Color Inspiration Thursday: The Dawn Wall

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About a month before the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, my husband and I watched a documentary about the history of rock climbing in Yosemite National Park, Valley Uprising (available on Netflix streaming). It was a fascinating show about the Park and the evolution of rock climbing from the early pioneers, like Yvon Chouinard and Royal Robbins, to the amazing feats of modern climbers like Dean Potter and Alex Honnold.

Throughout the film, there are stunning images and footage of El Capitan and the “dawn wall,” which is the wall facing east that is hit by the sun as it rises.

I was captivated by the play of color, the golden glow of the sun and cool grays of the rock face, and while we were watching I searched online for images of “The Dawn Wall” to see what would come up. PicMonkey Collage-3

This colorway is the result of that search. In many of the photographs (not the ones I’ve chosen for this mood board), the dawn light has a golden-orange glow to it. I used  Artistic License and went with a cooler golden-yellow, bordering on yellow-green in spots, because I love yellow and gray together, or grellow as this combination is often called. I wanted to create a colorway based both on images of the dawn wall and also these two colors which work so well together and play off each other in such a pleasing way.

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Color Inspiration Thursday: White Noise

Birte_WhiteNoise (1 of 1)

Probably the hardest sell for me for speckled yarn was speckles on white. It felt like a major case of cheating, leaving all that white yarn untouched. But, like speckles in general, I decided to give it a go, and found myself a convert to these sorts of colors as well.


“White Noise” is the second colorway I’ve created recently that starts with white yarn (well, just about everything starts with white yarn, but you know what I mean), and working to have much of it remain white. Again, it’s the nuances in this colorway that mesmerize and beckon me, like a quiet siren’s song. There are the grays and charcoals, of course, but on closer inspection, there’s green and blue, and hints of pink, orange, and yellow that become noticeable the longer one looks at the skein. Magical, indeed.

I can’t wait to see what White Noise looks like knitted up (so, if you purchased some at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, please do share your swatching and your project!).

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Finished Objects: The Anonymous Shawl

I was taken with the design of this shawl as soon as it came across my Instagram feed. The textures just grabbed me, and I loved every bit of it.

It’s beautiful in one color, but because of the different sections and stitch patterns, I immediately envisioned it in three colors. The textured stitch pattern just screamed that it needed to be knit in speckles or variegated yarn. And I thought those textured sections would look really beautiful sandwiched between sections of different colored stripes.


I had just created my new colorway, Spectrum, and was captivated by it, so of course I had to knit it in this beautiful textured stitch. I had also dyed a new batch of Black Cherry and noticed how nicely it complimented and brought out the deep red speckles in Spectrum. These two colors would be great coupled with a dark neutral, so I chose The Witching Hour as the third color.

The first adjustment I made to the pattern was to knit it in fingering weight instead of dk weight. I chose Sunna because it’s wonderfully soft, drapey and luxurious; the perfect yarn for knitting next-to-skin projects. I don’t wear shawls all that much, but I wear scarves all the time, so I thought the lighter weight yarn would make a smaller accessory that I could just wrap around my neck. I stuck with the size 4 needle per pattern, though, since I wanted it to be light and drapey. As you can see from the photos, it can still be worn as a shoulder shawl (although I did block it fairly severely to get that lovely stitch pattern to pop).


My Anonymous Shawl, modeled by my beautiful daughter, Caragh, who is way more photogenic than I am

Here are my notes on how I adjusted this shawl for three colors, for those of you who purchased the yarn at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, or saw my shawl and want to knit a three-color version, and anyone else out there who’d like to knit this lovely pattern in three colors.

First off, if you haven’t purchased Verena’s pattern, you can do so on Ravelry, here. (There is a printable / downloadable PDF of these adjustments at the bottom of this blog post, too 🙂 ).

Color A: The Witching Hour
Color B: Black Cherry
Color C: Spectral

Color A

Section A.1:
Rows 1-2: Color A
Rows 3-4: Color B
Rows 5-6: Color A



Section B.1:
Color B

Section C.1:
Color C

Section B.2
Revise section as follows:
At the end of previous section, do not turn your work. Cut Spectrum (leaving enough to sew the end in), slide stitches to the other side of the needle, and knit with Color B as follows:
Row 1: K3, Kdb, K to last 4 stitches, Kdb, K3
Row 2: Knit
Row 3: K3, Kfb, {K2tog, YO} repeat to last 5 stitches, K1, Kfb, K3
Row 4: Knit
(NOTE: You are Kfb in this section, NOT Kfbf 🙂


Section A.2:
Row 1-2: Color A
Row 3-4: Color B

Section B.3:
Color B

Section C.2:
Color C

Section B.4:
Color B, follow directions for adjustment in Section B.2

Section A.3
Rows 1-2: Color A
Rows 3-4: Color B

Section B.5:
Color C
I added a few rows because I wanted a wider band of Spectrum across the bottom. I didn’t adjust the increases because at this point in the shawl, stitch count is not so important. Adjust pattern as follows:
Row 1: K3, Kfbf, K to last 4, Kfbf, K3
Row 2: K3, Purl to last 3, K3
Row 3: same as Row 1
Row 4: Knit
Row 5: same as Row 1
Row 6: Knit

Picot Bind-Off:
Color C

And there you have it!

Click here for a downloadable pdf of these adjustments (and don’t forget, you need to buy the pattern on Ravelry! This is only the detail for my adjustments to three colors 🙂 ).


Isn’t she just the most adorable thing? She’s the perfect model. And, she’s kind, smart, and funny, too. So proud of this girl 🙂

Happy Weekend to all!

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Color Inspiration Thursday: Water Garden

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“Water Garden” is one of my new speckled colorways, and is a blend of blues, pinks, lavenders, greens, and yellows over a muted, cool gray. I really love impressionism, and my favorites artists of this method are Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, and Edgar Degas. I really love this part of the National Gallery of Art, and often wandered through this part of the museum while in college in Washington, DC (and also brought my homework with me and found a quite bench to sit and work for a bit). I find myself drawn to these paintings, their bold use of color over specific detail, and when I started working on speckles new I wanted to translate some of this work onto yarn.WaterGardenCollage

This is the first colorway based on my love of Monet and impressionism, but I have a series of speckled colorways based on this method brewing up a storm in my brain. I think the techniques of impressionism lend themselves so well to yarn dyeing.

Water Garden will be one of a number of new colorways included in the first of my online shop updates (I’ve never done these types of updates before, so bear with me as I work through the different production schedule and details). I’m planning the first regular online shop update for late May (I don’t have a specific date yet, but I’ll announce it as it approaches!).

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