Saturday, March 22, 2008

Nothing Like a Dame

In cogitating about what kind of a sweater to knit from my handspun Coopworth, one thing has been troubling me. I've been picturing a sweater with wide bands of color from darkest at the bottom edge to lightest at the neck. There's a nice flow from the dark brown to the dark taupe to the tan, but then a big abrupt jump to the creamy white. I was worried that the contrast would be too jarring.

I pondered it a while in the back of my mind, thinking maybe I would have to reserve the white to use somehow as an accent, instead of as part of the flow. But then one day in a local yarn shop, I spotted some Coopworth fiber in light gray, a color that I hadn't seen before. It's actually kind of salt-and-peppery, if you look closely. Maybe it's from some silver-haired dame of a ewe, who'd once been a darker color but had gone gracefully gray. Hmmm, thought I, this could come in handy. I'd better grab it.

In fact, it might be just what I need to ease the sudden jump between colors. I wasn't sure, since the others are in the brown family, and this is gray. But when I held them together, it looked as if it just might work.

I spun some up to see how it would look. It felt a little coarser than the other colors, further evidence, perhaps, that this is from an older sheep.

I think I also spun it slightly more loosely. But the texture difference isn't too pronounced. The yarns are enough alike to be sympathetic.

When I hold these five colors together, they make a calmer transition. With the gray added, they seem much more comfortable together. Who would have thought?

I can imagine this now in a sweater of graduated colors. While I'm figuring out exactly what that sweater will look like, Rastro and I will spin some more of the gray, so I'll have equal amounts of each color.

So I think I have my answer. There's nothing like a dame.


Bess said...

Oooo. nice. When you had only 4 colors I envisioned stranded colorwork, but with the added grey then gentle stripes is much more pleasing. Maybe with little stranded colorwork chevron fingers reaching up from one color into the next.

Margene said...

Love the way the colors graduate! It's going to be a fabulous sweater!

alterknit said...

I would gladly use any of those colours together and alone. They're all yummy ^_^