Colour Skills at Leicester Guild

Colour skills at Leicester Guild was a happy day yesterday. I did a mini workshop called ‘Tints, Tones and Shades – a module of my Manage-Colour-before-it-Manages-You Workshop which take place in June. Tints Tones and Shades (TTS) is a basic colour skill that is useful when you have fibre or singles that is too Vibrant, too Dull, too In Your Face, or you just don’t like it! I have used it with colours that absolutely nothing would induce me to wear with great success and it is very useful when you want to ply with something, but don’t know what. Sometimes colours are too bright, too dull or just ‘too much’. A tint tone or shade will solve these problems.

There is much more to colour theory than this, Harmony, Warmth, Juxtaposition and Value, Strength Saturation for example but for a mini workshop  Tints,Tones and Shades is just right; it’s an easily learned technique which will give life-long benefit. I hesitate to use technical terms of colour theory as I find it makes people nervous – If someone doesn’t understand the language they lose confidence, tend to think they are ‘no good at it’, which is simply not true. If you never learned basic arithmetic, you’d be no good with figures – if you had been taught colour theory at school things might be different. Anyone who has enough insight to know what colour they DONT like, can easily learn how to use Tints Tones and Shades to make changes and influence outcomes in a predictable manner. i.e Manage colour. If not the colour takes control.  Hence the workshop title ‘Manage colour before it manages you.
Once you understand the how to manipulate colour using Tints, Tones and Shades it is a great confidence booster and useful when taking decisions in dyeing and weaving as well as in basic yarn design. I teach it with carders, so if anyone wants to learn how to make rolags this is a fun way of doing that too – you don’t notice you are learning two things at once! I prepared small bags of merino rovings in appropriate colours and took along spare carders  – my Golden Fleece Carders were very popular. The technique works well with blending boards and drum carders, but the finer the carders the better the result. My Golden Fleece carders are 119 pins per square inch, and Big Blending boards come in 72 pt and 119 pt. The finer ones are the most popular.


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