Before my book was printed, I often gave you little rya designing lessons here in my blog.  Now that the book is out, of course I am thinking, “Oh, I should have told them about this… or that.” So here is a technique I’ve alluded to, but now want to share in detail–and it is easy to do.

What is the easiest way to make color transitions so smooth that they look like paints bleeding into one another?  That was my goal when I sketched the design I call Red Sky at Morning (see page 169 in my book). I didn’t want to see the lines of shape designation as I blended colors.

I drew a big “sun circle” on my Rauma wool and linen backing by tracing a barrel lid. Then drew lines of energy radiation which I knew would take me from hot light yellow sun, through oranges, reds and into several shades of purple.  I made a threading card as a guide–but a loose guide from which I would flex my color choices as I moved upwards.

I worked on it. Nieces and nephew worked on it (at a weekend family reunion), and it progressed.

Right before the pandemic closed everything down, I did a program at the Carroll County Library Branch in Eldersburg, Maryland.  All who attended learned to make knots on Red Sky at Morning.

I moved slowly on it so I could save the knotting for classes I was to teach this summer, but due to COVID-19, those classes will not materialize this year. So I have not been holding back for the past few weeks as I plunge into the heart of the sun.

Now here is what I hope you will notice.  If I stuck rigidly to the lines on the backing, you would notice the color separations. But the trick to diminishing the “hard line” is to skip a knot right by the borderline and place a knot from the next color combination by the dividing line.  See if you can see what I’m talking about in these photos.  It is very effective.  Under the first arrow, do you see the orange strand in the yellow territory? Under the second arrow, can you see the yellow knot in the hot white sun area?  That is what I think will help anyone working on “soft transitions.”

And here is where Red Sky at Morning is today, June 11, 2020.

Any questions.  Feel free to ask or share in the comments. Comments won’t show up immediately, so be patient.

Happy Knotting,



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