When you use a yarn as wild as Zauberball Crazy Cotton Starke 4 yarn for your warp, it can be difficult to know what to use for weft that compliments the craziness. Surprisingly, these wild color combos can be great for stash-busting! We had a few cones of our Bluegrass Mills 6/2 hanging around, so we wanted to play with color, make something fun and funky, and share our results!
You can definitely experiment and try things out for yourself (and this little experiment we did is by no means all-encompassing) but if you’re new to weaving with patterned or striping yarns this could give you an idea of where to start with color pairing!
We warped the Zauberball Crazy Cotton yarn in the color Harvest Season with 12 EPI on our Schacht Flip Rigid Heddle Loom (but any loom with a 12 dent heddle or reed that is wide enough for your project will be fine) and began weaving with 6/2 Bluegrass Mills in the color Grey. Since Grey is a fairly dark color, it tends to “sink” below the colors in the warp so that the brighter colors are the first thing you see. Dark colors paired with bright does tend to darken the overall look, but that can provide a handsome result! Neutrals are also a great choice for any project when you don’t want to add too much color.
Next we tried BG Mills 6/2 in Fern, which had a similar effect as the Grey, but with more color! It’s still a fairly dark color overall, so it tends to sink back and let the colors pop a bit more.
Our next experiment was BG Mills 6/2 in Buttercup. We thought it would be a bit more subtle than this, but it proved us wrong quickly! Since it’s such a light color, especially when compared to the two we used before, it has almost the complete opposite effect: the Buttercup jumps right out, hitting your eyes before most of the paler colors in the warp!
Our next choice, BG Mills 6/2 in Hyacinth, was an interesting one! It’s a mid-tone color, not too light and not too dark, so it almost sits between the effects from the previous two yarns: it hangs right in the middle, complimenting the dark and medium colors, and toning down the paler ones. From a certain distance, some of the folks in the shop thought it almost looked iridescent!
We went for another neutral color, but one with a paler shade. This is BG Mills 6/2 in Dusty Miller, a shop favorite. It’s a neutral color so it doesn’t add too much to the wild array we already have, but because it is on the lighter side, it mutes a bit of the brightness in our warp. Again, even with the mild washing-out effect here, it’s a lovely result, and actually takes the overall feel of the scarf from bright or jewel tones to almost pale, maybe even a spring-like feel. It’s amazing what different colors interacting can do!
We decided that we wanted to play around with more light colors, so why not give the BG Mills 6/2 in Aquamarine a try? Similar to the Buttercup, this tends to “rise” to the surface of the textile, and hits our eyes a bit sooner than the rest. But look at how different the overall look is, just with a simple change in hue!
Our final choice was another neutral, BG Mills 6/2 in Slate, a good mid-tone. Look at it in comparison to the Hyacinth, and you’ll see that it has a similar effect without adding an overall purple tone to the piece. It sits nicely in the middle, balances fairly well with all of the colors, and doesn’t skew it one way or the other for color. Good old color theory helping us out again!
The lesson we learned here is that this cotton is Crazy! Light colors like Dusty Miller, Buttercup, and Aquamarine tended to lighten everything up and be the first thing we saw, whereas the darker colors: Grey and Fern, pulled to the back a bit more to darken the piece and serve as a background for pops of color. The more mid-tone colors, Hyacinth and Slate, were right in the middle brightening the darks and toning down the lights in the warp, without skewing hard in either direction.
Weaving will always “mix” your colors! There are ways to get more of the variegated color coming through in your final piece, such as using a smaller solid (like Maurice Brassard 8/2!), so that it’s slightly unbalanced, and showcases the warp more. If you don’t mind some fun color interplay like this, weaving with similar-sized yarns (one multi-toned and one solid) can be a really fun experiment, and even a more pleasant surprise!
So if you’re branching out with something a little wilder like Zauberball Crazy Cotton, just know that those leftover solids you already have can be the calm to the crazy – or you can always jump into a totally new project with color theory in mind!
As always, we’d love to see your own color experiments and what works for you in your projects! Share your crazy creations by tagging us on social media!