Color Inspiration Thursday: Ashes and Embers


I’ve always loved the colors gray and red together. Red is such a great contrast color for any kind of gray ~ light, deep, charcoal, black.

You know I’ve been having fun with speckles, and experimenting with different dye methods even within the speckling realm. This is another of those experiments: softly variegated base color with just one color speckled on (or two, this is actually a deep red and a brighter red in combination).

I love this so much, I can’t even tell you. It’s deep, and spooky, and elegant all at the same time. This photo is of Embers and Ashes dyed on Verdande, and oh, boy, it’s even more fabulous in person. It will make its debut at the New York Sheep & Wool Festival, and I know it’s going to be a colorway staple for me for a long time to come. So, look for it online after the Festival! On it’s own for sure, and most likely with a whole kit designed around it. I love it that much.


Damon from Vampire Diaries is a little bonus. He popped up in my photo search. He’s such an adorable bad-guy-turned-good-guy-but-is-he-really? character. He was my favorite part of The Vampire Diaries (Yes, I admit it. The Vampire Diaries is one of my dirty little secrets. I loved that show, and True Blood, too). This colorway feels a little bit Halloween-y, a little bit vampire-y, and a whole lot elegant and classy.


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Color Inspiration Thursday: Painted Hills


This colorway was a collaboration with knitwear designer Emily Connell, who emailed me a few months back about creating a colorway for a design idea she had.

She gave me a description and colors for what she was envisioning, and I went searching for images that might include these (it helps if I have a picture in my head when I’m working on a colorway).

What I found were images of several different geological formations, the first being the Painted Hills in Oregon. These rocky formations and fossil beds are surreal: reds, blues, burnt oranges, and even purples, on a tan-golden surface. I sent Emily some photos to look over, and it was just what she was thinking.

So, this colorway takes its inspiration from these amazing formations. The Painted Hills, Grand Canyon, and Monument Valley in the US, and further afield, the Rainbow Mountains of the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park in Gansu , China. I took some artistic license, of course, warming up the background and playing around with the colors a bit. I really like the result, and I absolutely love how it looks knit up.


Emily has finished her design, and it’s a gorgeous brioche pullover. I’ll have the sample on display at the New York Sheep & Wool Festival (as well as Painted Hills on every yarn base I can manage to get it dyed on 🙂 ). This colorway will be available online thereafter!


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Color Inspiration Thursday: Alpine


“Alpine” is a bit of a departure into uncharted territory for me, again. You know I’ve been playing in the previously uncharted territory of speckles. This colorway is one of my first journeys into fiddling around some more with speckles … putting them in the pot with more water, and then swirling them a bit so the colors mix in the water before they settle on the yarn. Then adding a bit more dye later and leaving it as it is. So, soft colors and tones, varying shading, some areas where the colors blend and others where they don’t.

Alpine starts with white yarn in the pan, to which I add some yellow and some blue … and yes, sometimes that does make green (not always ;-D ). Then more bits of yellow, slate blue, charcoal gray. The blue and gray break into some different colors sometimes, so here and there are flashes of pink, orange, lighter blues.

Rather like an alpine meadow dotted with a hint of flowers.

I’m really happy with the result. I’ll definitely do more like this.

And doesn’t it look lovely with Melted Chocolate? I can totally see a two-color shawl with these two.


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Color Inspiration Thursday: Melted Chocolate


What could be better than a beautiful, rich brown? I’ve struggled with getting a solid brown color for years. Brown dyes are made up of multiple different chemicals, many of which strike at different temperatures. Which leads to “breaking” … brown with flashes of orange, green, yellow, etc.

Finally, I think I’ve mastered brown! This is a mix of several different “browns,” with some other colors added in to level it all out. I love this colorway which, as soon as it emerged from the depot, reminded me of rich, warm, melted chocolate. So, that’s what it’s named.

Personally, I love brown on its own, but I know many people don’t. It’s a fantastic color for colorwork, though, and can lay a wonderful foundation for all sorts of other colors.

Works with both Perfect Beach Day and It’s Not Easy Being Green, doesn’t it? And wait til the Color Inspiration for next week; it’s another winning combo!

And, speaking of melted chocolate, the cupcakes in the collage above? Here’s the recipe. Gluten free, even, if you’re like me and can’t eat gluten (but easily made with regular flour, too). You’re welcome. 😀



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