I'll start with a question for you: we don't have a topic for the session on 7 May (July will be spinning cotton unless you'd rather do something else), so is there something you'd like to investigate?
Now a quick summary of what I remember of what we talked about at the last meeting.
Colour blending to match a colour precisely
I started by talking about mixing primary colours (red, yellow, blue) to create secondary colours (red+yellow=orange, yellow+blue=green) and so forth. The book I used as an example of an explanation of colour theory is Johannes Itten's The Elements of Colour, which is currently available from Amazon at a vastly inflated price. Some of the 'also bought' might be as effective and cheaper. Sometimes I just play with coloured pencils.
I then described the system used to produce colour for print. Known as CMYK for its component colours (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black or 'Key'), these inks when mixed produced most of the colours in most of the books published until relatively recently. This is the system I used to produce the colours in the 'Hellebore' swatch that I passed around, working with the closest match to the ink colours that I could find:
Wingham Wool Work dyed 70s merino:
5/124 Bright Blue (Cyan)
3/72 Cerise (Magenta)
7/3 Canary (Yellow)
white/undyed (they do 7/1 vanilla, but I think I used undyed).
I posted a lengthy description of the blending process used to make the Hellebore yarns on my blog at the time; you can find it here.
Remember to spin samples of your blend before deciding you've got the colour you need: the colour may be more intense in the spun yarn than in the rolag because there are far fewer gaps and shadows between the fibres. The green I blended was too bright when spun - the colour of the rolag was made duller by the shadows, so it needed a tiny hint of black to recreate that dullness in the yarn.
Aids for choosing colours that work together
A colour wheel can be helpful if you're trying to compose a colour scheme from scratch.
My favourite way to find a set of colours is to work from a photograph or other illustration. Pick as many colours as you need, blend samples to match (remember to record the weights of the different colours used to produce each sample!) and decide if those colours span the full range you need for your project. If something brighter or darker is needed for contrast, choose another colour from the illustration and try it for effect. Remember that blending enough wool to spin for a large project will be time-consuming even if you scale up the quantities for a drum carder: take the time to choose the right colours.
Colour books such as A Book of Colors can be useful if you have no illustration to hand.
This is the term used to describe the way that our eyes and brain blend small flecks of colour together to create new colours. I brought a sample of yarns I'm currently working with to illustrate the principle: