a look into my projects bin

When I’m on a deadline, I usually put everything aside to Get It Done. When the project is done and sent off, I go over to my projects-in-progress bin to see what I can resume working on. (Well, ok. It’s not a bin. It’s more like a pile. I think there’s a bin under the pile, somewhere, you just can’t see it anymore, that’s all.)
And sometimes I find Very Interesting Things in that project pile-over-bin.

balls of colour for leftie

Those wee balls are for the Leftie I’ve started:


The black is Badger Black on Holiday Yarns sparkly base; the colours are small skeins Jen sells in her booth specifically for this purpose.

This is a fun knit and I look forward to getting back to it. It goes fast, and I love watching the colours build across, step by step.

I have been neglecting my Hiro (by Julia Farwell-Clay) a bit; however, I do have about two-thirds of the sleeve done.

Hiro sleeve in progress

There’s a Jesh spindle full of Enting fibre:

enting fibre jesh spindle

What do you mean, widen my personal colourway?

OK, fine then. Let’s see about that colour stuff.

Colour Study

This is going to be a wee bit techie. Not too techie, because I came up with tricks for the extra techie bits, hoping that Deb Menz, author of the wonderful book Colorworks, would forgive me.

After Sarah Swett’s class on colour values, I desperately wanted to get back to my own colour study. I’d gotten as far as ordering 3 pounds of dyed merino from Morgaine of Carolina Homespun: one pound each of Yellow, Red, and Blue.

red pound

That’s what a pound of Red looks like. Just for fun, here’s the Blue Ball:

blue pound

My intention is to make a wall hanging of some sort for my studio, demonstrating the three primaries and the intermediaries when you mix the primaries together in various proportions.

First, I had to come up with the proportions I wanted. The numbers in the chart below refer to “units”. I know, it’s a clever boring  name; I could name them “whacks” or “hedgehogs,” because it’s just an arbitrary name. (OH NO. WAIT. I CAN call the units HEDGEHOGS, because it’s my party, right?. Right.)


The numbers in the chart below thus refer to the number of hedgehogs of each colour needed for each colourblock’s blend.

Next, I have to figure out the total number of hedgehogs I need for each primary colour: red, blue, yellow. I decided that the study would be done using 6 hedgehogs total for each colour “block”; thus a pure blue block would be 6 hedgehogs of blue, 0 hedgehogs of anything else. Here’s my colour block chart:


Notice that the blocks marked with arrows are not, in fact, blends; they are pure colours. The colour they are is indicated by the colour of the arrows: solid blue blocks are at the top of the first two columns; solid red, the bottom of the first and top of the third; solid yellow, the bottom of the second and third columns.

bag of yellow units

A bag of yellow hedgehogs, ready to go

I added up all the hedgehogs needed for each colour. Given that I only need one solid block of each primary, and I have two solid blocks, I subtracted 6 hedgehogs (one colour block) from each.

REd Yellow Blue

Adding up the blue hedgehogs in the first column gave me 21 hedgehogs; adding the blue hedgehogs in the second column and subtracting 6 gave me 15 hedgehogs. 21 + 15 = 36 hedgehogs of blue total. I got the same results for red and yellow: 36 hedgehogs each.

I weighed each ball and divided the weight by 36; each hedgehog was going to be about 12g.

NO WAY was I going to pull bits from that ball and add and take away 36 times until I had 36 perfect 12g hedgehogs of each colour. NO WAY.

So, I cheated.

red strips 1 unit

Sandi’s Cheating Method For Measuring Lots of Hedgehogs

    • I unrolled each one-pound ball so that I had one ginormous strip of roving. Then, matching the two ends together, I slid my hands down carefully until I had the loop at the end of two equal parallel strips. I pulled apart the roving at that loop (the halfway point of the strip, in other words).
    • Each strip now represented 18 hedgies; I had two strips total.
    • I again folded each strip in half and pulled the roving apart: 4 strips total, each 9 hedgies.
    • Now, I folded each strip into THIRDS and pulled so that one strip became three. Result: 12 strips, each 3 hedgies.
    • Finally, I folded each strip into THIRDS again and tore. End result: 36 strips, each 1 hedgehog. TA-DA!!

I weighed each hedgehog strip, just as a double check. Overall, it was amazing how many hedgies were EXACTLY 12g; the rest were close enough so that only minor adjustments needed to be made.

Using the colour chart above as a guide, I made up little packages of 6 hedgehogs each, one for each colourblock on the chart:

Blue to Red




Dusty Red to Yellow

RED TO YELLOW (again with Dusty supervising)

And now….I’m ready to play. Hand-carding or drum-carding to blend these blocks? Hmmmmm…

But first: I want to finish this:

mudras bracelet


I have one more “strand” to go. Laura Nelkinhas a nice variety of easy, fast beaded knitting designs; I highly recommend them.


I’m taking a wee break from Chispas; perhaps they will appear next time. Meanwhile, it only seems fair to provide you with something awesome…

beautiful blue sky

The blue of a spring sky outside my window

This guy takes being a guard dog very, very seriously. (In a cute way.)

Maru is five years old.

Wait. (Pause for thought.) I guess I did give you a Chispas, after all.

peace and joy till next time

About sandi

Knitter. Spinner. Quilter. UFO Wrangler. Sometime bead artist and weaver. Two toddler-age kittens, 1 permakitten, 2 grownup cats, 1 beloved dog angel, 1 spouse, 1 crazy life. I suppose that the 5 cats make me 1 crazy cat lady; OTOH, apparently, yes, I do need that much feline supervision.
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5 Responses to a look into my projects bin

  1. Rachel says:

    your Leftie is beautiful. Your color study is thoughtful, can’t wait to see the results. But Maru? I needed to see him and laugh today, thank you

  2. Tamara says:

    I wandered away from your post into Laura Nelkin-land and barely got back! MUST get the pattern for the delightful bracelets–I have a new urge to make Christmas gifts!

    And I echo Rachel–thank you so much for Maru–delightful.

  3. Kate says:

    I am going to count everything in hedgehogs from now on. 😀

  4. molly says:

    what a great concept! a house full of brightly coloured hedgehogs! an image that will be with me all day – thank you! cheers, molly

  5. Naomi says:

    I love that your 12-g unit is a hedgehog.

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