Silver Threads

a knitting blog with occasional side trips


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Colour lovers

It’s Knitting and Crochet Blog Week again. This year, I know about it from the get-go. Whether or not I manage to come up with 7 posts is another matter entirely, but that is my goal this week. I have one, anyway! Assorted thoughts on color follow.

Day One: 23 April. 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 usually knit/crochet sweaters for myself,  so I choose the colors I wear the most often. Those colors are what I’ve decided I look best in. In what I suspect is a combination of natural inclination and training, there’s a great deal of overlap between those colors and the colors I love. The overlap isn’t perfect: my favorite color of all is egg yolk yellow, which makes me look unnervingly ill even as it boosts my spirits. Luckily for my sense of fashion, Carole Jackson’s Color Me Beautiful became a bestseller just I was going through my impressionable teenage years. As everyone got into analyzing their seasons, I decided that I was a Summer, a type that generally does best in cool, muted pastels. Hello pink, lavender, light blue, and cool green, goodbye yellow (now relegated to my coats and occasional housewares). It does make putting outfits together easier. When almost everything in your wardrobe falls in a relatively limited range of colors, it’s almost a challenge to make a combination that clashes.

More than once, I’ve heard the criticism that the seasonal color palettes, or any other system that claims that some colors work for you and some don’t, limit your choices. Why wear black and avoid orange just because someone who’s never seen you says that you should? Well, these writers only have as much authority as I grant them. I think of their books as suggestions that I’m free to take or reject as I choose. Like advisers, the writers have given me ideas, but in the end, it’s my decision as to what colors I spend my money on.

Every now and then I wonder if pink would be my favorite color to wear if I hadn’t read Color Me Beautiful. Do we decide on our favorite colors and then find them in the world around us, or are we exposed to certain colors so much that we decide they’re our favorites? My childhood bedroom was painted yellow, and it’s really hard to shake the suspicion that that had a lot to do with my choosing a color that comparatively few people have as a favorite.

While I only wear certain colors, there aren’t all that many colors I hate. Having read a number of color books over the years, I’ve learned that what I love about any color is its saturation, the technical term for the intensity or vividness of a color. I love pastels, I love brights, I have even gained a healthy respect over the years for the neutrals—hey, there are actual skeins of gray yarn in my stash (really!). But when the colors start getting grayed out and losing their oomph, I lose interest in them. An honest gray is a good and wonderful thing; a blue which has had so much gray added to it that it might as well be called gray leaves me cold. In the meantime, the ability to love many colors is an advantage. The times I’ve had the opportunity to knit/crochet for others, in colors that I normally don’t wear, have been times that invigorated my knitting and crocheting.

What’s your favorite color(s)? Do you have a reason why, or is it just something you’ve always liked, no questions asked? Do you wear it or prefer to admire it from afar?

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