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Photo to Project

photo to project: creating a yarn from a photo inspiration

When I need a fun challenge, I’ll often ask folks who follow my Facebook page for a favorite photo or color combo to use as a guide for inspiration.
It’s one of my favorite “party tricks” to do – I often get color and texture prompts that I would never pick on my own!

My friend Brandon gave me a photo of a painting by Jay DeFeo, The Jewel. I was PUMPED to try it.

Taken from his phone, obviously. If you want an interesting sidebar into how photography changes the presentation of paintings, look at the gallery link above. I worked from this version of the painting, so my color choices are based on it.

The first thing I do when I take on an assignment like this is to look over what colors I want to focus on, then choose fibers to bring out those colors.
I look at my fiber stash like a palette and walk through, choosing a variety of tones that will combine in ways that give me the feel of the piece without necessarily being an exact match.

Not every shade I chose is obvious here, but this gives you an idea of the array of colors involved.

The next step in carding is deciding how I want to lay out and blend colors on the drum as I go. I usually take the fiber I’ve selected, and divide that in two halves. Each half will get carded in one set. Sometimes those sets get mixed up and reblended together, but this time I kept each set to itself.

The toughest part sometimes is deciding if I want to keep it to only one pass through the carder, or if it needs multiple passes. The more you run the fibers through the carder, the more blended your batt becomes. That can be desirable or unwanted depending on the effect you’re going for.
I was trying to suggest the broad strokes of color, but also make sure that my luxury fibers like the silks stayed incorporated in the batt. Having silk peel away from the batt is not something I like!

The final batts. Not an exact copy, but definitely inspired!

I decided to spin the yarn with LOTS of texture, in a super bulky mode, to make the best of the colors and to reference the feel of the source photo.
I added some locks from various animals in purples, and an autowrap of a bronzed, glittery thread. After spinning the yarn in a bulky thick and thin with the autowrap, I chain plied against itself for maximum bulk and fun. Want to see how it came out?

I hope you enjoyed this process post! If you’d like to learn more about how I create yarn and fibers, I invite you to check out my Patreon.

photo to project: creating a yarn from a photo inspiration

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