Tag Archive | colours

OHS Level 2: Day 7

Today we prepared for nature dyeing tomorrow. First, we soaked our samples in a variety of mordants: alum/cream of tartar, copper, iron and a couple of others that I can’t exactly recall at 11pm. Yeah, it was a long day.

For those wondering what a mordant is… It’s like a colour booster. Each mordant reacts differently with each nature dye. It’s really quite interesting.

Then we prepared our dye stock. They all needed to soak overnight at the very least. Each plant varies. My group prepared marigold.

It was a fun day. Tomorrow will be even more fun to see the results from the dye pots! The down side is that it will be our last in-class day.

We ended the day with a trip to Marty’s. I picked up some more merino/stellina wool. I also got some nylon with the intention of making some socks someday (I will blend it with 75% wool). I picked up some more of Marty’s magical moth mix and some nettle tea to help fight allergies. And I thought I didn’t need anything there…

As I always do, I had Little Mickey and Pooh with me. I promised my Sweet Pea that I would take them with me everywhere because he left them with me to look after me. So it has become tradition that I take pictures of them doing different things on our adventures. My plan is to possibly put a scrapbook together for him someday.

Fleece for dyeing - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Fleece that was added to the yarn samples

Samples of plants for dyeing - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

A sample of some plants that can be used for dyeing

Dye plants - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Some plants we’ll be using for dyeing tomorrow

I also had a bit of a self-realization moment today. It came to me while discussing group leadership versus teaching. I’ve discovered why I’m not a leader in a group situation if the group has other ideas. If the group is respectful of my assigned position and has an open mind, I’m totally comfortable with that role. I’m totally comfortable in a teaching role. There are some situations where it may be expected or understood that I would be in a leadership role within a group. I have no problem with that unless I’m accosted by a bossy and/or domineering person or people. If my peers don’t respect my assigned position, I won’t argue with them. I have been through too much BS to even try to get somebody to listen to me who clearly thinks they know more than what I do (they may or may not – but I was assigned the role for a reason). I’m weary from fighting to be heard. I have little left. I have nothing left for those who don’t care to open their minds. I would much rather focus my energy on somebody who is open to what I have to share. I may not know all there is to know, but you’re missing out on what I do know if you choose not to listen. We all have different experiences and I enjoy sharing mine. You may even learn something.

The other part of it is that if you think you know better than I do and you screw up, I don’t want that reflecting on me. There has been more than one occasion where I’ve been in a group scenario and the group decided to not listen to directions. If I was taken seriously as leader, there’s a very high probability that that wouldn’t have happened in the first place. I’m very detail-oriented, which is probably one of the reasons I was assigned the role. I would have gone to the instructor to verify if there was any doubt. But hey, you know best, so just go right on ahead. I’ll be over in my corner waiting for instructions.

I think what it comes down to is the abuse that I endured. Everything was always my fault, even when I wasn’t involved. I got the blame for everything. My thoughts, opinions, experience and feedback meant nothing. So now as a result, I’m constantly in cover-your-ass mode. So if I’m in a group that doesn’t want to take my leadership role seriously, I’m not going to kiss there butts. Plus, my ass is covered for when they screw up. If I was in a leadership role and the group actually listened to me and the team screwed up, I would take responsibility for it because clearly I had passed on misinformation. But if the group chooses not to listen to me and there is a screw-up, it’s not my problem, is it?

Teaching/assisting on the other hand, is completely different. If I’m teaching/assisting, obviously I’m there specifically to pass on my knowledge and adhere to the set out curriculum. I’m there for a reason and that reason is because I’m a fit for the job. I was asked what I would do if I encountered a student who gave me a hard time or chose not to listen. Because let’s face it. I can come across as a bit of a pushover. Again, it comes down to choosing my battles. I have encountered a scenario where I had a student who challenged me. It was in dog training, but it was still a teaching job. He was on a mission to make me look like I knew nothing. I didn’t claim to know all there is about dog training. I’m not a behaviorist. That’s a whole other field. I was given a set of guidelines that I needed to follow for my classes and I did. I did it well. I got to the point where I had to tell the student that I was there to pass on what I know, which met the expectations of the company I worked for. I wanted to see him and his dog succeed. But if he had an issue with my methods, he was free to discuss the situation with management. If my classes weren’t meeting his expectations, then he may want to consider finding another dog trainer that can meet the needs I’m not.

After that, he had nothing more to say and my classes went smoothly.

Teaching and group scenarios are two different things. If you’re teaching, it’s because you have worked hard to acquire the skills and knowledge to pass on to others. People are there with the intention to learn from you. You can learn a lot in a group setting as well as long as you go in with an open mind. Many don’t. They judge before you even open your mouth. Who’s losing out though? Not I because I won’t expel the energy on somebody who has no interest in my experience, therefore, does not deserve it.


OHS Level 2: Day 6

What an amazing day!!! Wendy was at the helm today with her first mate, Marty. We did colour blending. If you know me, you know that I’m going to love anything related to colour. I thoroughly enjoyed the class.

Our first assignment was to work around the outside of a colour triangle. My group was assigned the Broken Printers Palette – that means that the cyan was replaced with royal blue (from the painters palette). One thing that I did discover from this exercise is that I’m no longer as determined as I was on the quest for royal blue. While I do love the colour, I’m not so fond of the green/blues that come from it. I think it’s too strong.

Broken Printers Palette - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Broken Printers Palette – all of the printers palette colours except that cyan has been swapped out with royal blue

Another group did the Broken Painters Palette:

Broken Painters Palette - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Broken Painters Palette – cyan was used instead of blue

Painters Palette:

Painters Palette - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Painters Palette

Printers Palette:

Printers Palette - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Printers Palette

Our next assignment was to work on a shade gradation which involved adding various amounts of black to a base colour:

Shade Gradation - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Shade gradation exercise

There was a crossing of wires/jumping of the gun in the group I was in (I was just getting back from break) so we ended up doing an even bigger gradation. It turned out so amazing in spite of not being what we were initially supposed to do.

Ten-step gradation - keepmeinstitchez.worpdress.com

Ten-step shad gradation

I don’t think I would have had any trouble with this portion of the course, but I will say that taking the intermediate course certainly gave me a leg up. I’m very confident about this part. I haven’t entirely decided, but I think I’m going to needle felt the samples for my triangle. We’ll see.

After class there was a fibre-related sale. I picked up some wax conditioner for my wheel and some samples of fleece for my breed book. I also picked up a couple of shawl pins.

Tomorrow we’re getting into nature dyes. I’m pretty excited about this. I worked with nature dyes during the fibre arts program. It will be really interesting to see it geared specifically towards wool. Looking forward to what Louise is going to show us.

Birthday Wool

Yesterday was my birthday. It was hard this year because it was the first one without Mom. So rather than wallow in self-pity, I decided that I was going to dye some yarn for funsies. Of course the base was going to be purple! But I wanted to see if I could fracture the colours like I did with my “happy accident”, but this time on purpose.

Keep Me in Stitchez's Birthday Wool

Wool that I dyed to celebrate my birthday

I think I was pretty successful at my end goal. Of course I had no idea that the blue was going to be so predominant, but I’m perfectly fine with that! This photo is also a little deceptive… There are sparkles in the wool, but you can see it in the photo.

While I was doing the in-class portion of OHS Level 1 this summer, it was discovered that the supplier that made the dyes we were using changed their formula. It was significantly stronger, which meant it took forever for the dye pots to exhaust. I had bought my dyes awhile ago, so I was thinking that they didn’t fall into this category. Wrong I was! So after doing four different strengths and at least 16oz of fibre later… Now I have a lot of really strong magenta yarn and fibre. I’m glad I like this colour! LOL

So when I dyed my fibre yesterday, I hadn’t officially came to that conclusion yet. The purple was darker than what I was aiming for, but I’m pleased with the results. And in the fashion in which I was taught, I documented what I did. While I may not be able to get the exact same results (and why would I want to?!), I know how to get the effect. That ones going in the books for sure!

Colour Love!

I am so in love with the results from this roving! I think this is one of my favourites for sure.

image image

I will be putting this up for sale at some point. Just have to finish spinning up the rest and do some math.

Day 3: More Colour Play and Worsted Spinning

Wendy was with us in the morning. We finished up the work with colour and did some more spinning.


Alpaca fleece

Sheesh, I’m sort of dropping the ball on taking pictures! I had spun and plied that alpaca fleece (pictured above) and did get a photo of the end result. I’ll TRY to remember for tomorrow.

Karen joined us in the afternoon. She’s amazing! Her teaching style is different from Wendy’s, both of which I like. She too is a fountain of knowledge, with a lovely, bubbly personality that makes you want to learn more! She raises Shetland sheep. I loved listening to her talk about sheering the sheep and how the “bratty” ones would come over to “help.” I would love to see that! LOL

So Karen showed us worsted spinning and the long draw for woollen spinning. Quite interesting. I think I’ve fallen in love with worsted spinning, although you have to prepare the fibre differently. It’s all VERY interesting. When you spin worsted yarn, it is tighter and sleeker. Woollen yarn is lighter and airier. Both types of spinning definitely have their time and place.


The picture above is a fleece from one of Karen’s sheep. That’s as raw as it gets! We’ve spun some yarn from her sheep and I’ve really liked it.

We ended the day with a trip to Marty’s! WOO HOO! (for those who haven’t seen me mention Marty’s, it’s the local store that has roving, spinning supplies, yarn, health food and lots more… AWESOME store!!!). I picked up a couple of bags of vibrant pencil roving (damn you Louet for not making it anymore!) and a gorgeous braid of black, purple and gold roving. That should keep me busy for awhile!

Day 2: Crepe Yarn and Pretty Colours

I’m a little behind with the updates about the course, but it’s just been so AMAZING that I’ve been playing with fibre rather than posting on my blog! I will back date the post for Monday and I will do my best to put up my thoughts about today’s class this evening. Unless Wendy and Karen show us something that distracts me again. Oooooh, look! Shiny!

Today was ANOTHER mind-blowing day in the Intermediate Spinning Class!

We started out with making Crepe yarn. This plying technique makes the wool extra strong. It’s good for garments and borders, especially from fibres that can’t/won’t hold their shape. Wendy’s example was that of a vest that she made for one of her courses back in the early 80’s. I believe it was a blend of camel down and wool. It was still in perfect condition! I enjoyed this kind of plying and I’m really glad to be able to add it to my toolbox.


This is what I spun into the crepe yarn


The center bobbin and the bobbin on the left will by plied together to make crepe yarn


Crepe yarn

We did a lot of colour mixing today with roving. It is so cool to see what you can achieve by carding colours together. We’re working on a colour triangle. We also covered tones, shades and tints (pictured below). Interesting stuff!


Here, we are looking at the tones, shades and tints with the colour magenta. It’s interesting how some of the puffs of wool look so similar in spite of the different colour contents


This is the scale after we removed the colours that are too close together


The shades of pink here are what my class partner and I carded for the scale above. The yarn in the center is my silk spinning. I had to take a second look at it because it was so well-spun that I questioned whether or not I actually did it!


One of the really cool things we’ve been working on is a colour triangle. Below we’re starting with the three primary colours. All of the colours here are achieved from a combination of carding primaries together. I have to say, this is something that never really crossed my mind before (because the novelty of all the other fun stuff hadn’t worn off and I wasn’t bored yet LOL). This just opens up a whole new door here. If you know me, you know that I LOVE playing with colour.



I started playing with some roving this evening and came up with some cool blends. I’m taking them to class with me, so I’ll try to snap some photos.

I have also officially set my sights on the OHS Master Spinning program. I am so excited about it! I have no idea how I’m going to pay for it, but I’ve learned something after all the crap that I’ve been through. Don’t ask how, just believe it’s going to happen. That’s how I got to the fibre arts course. That’s how I ended up here. It just seems that if I want to do something for the greater good, the clouds part and it magically falls into place. It’s like the Universe knows that I’m going to do something beautiful with these skills, so it sets things up to help me build them. I am so grateful for that!!!!

I can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store!

And if my Sweet Pea asks, Little Mickey and Pooh did come to class with me:


Vader and the Crocodile

Vader is almost complete. I thought he was in this pic, but then I noticed he was missing the ridge at the top of his helmet. I know, picky, picky. I based this hat on the pattern by Snappy Tots. While this pattern was easy to follow, I could not get my tension to match. I ended up doing my own thing for a majority of this hat, but I just wanted to mention this pattern because that’s where I got my inspiration from.


I’ll have this for sale at Finnegan Lake Gallery located in Coe Hill, Ontario. I also have some crocodile stitch slippers for sale there and will be taking more over this weekend. I’m hoping to get a couple of pairs done using these yarns:



Time to get to work!