Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Color, Color, Give Me Color

Here I am, wearing my favorite project EVER - the one I finished in mid-May and am talking about on here ad naseum. The reason I drag it out again is because I have been following, with great interest, an ongoing thread over on Knitter's Review (my favorite forum), about the topic of Handpainted Yarns.

One thoughtful and amusing commenter mentioned that she wasn't all that wild about handpainted yarns, that there are many color combinations she sees, especially by well-intentioned but less than skillful hand-dyers who looked more like "clown barf." I was interested in her point of view and started thinking about it. What followed her thought-provoking comment were six solid pages of folks, nearly all unanimous, jumping on her bandwagon and agreeing that didn't like the color combinations put out by many of the hand-dyers. Many of them mentioned that they liked only the solid or semi-solid colors, especially when used with pattern stitches, such as lace.

After reading these comments for days, and with the opinions become more and more stern about the inadvisiblity of using multi-colors in anything but socks, I couldn't take it any longer and just HAD to speak up as a voice in the extreme minority.

You can read the whole discussion by going to Knittersreview. I'll briefly restate my opinion:

I committed the cardinal sin of the unsophisicated knitter by making my shawl in handpainted multi-color sock yarn. I'll probably be making even more in the future. Not a mistake in my eyes - though they are perhaps untrained since I don't have a Ph.D. in color science nor an art degree.

Confession: I like color - I LOVE color - and most often NOT in solids/semi-solids. It seems that those with better "color sense" prefer color to be used in a conversative way - not me. That's why I've made this:

and this:

I guess I'm out of the mainstream. Wouldn't be the first time (nor hopefully the last!)

Personally, this is all FUN to me. I don't knit for a living. Luckily for me, I'm not a professional or I might not enjoy it so much. I knit for fun. I make colorful things for fun - to spice up life, which sometimes is way too serious and depressing. This is one area of my life where I can cut loose and not be critical of myself or others.

I realize that some people might not like my use of color - and that most folks are more conservative in their choice of color - especially when combining more than one color in a garment, and that's okay. But I had to speak up for the more "colorful" among us - yes, I like colorful garments and the people who make and wear them.


Elysbeth said...

I second the notion! Colour, Colour, everywhere.

Phyllis said...

That free form vest turned out really nice!

Ana said...


I love color too! The vest is "AbFab".

Your lace shawl is beautiful too!

I just got into lace knitting and now I can't seem to get enough.

Happy Knitting

Laura said...

I love color, some of the stuff out there IS clown barf, but not all. Sheesh. I think there's some really wonderful colorists out there, Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Scout, Lorna's Laces, and Dave Daniel's work come to mind.

You tend to pick colors that flatter you, which is a wonderful color scheme. I love the autumn colors and really enjoy seeing what you choose and create.

ChelleC said...

Thanks for the "amen" you guys. When I consider the blogs I most love reading - yours Ana, as well as Laura's, Elysbeth's and I must not forget my long-time "favorite reads" - Colorjoy (Lynn) and Passionknits (Jen) - many of these knitters share my love for color. They also share an appreciation for things that are "different" and very creative.

Bess said...

Let's hear it for color! And a round of aplause for your beautiful lace in shocking stocking colors. What a grand idea.

Whenever I see a thread on KR that has more than 3 pages of posts I avoid it, but I read the handpaint thread when it was first up. I thought the post was interesting and had a legitimate point, but once everyone began to dis handpaint I sort of got the picture and haven't revisited it. I agree that Some hand dyers make ugly combinations, but since I didn't read any more posts, I never did find out if anybody mentioned the idea that since only 1 or 2 companies make the dyes, there's bound to be a similarity of production.

anyway, let's hear it for color and your vest is fantastic.