I spend a lot of time developing my new fibre collections. Putting together colour combinations, fibre combinations, then seeing what they are like to spin, and then using them to create fabric of some sort. It's usually months of preparation and a lot of investment of time and money.
Usually to start off a concept and to get the creative juices flowing I use pictures and images. The latest collection of fibre, Hiraeeth, is all about the landscape of Wales, the history of Wales and the legends and myths that surround this beautiful country
I start off by writing a basic outline of the sorts of colours that I think I might like to use. I'm not a wordy person so the notes at this stage are usually pretty brief, seriously, most of the time I have a colour, then a colourway name and all the rest is in my head. I find writing descriptions of things really hard, it takes forever, though I am getting better! Instead I'll use pictures to get an idea of colours. You can take a look at the Pinterest board of the images that inspired Hiraeth here.
Once I get started the colours tend to flow quite naturally but I can't get an accurate idea of how they going to look until I see the finished fibres. I then order some prototypes, quite often what I think I wanted to use can change considerably at this point in time. I take a look at the collection as a whole, I want a good balance of colours, warm, cool, light, and dark. I look at how the colours interact together. This is also the point that I start test spinning. Colours become further blended and darken when spun.
Sometimes my first idea becomes the fibre blend that you see on the shop shelves. Most of the time the colour will go through two or three further development stages. When I'm happy with the colour way I'll do a larger test spin of around 100 g, at the same time I'll also be on the lookout for a pattern that I can use to show off the colours. That way you, the customer, can gain an accurate idea of how the colour will end up in your finished projects
When all that is done I'm ready to launch the new collection. I'll spent a lot of time taking photos. I try to capture the colours as accurately as I can, not always easy with this complex blend of fibre types and colour. This is where I also try to translate the inspiration swirl of images and emotions in my head in to words, so you can see what I was trying to capture.
Hiraeth has been months in the planning, and due to an issue with one of the components I’ve not been able to finish of the collection. I’m so pleased to be able to say that the wait is nearly over. The final colours are on their way to me, so will be in the shop very soon, along with the sample packs. Pray for good light over the next week so I can get the photos taken as soon as I have the fibre!
Those of you who keep an eye on the Ravelry group will also know that something else new is on the way. I’ve been posting teaser photos over the last few days of some spun skeins of sparkly loveliness. Just like with Hiraeth there’s a theme behind them, and a whole collection of wonderful colour. I’m currently at the second round of colour development and hoping to get this collection rolled out in a shorter time frame than Hiraeth.
The blended fibres are always popular, they spin beautifully, and a re a nice low cost way to inject some colour in to your world. I've been having a think over the past few days (hurting shoulder leads to less doing, more thinking!), and I'm wondering wether a Blended Fibre club might be of interest to people.
You get the benefit of my colours, in a smaller quantity (though nice large quantities are also possible), for a similar price to the BoB club curently. There's always people who are desperate to join the BoB club, but I can't fit more of you in without neglecting something else, this is hopefully a way for you to get a different sort of club membership.
Edit to add- wow you lot are keen.
The club is happening, you can find out about it here.