Photocalypse: Future Fair Isle

I have this crazy idea that I’m going to design a Fair Isle project. I’ve never actually done Fair Isle before. Clearly I’m insane. In any case, some of the most gorgeous examples of Fair Isle use multiple colors that gradually shift from dark to light. In order to pick out the right colors for this sort of effect it’s helpful to view the yarn in black and white so you can accurately assess their value.

Today’s #yarnpadc was “black and white” so I decided to take that opportunity to look at my possible choices for Fair Isle projects!

Staging and lighting were pretty much identical to yesterday – early morning light, diffused through the clouds of a gathering storm. I could hear thunder as I snapped these pics! I pre-sorted the yarn in the light box into what I thought would be the right value gradient and then laid them all out on a pillowcase in the backyard.

I’m going to show you the color photo first – this one was cropped and enhanced in iPhoto.


For the Instagram version I just cropped it a bit and applied the Willow filter and border.

For the iPhoto version I just did the light editing I already mentioned and then applied the “black & white” effect.

edited in iPhoto

edited in iPhoto

There are only two black and white filters in Instagram, and when I was testing them both out on the phone Willow looked the best. Inkwell looked too harsh. Now on the computer Willow looks way too soft. I decided to try it in Inkwell too, so here’s what it looks like using the Inkwell filter and border in Instagram.

It is a bit harsh. It looks like it’s overexposed or something. In this case, as a photograph I prefer the Willow-filtered Instagram, but as an instructional picture I feel like the iPhoto edited version is more accurate.

Also, I’m pretty smug about the fact that I seemed to put everything in the correct value order. Cora and Mrs. Patmore (fourth and fifth from the right on the top row) should switch places and the red that is the third from the right on the bottom row is misplaced (maybe should be the fourth or fifth from the left instead?), but that’s all I would change.


The One Pen to Rule Them All

I WANT THIS TO BE REAL. Please, please let this be real! This would be SO useful for designing! The next step in the design process for a Fair Isle project I’m working on is to find colored pencil equivalents for all of the yarn colors I want to use in the design so I can start testing color patterns. With this pen all I would have to do is point it at the yarn I want to use and start drawing. It’s the One Pen to Rule Them All. This post said it was still just a concept, but that was 3 years ago…perhaps it’s closer to being a reality now?


Colour chat


The idea is that you can use this pen to point at any object in the world, the pen then ‘extracts’ the colour, and then is able to write in that colour using a mixture of RGB inks that it contains.

Unfortunately, it’s just a concept, designed by Jinsu Park.


As far as I know there are no practical implementations of this interesting idea. One could make a strong argument that the pen should use CMY (or even red, yellow and blue) primaries since RGB primaries would result in a tiny colour gamut and wouldn’t allow the pen to reproduce any real colours at all. See

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