Welcome to the Third Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, Stitched Together Style! If you have been visiting here a while, you might remember last year was my first outing with this spectacular event. I really wasn't sure if I was going to take part, at all, this year as my health has been poor of late, but I decided to have a go and try and take part as much as I can. This means I might not post every day, particularly on the more active participation days, but I decided I did at least want to try to join in with this really great event.
Last year I found so many interesting new blogs to read and subscribe to, and I am pretty sure I gained a few new commenters too. I love how this one week gives such a broad insight into how bloggers around the world view themselves and their crafts. It also gives us a peek inside their lives. This is why I want to join in with this event, even if it is just for a few posts. I want to be part of something that is so large and interesting, in whatever small way I can.
So on to the first day's topic - Colour.
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 love colour. There is no two ways about it, I will choose a vivid and glorious colour over black every day, except in my clothing staples of skirts and trousers. I always like to have black skirts and trousers so I can wear a bright contrasting top, preferably hand knitted, but I will settle for shop bought, if my knitted wardrobe isn't quite there yet. I have a couple of favourite colours, purple and teal. I also really like lime green and cobalt blue. I always go for these colours, given the choice. They are the colours that lift my spirits.
For instance, here is the yarn I bought for my 4 ply version of Lily's Slice of Pi Shawl.
I bought these two yarns from different dyers about a month apart without a project in mind. I just bought the yarn because I liked it. They went perfectly together, but it wasn't planned, it is just that this particular shade is something I happen to love. It will always be my first choice of colour.
Because, I keep repeating colourways in my stash, I am trying really hard to expand my colour choices. I keep forgetting that lots of colours suit me and when I am making garments or accessories I should be using colours that work with the wardrobe I have, as well as the wardrobe I want to have. For this reason, for one of the first times ever I actually bought black yarn for something other than toy knitting! I never buy black yarn, because black is the colour I get from the clothing stores. But I bought black because I wanted to make a black cotton dress. I wanted something that I could jazz up with zingy bright coloured shawls and cardigans. I actually bought a yarn that would work with my wardrobe and my existing knits.
I have another thing that forces my colour selection, other than my overriding desire for teal and purple, and that is my budget. Most of my garment sized yarn purchases are from eBay or from clearance sections of various websites. I don't have a lot of money so when I see a great bargain of a nice yarn in a decent quantity, I tend to buy it, unless it is a colour I really can't wear. This isn't a bad thing, as it forces me to look at a colour in a different light. Clearance yarns tend to be from discontinued colours or yarns, which means they aren't necessarily in colours that scream "BUY ME". The black yarn was a case like this. But I also managed to get some purple yarn for a bargain last month too! It is very unusual to get one of my favourite colours as a bargain, so I had to get it!
I have actually got some really lovely yarns on clearance that I would never have been able to afford any other way. Two of my recent favourites are, Maylla and Sawya.
Both of these yarns are made by Mirasol, which is a fair trade yarn, so I feel bad about not paying full price, but I wouldn't be buying them at all at the recommended retail price. This muted blend of greens is not completely outside the norm for me, but I wouldn't have selected it as my first choice normally. It is a much more muted shade than I would normally jump at knitting with. I think, however, it will be a great yarn to knit with and more importantly to wear. At the end of the day that is what I am doing with this yarn. I am buying it to turn into something to wear or to use around the house. If I was buying clothes from a store I would definitely buy something in this particular blend of colours.
The Sawya yarn is again a selection I normally would not make as an initial impulse to knit with. It is cream. A colour I normally steer well clear of outside of floaty blouses.
This cream wasn't just an off-white shade though. The more I look at it, the more I love it. This soft buttery colour really is enhanced by the delicious yarn. I think it is much easier to love a colour if the yarn is gorgeous too!
These bargain purchases are really good for me. They pull me away from my favourite hues. They make me look again at what I really need from my colour. Do I need it to make my heart sing, or do I need it to be flattering and versatile? Basically I need my colours to do both. My bargain yarns are primarily what I can afford and I buy sock and lace weight yarns to make my heart sing. I can afford single skeins of jewel like colours to lift my heart and my outfits.
This BabyLongLegs Semi-Precious 4 ply yarns has to be a perfect example of my "treat" yarns. A single skein of mouthwatering colour on a beautiful yarn base. It will become a flash of colour around my neck, to make me smile on a grey day. This is a sample of a true colour of my heart.
I think we need all kinds of colours in our lives, those that are there to blend and comfort, and those that are an accent or a highlight against the background hues. I know what I prefer, but I am beginning to understand, not just because of my bank balance, that the background colours can be just as heart-warming and dramatic in their own way.