I love sunsets, they are so fleeting yet spectacular while they last. I take a lot of pictures of sunsets. Here’s a selection from the last few months:


This week has been good for sunsets (we’ve had clearer skies than we’ve had for a while and some lovely warm September days). I’ve been wondering if I could use a sunset as the inspiration for a yarn.

It’s quite a common practice for a picture or an object to be the inspiration for a yarn. It’s the approach taken in Creative Spinning.  It’s also the approach I took when designing and spinning my Doctor Who yarn.  The structure, the colours and even the materials chosen to create the yarn can all be inspired in this way.

But how abstract can the yarn be? I could select colours that are in the sunset: gold, red, peach colours as well as blues and greys, then blend these together to produce a marled yarn. From a distance it could look fairly brown or beige (depending upon the strength and balance of the colours selected), but up close the colours would be obvious and give a pleasing depth to the final piece.

Alternatively, I could keep the colours more distinct, and produce a yarn that gives more of the appearance of the sunset when it is made into a fabric, but would still be very abstract and would be moderately uniform over the whole piece (like a fragment of the sky repeated over and over).

Finally, I could try and capture the whole sky from dark blue furthest to the east to peach and pale blue nearest the western horizon, with the reds, golds and greys of the clouds illuminated by the setting sun. This could be a yarn that contains a picture that’s revealed when it’s turned into a fabric.

I like the final idea. A yarn that when it’s woven or knitted could be an impressionist’s painting of a sunset, made with wool instead of paint.

I did some dyeing a few days ago. I used Sugarflair (artificial food colour) on white Blue Faced Leicester. I think the ball at the front contains many of the colours of the sunset. A starting place for my sunset yarn (the idea is likely to brew for a while, not least until I’ve cleared some works in progress off my wheels).


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