Color vision

huge Umaro blanket

The ginormous wedding gift blanket – and part of the reason I only managed 19 FOs last year…

[Heads up – this is a image-heavy post. And a long post. I apologize in advance. Thank you all in advance for your visits and comments and views. I really really appreciate it].

For all of you who are looking to take a color vision eye test – sorry, you won’t find one here. Instead, this post is all about color and knitting and stash and the such. Yup, today’s Knitting and Crochet Blog Post tackles color:


Day Four (Thursday April 25th): Colour Review

What are your favourite colours for knitted or crocheted projects. Have a think about what colours you seem to favour when yarn shopping and crafting.

Only after writing this part of your post should you then actually look to see what colours you have used in your projects. Make a quick tally of what colours you have used in your projects over the past year and compare it to the colours you have written about. Compare this, in turn, to the colours that are most dominant in your yarn stash – do they correlate?

Now think back to your house animal – do the colours you have chosen relate to your animal in anyway – if you are in the house of peacock, for example, are your projects often multicoloured and bright?

Some of the 2012 projects I knit...

Some of the projects I knit in 2012…

I like color. I do. While I have plenty of black and grey items in my wardrobe, I also like and wear clothes in jewel tones. That would probably surprise my mother who is always complaining that I should wear more color. I bet that the Indian woman in her – you’ll just find way more colorful Indian sari rather than black. Western fashion is definitely influencing Indian fashion, but you’ll still find bright colors in combinations that I don’t think many people will wear here. I mean, a bright orange and neon pink shirt here? To wear as everyday clothing? Not my cup of tea. But when I’m in India, in a Sari store it looks just fine and I find myself seriously contemplating if I’d look good in that. Huh. I guess it’s all about the environment.

I’m not as much a fan of pastels… I just prefer the look of jewel tones. There’s something about those saturated colors that make me happy. Pastel colors – meh. Although I do like them a lot in my stash and knitting. I’m not a colorway discriminator 🙂 I’m just more of a color style discriminator. I like semi-solid colorways way more than crazy clownbarfy combinations (for all of you non-knitters, clownbarfy yarn is yarn that looks like a clown, well barfed on it: crazy multicolored). Not that I don’t enjoy funky socks, but honestly I’m much more likely to wear something that isn’t. And I don’t like pooling – especially not in garments. On my feet, ok, I can deal with that, but a sweater with pools color in patches here or there? Nope, I’ll likely not wear it, or overdye it to fix the pooling. And you should wear what you feel comfortable in, IMO.

multicolored yarns knit up

baby cardigan – grey yarn and crazy clownbarf yarn held together, and scrappy linen stitch scarf – ways to ‘break up’ multicolored yarns and avoid pooling…

I took a look at my projects, and as you may remember from yesterday, I knit a lot of gifts. A lot. Which means that the color choice is most of the time determined by the giftee – by their color wishes or by what I think they’ll like color-wise. It’s pretty ironic that a lot of them are grey, black or the dark end of primary colors – like the Struan hat I knit for my brother-in-law. The colorway is called Brothers Grimm (MadTosh, yay!) and it’s a very dark green that could almost pass for black, depending on the light. It makes me think of the woods, where the foliage cover keeps out the sunlight and it’s so green that it’s almost dark, no matter what time of the day. A very fitting setting for fairy tales and thus probably the reason why the colorway is named after the Brothers Grimm.

For me – I go through phases where I prefer one color over another. For the longest time blue was my favorite color, then I went through a green phase. Then I started wearing more red (again) and right now I really feel like knitting something in yellow. And wearing yellow. It just makes me so happy. Overall, I tend to stick to primary colors. Oh, and stripes. Give me stripes any day.

striped projects

some of my stripey projects…

As you can see, I love stripes. I have 21 projects with stripes, with an even mix between self-striping yarns and my own stripe creations. I’m actually joining a striped project KAL with any kind of striped project: socks, sweaters, scarves and shawls etc. And I have plenty of patterns involving stripes in my queue. One of the projects to be cast on within the next 30 days is a striped one. I have about 130 projects with some form of stripe element in my queue – not even counting those that could be modified with stripes.

So – I guess I’m beelike in that I move around between colors and design elements. At the same time, I have a thing for yellow right now and since so many of my gifts are in a dark/grey/black color, I have a bee color scheme going. And then the stripes, well, bees are striped. Ha!

Btw, last year’s knitting and crochet blog week also had us put up a post on the topic of color. It’s funny, I just took a look at what  I wrote, and yes, most of it is still true. I do like color, I still like striped yarns but not crazy color combinations, yada yada yada.

I leave you with a contemplation on my stash. I started putting this together yesterday as part of the Infographic but then decided to save that data for today’s post. (Btw, for all of you who asked, I got most of the information from my Ravelry project page and by playing around with the advanced search feature). The image isn’t  statistically correct – the percentages are different –  but the color sequence does reflect the color preferences in my stash.

Stash Color Distribution

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Improving Your Skillset

Day 6: April 28, 2012. Improving Your Skillset
How far down the road to learning your craft do you believe yourself to be? Are you comfortable with what you know or are you always striving to learn new skills and add to your knowledge base? Take a look at a few knitting or crochet books and have a look at some of the skills mentioned in the patterns. Can you start your amigurumi pieces with a magic circle, have you ever tried double knitting, how’s your intarsia? If you are feeling brave, make a list of some of the skills which you have not yet tried but would like to have a go at, and perhaps even set yourself a deadline of when you’d like to have tried them by.

Phew! After the amount of work that was Day 5, Day 6 should be comparatively easy. I mean, I don’t have to hunch over my photo setup, making minute adjustments – I shot at least 1400 frames, plus a few still, plus all that time music editing – so I ‘just’ have to take a few pictures, and write. I first thought that blogging really takes a lot of time, particularly blogging about a specific topic. I tend to take a lot of time taking photographs and crafting my posts… but this, this has been the most challenging part of any blog post that I’ve put up since I’ve had this blog (granted, this blog is just over a year old, but still)…

So, today talks about skills. I kind of talked about skills I’d like to acquire in last year’s post, so lets review how my goals measure up to my actual achievements. Hmmmm…..

I definitely want to want to try my hand at colorwork (I’m thinking of Spillyjane’s Swedish socks here), improve my sweater fitting skills, try beaded lace knitting, and maybe even dare to tackle my first steek (yikes!).

Well, I have certainly knit  a whole bunch of projects since last year – 39 to be exact. That includes 11 hats, 8 shawls, 4 pairs of baby booties and 5 different children’s toys. There are three items of clothing in there:

Yup, all three items of clothing are for kids. Not a one for an adult. But apart from the cardigan for a girl, they were already in the planning last year – I had already ordered the buttons and showed them off in last year Knitting and Crochet Blog Week’s embellishment’s post. I did make a few modifications to the dress and the baby cardigan – you’ll find more information on those on the individual pattern pages.

See? I did do some shaping work! I’m planning to knit a cardigan for my Mom, and for my sister (both Connie Chang Chinchio patterns), so there are two opportunities for garment shaping right there (plus I can knit a matching baby Austin hoodie for my sister’s kiddo!).

As for colorwork – well, I still haven’t knit the Swedish Fish socks – yet. Maybe I’ll knit them during this summer’s Ravelympics. For all of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m talking about the 2012 Ravelympics games where people knit/crochet simultaneously along to the Olympics, competing in our own categories. Really, it’s lots of fun. Anyway, I’ve seen awesome versions of the Swedish Fish socks where the fish charts are used to make awesome versions as sweaters or vests, too. So that’s on my to do list, but I have made a pair of fingerless mitts that have been well received.

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On to the next goal: Beaded lace knitting. Yeah, that hasn’t happened. It’s in the plans, but other wips have been intruding. You know, people having babies. People needing birthday gifts. People getting married. That kind of stuff that interfers with your wip list. Plus the occasional knitalong, and if there’s a pattern that catches your attention and you just HAVE to knit it right then and there yes, Color Affection, I’m looking at you!) I do have beads, and the matching yarn, plus the pattern – Haruni – or maybe Simurgh? – already planned out…

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Steeking. Eeek!!!! Yeah, I haven’t yet done that yet. I mean, who would feel good about cutting their knitting? But it’s such a great skill – makes it way easier to knit cardigans, or you can steek armholes and so on and on. It’s a skill I definitely want to acquire, and I think I have a good idea how to acquire it. I came across this awesome Missoni inspired chevron blanket pattern. Well, I’d originally bought Wollmeise Lace in a few different shades of red to create an ombre effect blanket, but now I’m thinking I’ll make the blanket with those different shades of red, plus black and white and grey thrown in too. And to make my life easier, I think I’ll knit the blanket in the round, and then just steek it in the end. That way I’ll hopefully be finished this decade. Now I just have to decide whether to hold the lace single or double….

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Given that I have enough on my plate – my queue is 43 pages long – I really don’t need to add other goals. Sooner or later I’ll come across a pattern or design that requires a new skill or a new technique, and I guess I’ll have to decide whether to sink or swim.

So that’s it for today. It’s almost tomorrow, and then I’ll have a post on my crafting balance. And then this year’s Knitting and Crochet Blog Week will be over. Wow, this week has flown by!

We now interrupt your program to bring you the 2012 Knitting and Crochet Blog Week

Well, hello! Let’s see if I can’t get myself blogging more frequently by participating in this year’s Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, so let’s get started:

Day One: April 23. Colour Lovers
Colour is one of our greatest expressions of ourselves when we choose to knit or crochet, so how do you choose what colours you buy and crochet or knit with. Have a look through your stash and see if there is a predominance of one colour. Do the same with your finished projects – do they match? Do you love a rainbow of bright hues, or more subdued tones. How much attention do you pay to the original colour that a garment is knit in when you see a pattern? Tell readers about your love or confusion over colour.

I’ve gone through different color phases – when I was a teenager, blue was my favorite color, then red, then again blue, and lately I’ve had a hankering for green. In general though I like jewel tones. I just don’t think that pastel tones look that good on me – and jewel tones contrast nicely with my skin tone (Indian girl here). And then of course there’s the ubiquitous black – hey, it’s slimming, and it supplements any color nicely, to my mother’s dispair. Ok, dispair might be overdoing it, but she’s always after me to wear more color. That’s probably due to growing up in India – you’ll find Saris in all and any kind of shades – such as hot pink with almost neon green. Nothing you’d wear here, but there it looks fine. Huh. But in general, you’ll find that colors are such a huge part of India and its culture, especially during Holi, the festival of colors.

But back to the topic at hand. When it comes to my stash,I find that you’ll mostly find green, then blue, then red, and a few gorgeous yellow-gold skeins. I also have a rainbow of colors in acrylic mix blends for my toy knitting, but the remainder of my stash basically consists of solid or semi-solid colors. In fact, I really like yarns with subtle color shifts, like these two – they look gorgeous when knit up, but still have visual interest:

Sundara Fingering Merino Cashmere in French Lavender

Yarn Chef Minestrone in Lime Wedge

I’m not really a fan of crazy color combinations in my yarn – I never know what to knit with them. At the most I guess I could knit socks with them, but really, I don’t like clownbarf. I actually bought this very clownbarfy yarn (yes, I didn’t pay attention, I thought it would have longer color changes). Ultimately I toned it down by knitting up the yarn together with a strand of grey in a baby cardigan (the pattern is the offside wraplan pattern).

clownbarfiness, prior to being toned down - What was I thinking?

saved from clownbarfiness by pairing the yarn with grey fingering weight yarn, resulting in a sport weight thickness, and I got gauge!

Knitpicks Felici in Rainbow

But I do love self-stripey yarns – I mean, stripey socks, what’s not to love? My most adventurous striped sock weight yarn is this one. It’s destined to become just plain vanilla socks, to let the stripes shine. And of course I have a set of striped socks in Germany colors – Regia released these World Ball colors leading up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup (soccer), so I just had to have a pair of these. I’ll get plenty of use out of them – both at the 2012 European Championship (again soccer), or at this year’s Olympic Games, or … In fact, I still have to make at least two pairs of adult socks plus two pairs of kiddie socks before June 8 – that’s when UEFA Euro 12 starts. Oy.

Ok, this has been a long ramble about yarn, so I’ll keep the project part short. Interestingly enough, the projects that I’ve knit for myself are mostly in the blue, green, and inbetween tones, while a lot of the projects for others are in red-purple tones. That obviously reflects the color wishes of the recipient – one of which is my sister who likes purple – but still. Who would have thought? (If you’re interested in seeing more details on those projects, feel free to visit my Ravelry project page. Or if you know how to add links to the individual pictures in a mosaic, please let me know!)

Blue to green

It’s just another manic Wednesday

Ok, the original song is about a Manic Monday, but still, live has suddenly turned rather manic. Where has all my time gone? I feel like I’m juggling too many things at the same time. I wish there were more hours in the day.

Apart from all that’s been going on, I’ve been knitting like a speed demon. I’ve gotten a little groove on my index finger where the tensioned yarn runs over my finger. And it’s not going away; in fact, I have broken the skin, and I’ll have to hunt down a band aid. I think I really need to practice my english knitting. I just don’t want to change to my other hand in the middle of the project – I’m concerned that my gauge might change.

But enough rambling. It’s Wednesday, so that means it’s time for another Yarn Along! My current wip is a Color Affection shawl. Mmmm, lovely squishy garter stitch, what more could you want? Plus colorful stripes, and a interesting pattern – perfect! I decided on the combination of grey and shades of green. I need to supplement my scarf/shawl wardrobe – I already have two in blue, but I gave my red shawl away, and I haven’t knit a green one, so this is the perfect opportunity. There are a few modifications, to make the most out of my yarn, so this will be huge and extra squishy. This is my April project for the 12 Wollmeise skeins in 12 months goals – once this one is done, then I’ll get back to the pea soup blanket. I’ll see my cousin and his fiancee next month, so I really want to finish this one. That way I can give it to them before the wedding – there’s just no way I’d give it to them during the wedding, they’ll be just too busy.

That’s it for my part for today. I’m participating in this week’s Yarn Along – there are links to other great Yarn Along posts there, with information on how to participate yourself. You can also find a link to this post through Tami’s Amis, through Ambassador Crochet’s Wip Wednesday and Frontier Dreams’ Keep Calm and Craft on (KCCO) series.

a brave heart

Hello, hello!

I hope you haven’t abandoned me yet. I know that I said I’d blog more frequently, and I will, really, I will – especially with the Knitting and Crochet Blog Week around the corner. There should be a yarn along post tomorrow. But for today, I thought I’d share a few pictures of that mystery KAL that I’ve shown you a few glimpses of in past posts. The pattern is now up – it’s called Impavido, hence my project name cuore impavido which translates to Braveheart. I’ve finally finished up my project pattern page, with all its notes. I added extra pattern repeats, so there are quite a few modifications in later parts of the project.

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I really really love this finished object. It’s so pretty, with its geometric elements, and I’m really glad I chose the green contrast instead of the light blue that I’d originally planned to use. And I used up a 1770 yard skein of lace, plus about 300 yards of fingering weight yarn. If you’re looking for a different pattern instead of the lace shawls, then this should be perfect. I love it.

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Hup Holland Hup

Hup Holland Hup means as much as Go Holland Go! Holland is actually only a part of the Netherlands, but is often used as a synonym in common language. Anyway, if you’ve ever been to a Dutch national soccer game, or seen the World Cup or something like that, you might have seen that the Dutch team usually wears orange – an eye-searing orange. It’s almost neon orange. Even though the Dutch national flag is red, white and blue, the color orange is the color of the royal house, and nowadays it basically represents national pride.

What’s the point of this? Well, I made freshly pressed orange juice today. Very very orange juice. Almost “Dutch” orange juice. I figured I’d be a bit of smartass 🙂 And by the way, and a (orange/lemon) juicer is a marvelous thing – if you’re frequently buying fresh pressed orange juice, you might want to seriously consider investing in a press. Yes it takes up a lot more space than a little hand juicer, but it’s so amazingly fast and convenient. And fresh pressed orange juice is so much better than your standard juice out of a box, or worse, one of those frozen orange juice concentrate things.

oranges

oranges

orange juice

freshly pressed orange juice

Celebrate color

Celebrate Color

Summer is nearing it’s end – Labor Day is right around the corner (it would be highly ironic if my sister goes into labor on Labor Day. We’re transitioning into fall, with all it’s glorious colors. And then, before we know it, it’ll be November, with it’s drab and grey weather, and rain (although that’ll be perfect sweater knitting time). But for now, it’s still warm and bright, and the the sun still holds the promise of summer. Then again, the weather can change rapidly and hurricane season isn’t over. Err, I better let sleeping dogs lie.

Anyway, I want to celebrate the season with all of it’s multi-hued colors while it still lasts. So this is the         perfect time to join in a blogging celebration of fall! There are color inspirations, monthly contests and prizes, and best of all a community to share and be inspired by.

Here’s my color current color inspiration:

wollmeise colors

yes, it's Wollmeise