I’ve been exploring landscape painting with my yarn, trying to catch the unique beauty of the country I love so much. I’ve lived in the American West for nearly 15 years, and I have not explored nearly as much as I would like. Still, the colors of the landscape have had a powerful effect on my work. From the high desert mountains of the borderlands, through the red rock country of Dinetah, Navajo country, up into the wild Rockies, the colors of the West have impressed themselves on my mind. I have three new landscape painted yarns — two of them are in double sized skeins, DK weight Merino in 8 oz. hanks of 560 yards each, and the third is Aran weight Cashmere Merino.
The Cashmere Merino is called Idaho Christmas, and the colors are deep olive green and coppery red. Not actually Christmas colors — this yarn was painted after the colors of the Sockeye Salmon, just emerged from the cold waters of the North Pacific, ready to make his way up the wild rivers of Idaho to his spawning ground. The Sockeye is a very big deal in these parts, so powerful and beautiful. I saw a Bald Eagle once snatch a fully grown Sockeye from the Yukon, just after the ice broke up on the river. I wanted to make a yarn as wild and powerful as that image.
The Yellowstone yarn reflects the weirdly beautiful colors of Yellowstone, with those wild granite mountains, the mineral pools and heat vents and just a touch of brown for the bison. The first time I went to Yellowstone, it was the middle of June, and I drove into a blizzard. Our little tent and sleeping bags were buried under a foot of snow in the back of the truck! My son was actually quite pleased we had to bail on the camping and stay in a small cabin.
The Santa Fe yarn is colored with the gorgeous turquoise, the deep forest green of the Carson National Forest, and the rusty red of the sandstone cliffs and the Sangre de Christo Mountains. I tried to capture the light, that light just before sunset that turns the landscape to gold.
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