Tuesday, November 03, 2009

DAMN YOU, OPTICAL MIXING!!!

For those of you just tuning in, spinning is my alternative to Valium. I'm not really kidding; with the nervous system wonkiness I get wigged out easily, and sitting down and spinning for a while calms me as well or better than hitting the pill bottle. Getting yarn out of it is just a nice side benefit. That's why I sell so much hand-spun; I don't really do it for the yarn.

The husbeast has noticed and remarked on it more than once, and encourages my usual habit of doing some spinning after dinner while he plays with the Goober. When we moved here, one of the first things he did was find me a spinning chair. (The storage area of our apartment building is full of old furniture and junk left from previous tenants. He pulled a chair out of there, asked if I could use it, and when I said yes, he then fixed it.) When I took my spinning class, he folded down the back seat of the Jeep and moved some stuff around to make it easier for me to haul my wheel. Basically, he does all he can to help make the spin happen. He probably sees it as something for his own benefit as much as mine, since spinning chills me out and makes me easier to live with. I'm good with that.

Where was I?

Right. Optical mixing. So when we moved here, I decided to hell with the marginally stressful carbon fiber, I was going to spin totally for relaxation. To that end, I dug out some merino top I'd dyed in the "Reactor Coolant" color scheme - bright blues and yellows and some green and white.

This is my favorite kind of spinning, with variegated colors and smooth, soft, easily managed top in a worsted draw.

I was expecting lots of bright colors in the singles, but I'd forgotten my color theory stuff. Each of those individual fibers is mixing together as I draw out the top (of course), and so the yellow fibers and the blue fibers and the white fibers are jumbling together just like the microscopic pigment bits would in blue and yellow and white paint, and... well...

Mostly I'm getting a mild, inoffensive sea green.

Doesn't really matter. I'm doing this for the act of creation, not the finished product. (I'm not even sure what the finished product will be, or if I'll sell the yarn.) Mostly I'm kicking myself because I should have seen this coming. I'm the color theory geek and all. Oh well. I'll remember it NOW.

PS - Knitty has an article on optical mixing, here.

6 comments:

Amy Lane said...

I"m loving that color... sometimes 'inoffensive' is just as desirable as 'boring'!

Mandy said...

As long as you're enjoying spinning it, I'm sure someone will love it! Do you have enough of the carbon fiber spun for the gift you were going to make for your aunt? (I am remembering correctly, it was your aunt, right?) Or will you have to go back and finish that once you've recuperated from the move?

katharhino said...

I like it too... green is such a lovely color. I like yarn that's only somewhat variegated, instead of wild color shifts, though. So biased.

I'm going to teach myself to spin as soon as WE move. Ha.

Donna Lee said...

When I want stress relief, I reach for the silver grey alpaca and just let it slip through my fingers. It's soothing. Sometimes the more colorful rovings irritate me as the colors never come out like I planned.

Roxie said...

Husbeast is a wise man.

Weaving the Pendleton plaids, I learned a lot about the surprises of optical mixing. Sometimes, a thin stripe of screaming fuschia in a mostly shades of gray plaid tilts all the hues sideways. and trying to find the right shade of red to pop that green and blue plaid is a real trial!

Your blended green is so much more lively and interesting than just a solid green dye. Even though the eye "reads" green, it still sees blue and yellow together. Happy, happy!

StinkyWife said...

new reader here...love your blog! It's entertaining, hilarious, and inspiring.

The green is really pretty by the way; don't be so hard on yourself!