Five Green Acres Mary Jo + Andrew Borchardt Poynette, WI
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Slippery, Elusive Color

Slippery, Elusive Color
September 4, 2013 Mary Jo








I have some experience coaxing an ombre of color out of a small range of dyes; the first and last things to flood my field of vision before/after sleep are the glorious curtains I made in the likeness of an Anthropologie shower curtain I happened to glimpse in the catalog one fortuitous evening.

Yes, I know ombre, love it.  And I am considering taking a portion of yarn from the latest harvest and devoting it to the lofty study of color gradation.

But this is not it.

Would you believe the photos above are all of the same bunch of yarn? All are taken with the same camera, same lens, and most are shot from the same location.  Lighting is everything, don’t you agree?  Herein lies the challenge of communicating color through the confines of our computer screens.  It’s rather like taking an eye dropper sample of a river, photographing it, and saying, “Here is a representation of this river.” Pixelated color is notoriously hard to pin down.  I will decide, of course, which of these images is closest to the yarn as I see it in average light (the penultimate photo, I think) and post that as my representation of the yarn, but then I leave it up to each of your monitors to interpret the image.  There are so many variables within that to alter how your eyeballs perceive the color, from the angle of your screen, the contrast/brightness settings, etc.  What you’re likely to see should be close to the actual color, but must not be taken as the gospel truth.

The moral:  the ideal yarn-selecting environment manifests when you’re able to judge the color in person, taking the skein of yarn in your hands to assess the squish factor, using the most tender part of your wrist to judge the softness of the fiber, simultaneously noting the subtle variation of color intensity within a single skein as well as how each of the colors plays off the next.

Such an opportunity exists in the near future!  (swoon) Join me, if you can, for the official launch of This is Wool. From Drought:

Squam Art Fair (Taproot Gathering) 

Saturday, September 14th (7:30-10:00pm)

Rockwold-Deephaven Camp, Holderness, NH


My sources tell me that it’s a little more than a week away.  Shriek!!  I best be off – so much more dyeing, skeining, tagging, spinning, packing to do.


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