and each skein is slightly different from the other.

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I found this knit rainbow spiral on ravelry.com and might just have to knit one myself! The colors are great too! If you’re a knitter (or crocheter) join Ravelry and be prepared to get lost/inspired for hours.

from ravelry.com

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Autumn you turned

Each leaf

Into a letter inviting the wind

To its own celebration.

- Cora Vail Brooks



Click HERE for more color inspiration.

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Crossing Maine, New Hampshire and home to Vermont on our way back from vacation Sunday was so beautiful it made my heart sing! The sky was the most perfect azure blue and the fields the most dazzling emerald green. The swamp maples and sumac are on fire, and oranges and golds are creeping up the mountains.

While our state was trashed by Irene, and some roads are still in marginal condition, it is worth getting out and admiring the spectacular color whether by foot, bicycle, car etc.

Stop someplace and have lunch or buy apples or spend the night. Every penny spent in our state will have a trickle down effect on those impacted by the storm.

And hey, if you’re slowed down by temporary road surfaces or have to “go around” because a bridge is out, it’s all part of the journey. And who knows what you might discover if you take a detour?


Large Leaf Ball Over Water by Sally J. Smith

For more color inspiration click HERE


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Have a lovely weekend!

hereslookingathue_David B. Weaver

photo: David B. Weaver

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Color is life; for a world without color appears to us as dead. Colors are primordial ideas, the children of light. —Johannes Itten

Johannes Itten’s The Color Star is one of my favorite tools for playing around with color. I’ve used it for projects ranging from merchandising apparel collections to coloring print and knit designs to planning garden color schemes.



The Color Star is based on Itten’s theory of colors found in The Art of Color. The twelve pointed star is made up of the primary colors of yellow, red and blue, secondary colors of orange, violet and green and six intermediate colors.  Colors radiate from the center of the star to the points – white being at the center and black at the tips. It is arranged so that complementary colors face each other.

The star is printed on sturdy cardboard. Accompanying cut-out disks mask various points of the star help visualize forty-nine different harmonic color combinations. One can selectively examine the relationships of primary, secondary and tertiary colors by placing different disks on the star. With this method, warm and cool values, complementary colors, and different hues and intensities can be compared individually.

While The Color Star doesn’t replace having a good color eye, it is fun tool to challenge one’s color perceptions and provide color inspiration.



To see more color inspiration click here.


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“Mayan weaving is a celebration of feelings shared in common by an entire ethnic group”

My travel compass tends to swing towards lands where textiles play an important cultural role in the warp and weft of a locality.

Gianni Vecchiato has assembled a book full of heart-stopping photographs that illustrates Guatemalan people going about their daily lives, wearing their richly textured clothing.  The title, Guatemala Rainbow, speaks for itself with page after page of brilliantly colored pictures.

The armchair traveler can feel the warmth of the air, the bustle of the marketplace, the electricity of festivals, and get a sense the men, women and children who weave and wear exuberant colors every day. Vecchiato succeeds in convincing me that Guatemala is a place that I’d like to explore.









If you’d like to purchase this book, order it from your local independent bookseller.

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Wondering what to prepare for that next potluck? Tired of making your famous tabouleh or pasta salad AGAIN? Consider serving rainbow Jell-O!  Here’s how.



via: Swissmiss


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