The first week of classes is over, and survived by all. It was an exhausting, hectic week,  but a good one overall. From faculty orientations to convocation ceremonies, to department meetings, technology help sessions, and teaching, there was never a dull moment.

By the end of it all, my brain was pretty well spent, so I’ve spent the weekend doing almost nothing that requires thought, and shirking off on all my chores. Instead, I spun some of this:

into this:

This is my favorite of the three colors so far (I thought it would be, so I saved it for last). The upper picture is a little truer to color; it was a gray morning, so it was hard to catch the light just right.

That meant that I had three bobbins ready to go:

So I plied off the first skein of yarn. I really wasn’t sure what to expect with the plying; I’ve experimented with mixing variegated rovings before (see here for a before shot of the orange yarn in the fall colors sweater), but never with quite this complicated a mixture. I love each of the colorways separately, but really wasn’t sure how they’d look when I plied them together. Turns out, I needn’t have worried.

It makes a beautifully variegated yarn, with changes that are subtle enough to make a uniform skein, but varied enough to stay interesting.

I’ve been thinking about this yarn for quite a long time. Branden had a wonderful sweater that we bought years ago with slate blue, dark green, and black all mixed together in a single yarn. (I never pulled it apart to figure out, but I am pretty sure it was a three ply yarn in three colors.)  It was a really nice sweater, until it got ruined in the wash when a different sweater bled all over it and stained it in spots. I had washed both sweaters often enough to be pretty sure they were colorfast and safe together, but that day they weren’t, and that was the end of that.

When I knit my sunset sweater, I discovered how much I liked the color effects of a mixed-ply yarn. The tiny specks of different colors gives the fabric an almost impressionistic feel.

I wanted to combine those two effects together to achieve a yarn I have been unable to get from dyeing a single colorway.

I wanted to capture the colors of Branden’s eyes. They are blue in some lights, green in others, sometimes flecked with gray. And always, there are those tiny bursts of brownish-yellow and the ring of darker green-gray at the outer edge. I have very uniform (boring!) brown eyes, so I find it fascinating that his contain so many different colors.

I’ve tried dyeing and spinning these colors before, but they always end up muddied. The yellow mixes with the blue and I get a green I don’t want, or the weighting of the different colors comes out such that one completely overpowers the rest. This time, I made them separate and then spun them together, and I think we have a winner.

I’d have liked a tad bit more of the darker gray, but the rest is there. And, just like his eyes, the color changes from moment to moment and in different lights.