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.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week Day 3 - Visually Speaking

The challenge for Day 3 is to create an infographic. This is actually something that interests me and, if you are also a geek, there have been an interesting series of articles about them on Harvard Business Review Blog recently. However, life has been busy and so I cheated and went with a template based on the google analytics for this blog. That's not to say it's not pretty cool. Infographic for my blog
I need to think about this a bit more to work out what it means. Clearly I'm distressed my page views are down 0.6%. But on the other hand I'm delighted 21.76% of you are coming back for more - hi!
Here is a quick widget for you to 'hi' back - or you can leave a comment of course.

And in other news...dig my handbag - my latest FO.
Patchwork Handbag
I am going to have to do a proper post on this once KCBW is over. It deserves its own post. It is q-u-i-t-e awesome. Quite.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week Day 2 - Project Planning (4KCBWDAY2)

Day 2 is about thinking of or researching a project that embodies your house. I have just the thing...

I have joined a swap on Flickr for a small purse/pouch. To join you had to post an inspiration mosaic for your Partner to use when deciding what to make you. This is mine.
inspiration mosaic for purse swap
If you click on the image you'll find the links to the individual photos on Flickr. 

I've always found these mosaics (which anyone can make here) a useful way of gathering ideas. There's one from 2010 on resin pendants here. I've been putting a few together after seeing my partner's mosaic and very brief questionnaire. 
Hexagon button inspiration
Heather-Ross collage
Hexagon Embroidery Inspiration

I am also a great believer in letting the sub-conscious mull over a problem/idea and letting a solution occur over time. For instance I've been wondering what to do to with regards to quilting my hexagon handbag. During my 4am coughfest I decided pebbles was the way forward. 
detail of pebble quilting
It is one of the techniques I tried when I did a machine embroidery course and a bit of practice on scraps should get me back to a suitable standard again. 

The niece-in-progress is rapidly approaching FO status. I have therefore whipped up a couple more of these.
Box Pouches for Sian 2
The nursery has a seaside theme and the father is doing up an old VW van. I've followed this tutorial again but have added an end strap for hanging on to them.
Box Pouches for Sian 1
You just pop it in when sewing across the corners of one end of the outer fabric. A handy addition.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week Day 1 - Early Start

I have been coughing like a mofo for more than a week now. Thus my early start at 5am this morning. In the early days of Pinterest a regular pin was one stating marshmallows were invented as a sore throat remedy.
I am therefore maintaining the profits of marshmallow (and hot chocolate) manufacturers in the London region.

All this means I can start KCBW early though and the theme for today is why you chose your house.
"The House of Bee: Bees are busy and industrious, but can flit from one interesting project to the next as bright and shiny things capture their interest."
Let me begin with a story...

Picture a french lesson for a class of thirteen year olds in the early nineties. The teacher wheels in a television on a trolley. The TV is roughly a cube and weighs more than the teacher.
"new" vista television (Riverview Theater 3/4)
A video recorder is attached to the television. The teacher gets out a video tape and puts it in the machine. The screen lights up and the class starts to fidget. "Blimey!" says the teacher. "The TV goes on and you all stop concentrating. Easy to see the effect TV has had on your generation."

Now to be honest Miss Williams undoubtedly never said "blimey" in her life but it was 20+ years ago and I forget her exact words. The gist though has stayed with me all this time. The generation before me were mesmerised by moving screens while my generation had them in the background in their formative years and so grew up, depending on your viewpoint, multi-tasking or unable to concentrate on one task. It has certainly left me unable to "just" watch television. Hence the state of my sofa and the table next to it. This isn't me but illustrates my usual position in front of the goggle box.
Knitting on one side, at least one patchwork project on the other. Ideas notebook buried under a pile of fabric scraps. You get the idea.

As I have got older I have got slightly better at keeping the WIPs down. I have a list on my phone of other projects I want to begin once these are finished. When I started blogging I followed A Mingled Yarn, who sadly decided to stop blogging at the end of last year. I was amazed when many years ago she revealed her stash - which consisted of about 7 balls of yarn, all of which she had firm plans for. I realised then that she had one project at a time on the needles and that amazed me as I can't imagine concentrating that hard on just one thing for any length of time.
MD - Rodin's Thinker

So that explains me and how I work, both in craft and in my professional life - where frequent interruptions mean this style is a strength.

Tomorrow's blogpost is all about a project to embody my house and fortunately I have one in mind - for a swap I recently joined. Until then...

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