Sunday, May 02, 2010

Thinking about color

It used to be that I would go through my day thinking about color, or, more specifically, color schemes or colorways. I'd see a lovely flowering tree or a fantastical emerald beetle and begin plotting which colors to pull from the image, what dyes to use to achieve the shade, and what sequence by which to paint the skein. I still think in color, constantly, but there has been a great shift in emphasis. I rarely think in terms of sequencing anymore. The precise sequencing results in a truly variegated skein and is often best left to knits of a simple sort that allows the colors and yarn to speak for itself. A simple stockinette sock, in wild colors, that perhaps pools at whim, or creates lovely little swirly stripes can be a thing of fun and beauty. I have many of these colorways in the repertoire and love them dearly, but my mind just doesn't go there very often, creatively speaking, anymore.
Presently, I am mired in thoughts of semi-solid colors. Subtly shifting stitches of highlights and lowlights, and layers of color giving depth to each strand, enticing a glow of color from within. I am drawn more to colors that I would like to wear and those that suit the patterns that I want to knit. I must confess, I am not much of a sock knitter. I love hand-knit socks, and have a queue loaded with interesting patterns, and have even started a fair number of pairs. Finishing, however, is a whole other story. I am a sweater knitter. I can finish an entire sweater in half the time it takes to make a pair of sock. I tend toward more classic subtle colors in my attire. I love cables, and lace, and marvel at the development of stitch patterns within the knitted piece as they build row by row. I want yarn that compliments this, and enhances it, not yarn that battles for attention. I want yarn that I can paint with, in terms of stranded colorway designs, but that is also interesting enough in its own right.
I think I have made a bit of a reputation for myself for having bold, bright color. I worry if folks will feel some of that is lost with the introduction of so many colors in this new vein? (The established favorites are not going anywhere, tho, rest assured!) Certainly, that need not be the case! Bright and bold and clear -- colors that make me smile (I have always insisted on bright sunshiney colors for my umbrellas, to combat the gloom of a rainy day. My husband thinks I am strange.) -- will always be first and foremost in my mind, followed closely by rich, deep, equally bold but somehow more sophisticated tones that make me want to bite them. As I delve further and further into this art of fiber, I constantly find new and interesting things to try, and to perfect. It is never static. My goodness, how I love my job.
What inspires your knitting and color choices?


Kathleen said...

When I started to knit (2003), I was drawn to those beautiful multi-colored skeins. But as my knitting has "matured", I am more attracted to the semi-solids that allow stitch patterns to shine, whether lace or cables. And I so agree with you on those shifting shades making stranded projects even richer. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

KnittyLynn said...

Color. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't knit if everything were white. Certain shades get me excited and make me want to find just the RIGHT pattern to show it off. I'm an avid sock knitter and like Kathleen, the longer I knit, the more I lean towards semi solids, but there will always be room in my heart for a good obnoxious multicolor to brighten my winter days in Wisconsin!