Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


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Friday, June 27, 2003  

650 yards more or less. That’s what I got out of the 8 oz pour dyed roving I made at Stony Mt. Fibers last May. Nice. And a good bit more than I had thought I’d get when I first began spinning. It’s such a bright yellow - not surprising, since I dyed it in the springtime. It just cries out to be knit with a solid color - to help contain the brightness. I’m thinking a medium, bright, warm green. I will swatch a little with a commercial yarn in the hopes that I can buy a yarn that works nicely with the handspun. If not, I’ll have to dye and spin something. I think this yarn will knit beautifully in one of those checked slipstitch or mosaic patterns in Barbara Walker’s stitch books or Jean Frost’s jacket book. Somehow, this yarn has been whispering “vessssst vesssst” to me. I don’t wear vests much - but I believe I could - and this might be very lovely. And it’s nice to have the wheel empty in time for the weekend. I’m going to begin working on the autumn colored mohair boucle. I’ve a pound of the stuff - no it’s not boucle yet - but a pound of locks. I am hoping it’ll be enough to make an interesting jacket.

Color is just so much fun! I’ve always had a lot of confidence in my ability to use color - although, when I look at old photographs I sometimes wonder “What was I thinking?”. In fact, perhaps it only seems like confidence to me when the truth is, I am just drawn to bold and vivid color with distinct contrast - confident colors. The light in a particular season will also incline me towards certain colors. That roving’s bright yellow is probably a color I’d never have chosen had I been dying it in October - And there are blues and plums that I will only use between Christmas and March, but in March I’ll be at the makeup counter hunting out some soft new lipstick.

There’s a winter color combination I used to see when I would go get the newspaper just before the sun came up. The sky would be a pale blue so muted it was almost gray - and along the horizon, like a shawl about the earth’s shoulders, would be the most gentle hazy pink glow. It’s something you would never see in April - much less in July or September. So soft, so clear, so thin a color - actual sunrise would dispel it, often with a vividness that would make the river glow pink.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Color Me Beautiful phase - and still find myself guided by it when it comes to color selections for my clothing, but I break out of the mold often enough. No one should have to do without a color. Of course, when I wear blue, mostly what you see is a blue dress walking down the street, with some sort of grayish beigey looking humanoid held prisoner in it. This is sad, since blue is not only omnipresent but also the #1 choice of color among all men in general and MyMan in particular as well just plain beautiful.

But give me a Hershey’s chocolate brown - yum! This color has been particularly popular in 2002-3 - supposedly because browns are supposed to make you feel comfortable and snugly and like staying at home. That’s as may be, but brown makes me look awake and young and happy and probably even slim - everything blue takes away from me. Besides, I like to pair brown with Orange so I’m not sure how comfortable that would make some people feel. Actually I like to pair a lot of things with orange. I was once in the city and a voice behind me said “That must be Bess - look at all that orange”. It was a friend from the country, shopping in the same store. (Are we creatures of habit or what?) And now that I thin of it - she's a blue girl, china blue eyes, beautiful white hair, and that clear skin that turns to mud in the deep sunshine colors. It probably hurts her eyes to look at my clothes!

I am musing about all this color stuff because a dear friend confided to me that she is starting a hand dyed fiber business. I am so envious - though in the nicest way - because I’ve done a little bit of dyeing and it is absolutely magically fun and I want to do more. Imagining having unlimited opportunity to play with colors and fibers is a bit like peeking through a window on heaven. She hasn’t got her shingle out yet - still doing the start up activities as well as a good bit of marketing research - but when she’s ready to advertise I’ll put up a link.

As for me - even when I lust after the idea of making mountains of colorful fiber - I also know that I don’t care for production work. I resist having to do the same thing again and again - the thought of having to have XXX hundred pounds of anything done in time for Maryland Sheep and Wool crushes me. I know this about myself. I like to make one, maybe two - but would feel imprisoned by having to produce fortylevendyhundred. I used to make pottery for a shop in Old Town Alexandria - a very trendy shopping area, and it was gratifying to know people wanted to buy my creations, but it was horrible to have to make another one of those (blanketyblank) pitchers with the leaves and flowers all over it. I got so I began to hate them.

My answer to this dilemma is to teach. Then, I can do a prototype, maybe a second new-and-improved edition and then teach others how to do it, sending them out into the world to do the production stuff. The feedback from their enthusiastic discoveries is balm to my soul. Their curiosity, questions and trust challenges me to learn more myself. Their triumphs and success are the golden sun rays that warm the garden of my own creativity. Understanding this aspect of my personality has gone a long way towards helping me resist urges that would lead me into dead ends of artistic misery.

And that's the point, isn’t it? - this journey of self-discovery - the only reason I can see for even being born - to understand what it is we are supposed to be doing here - On the quest.

posted by Bess | 6:31 AM