Thursday, 25 April 2013

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week Day 4 - Colour Review

First, let us be clear. It is c-o-l-o-u-r not color. There is no 'you' in color. No 'u' know what I mean. There is a u, clearly. Colour.

Many years ago I went off to a Specialist to "get my colours done". In fact I blogged about it back in 2007 and the business I went with is still in operation. It seems hard to believe now that up to that point I didn't wear purple and was actively trying to include more pale pink in my life. Although it was a luxury I found it very worthwhile and I still have the little wallet of colour swatches - and in fact took it to SkipNorth with me.

Colour is something I think about a lot both as a knitter and as a sewer. In fact I selected this image for my inspiration mosaic for a swap recently.
Silk threads from Mulberry Silks.
It is from The Embroidery Thread Lovers Group on Flickr which is for people who like looking at pictures of embroidery thread. DON'T JUDGE ME! I lead a quiet life and have no cats. I adore all of these colours. I can imagine wearing layers of clothing in these colours and striding around in a light breeze looking all exotic. Imagination - awesome.

I find choosing colours for fairisle highly problematic and have tried using tools like colour palette generators to help. The idea is simple. Take a photo/image with colours you like in it (I've chosen this one just as an illustration)...
Obligatory Knitting
Upload it and get your palette...
It is difficult though because this doesn't exactly translate to yarn colours automatically so you still have to go and find yarns that match. The best bet (especially for fairisle) is to try Jamiesons of Shetland. They have 220 colours in their gorgeous yarn but it is not ideal (for me at least) for wearing next to the skin - so what if you don't want to commit to always wearing a long sleeved, high neck top underneath? Plus you really need a shadecard to see the colours for real to choose them - and their shadecard is £12. Probably worth the money considering the work it must take to create one but...£12.

All this means that I do not do half the fairisle I would if I had more colour confidence. What I do knit ...
Kauni Cardigan
...tends to do the colour for itself. And when making quilts...
Patchwork Quilt
...I tend to stick with a particular colour group.

It is strange to me that I am more than prepared to dive in and try something, prepared for it to be awful, when thinking about a concept. But when I have the concept or idea and am confident about it, I am not willing to take a risk on colour choices. Perhaps the moral for today could be to be prepared to take more colour risks in the knowledge that when I do that with overall projects it often turns out quite well. Or I get over it if I have to throw it away once finished.


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bagqueen said...

Just seen a Kaaffe Fassett exhibition about colour advertised, its at The Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey Village until 29th June. Think you might enjoy it!!

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