Experimental yarns and concepts (4.2)

1. Colour placement and exploration

I think I’ll use the Mexican looking bandana fabric to work from to inspire yarn. It has three or four colours and black. I think I’ll start by using four embroidery threads and spinning them together.

I also have some little elastic bands in an appropriate colour that I could use. Perhaps i could link loops of yarn in the right colour with elastic bands and form a yarn by knotting them.

Another thought is painting yarn. Or dyeing. Or spinning the right colour yarns by blending fleece. As I’m now considering using this fabric for the next segment I might use my flower fabric instead. I could dye silk gauze to cut in strips and spin to make yarns.

I could use a traditional yarn and make a few skeins of yarn that were dyed in the skein in various colour proportions. Or simply spin in the pre blended or dyed fibre.

Actually as I’m using the bandana for the next segment I’ll use my floral liberty fabric for this segment instead. It has lots of small dots of colour that I could combine equally or I could play around with the proportions a bit.

2. Materials Exploration

I’m struggling a bit here with thinking of unusual materials suggested by my fabrics or gouache studies. As above the pattern on the fabric mentioned above reminds of Mexico or South America. Mexican hats and Piñatas use raffia or paper, so it’s a bit of a stretch but I might use crepe paper to make a yarn. I could include molded paper shapes to include harking back to Joomchi or paper mache.

Little motifs to include could also be colour blended and baked from poly clay.

Trying to make a link between this bandana and materials I remember that it was a bandana sold at the petrol station for fundraising for the cancer council. I’ve nicked some clear oxygen tubing from work that references sickness. I was really thinking of IV tubing but I suspect that might be more expensive. Thinking of chemo here. I’m considering filling the tubing with colour in some fashion. Not sure how. Maybe inject paint in??? Has got me thinking about other hollow materials that could be used. Maybe like a i cord knitted in a range of colours or clear filament and stuffed as you go. I could blend fleece and insert as I went. Or a tiny knitting Nancy. Maybe I’ll get one tomorrow.

3. Texture and Tonal Qualities

I’ll probably use the diamond textures Japanese silk as my neutral to explore texture and tone. Possibilities would be to use the neutral colour and then deepen the tone by core spinning black thread over. Could use white to add the highlights.

I could reference the stitched texture by making bobbles in a loose soft yarn by winding thread tightly to crest segments.

Extensive overspinning could also create bobbles.

I’m not sure how to best represent the muted colour palette I can see of olive green blush of pink and lemon yellow. Using fibre would be fun but pretty traditional. Combination of paper and thread would also be good.

Stitching on water soluble vilene may be a way of creating a fine net like yarn that may show subtle colour and tone dependent on the density of stitch. Especially when presented on white. And I might be able to work in stitch bobbly texture too. Could try using the preprogrammed machine stitches.

This is all just brainstorming for the next segment. I’ll add the yarns to this post once made.

Colour placement and exploration:

For this section I have used my own yarns spun from dyed wool fibre, which I have then blending to try and achieve the main colours in my fabric. Here are the yarns that resulted.

Fabric with colour chips and blended fibre

Fabric swatch and colour chips with blended fibre

Equal segments of the main colours spun and Navajo plyed into a yarn

Three colours and black spun and plyed together

Felted bobbles of orange and pink with a smaller proportion of the peacock blue

Black background with discrete short segments of colour

Peacock blue background with short segments of orange and pink. No black

I was interested to see how the inclusion of black dramatically changes the feel of the yarn. To my mind the black adds much more of a harshness or boldness to the yarn, even when used in equal proportion to the other colours. In contrast to this the yarns with no black look softer and less dominant. I wasn’t happy with the yellow in any of the yarns. It was actually meant to be a blended orange from yellow and magenta, but if any yellow escaped into the yarn it stood out very prominently and inappropriately for the fabric swatch. A lot more time needed to be spent blending the fibre for a better result, but I got impatient.

Materials exploration:

I have used the Mexican/South American Cancer Council bandana to inspire me in three ways. Firstly I have linked the origin of the bandana as a fundraiser for the Cancer Council to suggest sickness to me. To reference this I have tried to use tubing or tube like structures, as for IV tubing or oxygen tubing. Secondly the Mexican reference suggests Mexican hats or coloured piñatas, so I have used coloured paper for some of my experimental yarns. The third is a bit of a stretch but looking at the brick like pattern I have considered the stone steps of Mexican pyramids. This has led me to use my new fancy stone paper for one of the yarns.

Red watercolour paint was messily suctioned into oxygen tubing and sealed with knots and superglue for this yarn. It’s a bit stiff and rope like but it can be manipulated as evidenced by the knots, because there is a certain amount of stretch in the plastic.

A red straw has been cut into sections here and threaded over a bright white cellulose yarn, again referencing the tube nature of medical equipment.

Yarn has been twisted from tissue paper and glue to create “piñata” yarns.

Stone paper cut into brick like shapes and twisted to create a more rounded yarn.

Texture and Tonal Qualities:

In the photo the pink tint shows up strongly and whilst it is there to some extent there is a yellow hue to the background that is not evident in this photo. I used flecks of pink and yellow on a background of white/cream to try and reflect this colour scheme but I find it very hard to blend colour in this very gentle range. I idea was that shadow in the yarn would give me the darker tone but this didn’t happen. I may edit this photo to better match colour if I can.

Again the white background appears pink in this photo. Not really this appearance in the edited photo but I’ll check on other monitors and may try and correct. Here I have made a chunky yarn made of hand dyed one plys wound together. The strength of the colours is much too strong even though I watered the dye down a lot and tried to mute it with complementary. Not very successful.

Next I’ll try to introduce a tiny trace of colour into the yarn by using a thin woolly nylon thread. I will wind the nylon tightly to great exaggerated bobbles to reflect the texture in the sample.

This photo is a better colour representation than the one above. I have tried to be be more subtle with colour and more exaggerated with texture in these ones. Probably that one on the left is the most successful but sadly none are great. I have to move on though or I will not get through the work.

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