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Archive for August 11th, 2007

A Veritable Assortment of Colorways

Saturday, August 11th, 2007

seaside colorwayFor those who are not in my business… a colorway is a collection of colors used together in something. In my case, it’s placing several colors on one skein of yarn.

You could take that word to mean other things, like the variations a rug at the store might come in, or clothing, or any other number of consumer objects. The stoles pictured in my previous post can all be considered to display a colorway, as well.

You might even stretch it to say that this weblog has a colorway of white with purple, teal and a touch of hot magenta. My most popular yarn colorway is called Seaside, and it is a combination of blue, turquoise, purple, and highlights of creamy white (see photo).

I was talking about color combinations in my last post. I’m very excited to hear feedback from some of you. Lynne of Memphis had started choosing a group of yarns for a stole and was not sure why they just did not work out quite right. Now she writes that she thought she was looking for all yarns with a blue tint when what she wanted was clear (not muted/grayed) colors. Yippee! She got it.

Actually, the lack of awareness of Chroma/ Intensity/ Saturation is most often the reason a combination doesn’t work when we think it “should” work. Or so it seems to me, having worked with many people in this sort of project.

Remember that color choosing is a very personal business. Someone might love periwinkle blue with hot yellow-green, and the next person will not understand how that might work. That said, I think if we would let ourselves trust our gut more we would have fewer mis-steps in this area. How many times have you heard someone say that they need to break out of their color rut and try something new? And then they never wear the new colored item… because it’s not a great color on them.

I say if you love a color, often that is because it makes you look wonderful. And if a color makes you look wonderful, then why would you NOT stay stuck there, or at least repeat it often? Why would you not want to look great every day?

Why would you think wearing orange for a change of pace would be good, when you look great in clear turquoise but not so hot in orange… or in my case, great in turquoise and terrible in periwinkle. I love periwinkle on my Goddaughter, Sara (who has soft red hair) but trust me, if I wore it you would inquire as to whether my health was failing.

I don’t propose following anything to the extreme, but I propose surrounding yourself with things/clothing/colors that give you a boost. I don’t look great with hot green next to my face but I love the color… so I get skirts in that color, or towels, or dishes.

So… I found a fascinating group of photos on Flickr, photos of the Babette Blanket from the Interweave Crochet magazine. A whole lot of folks decided to crochet this design, and they all had very different ideas about which colors they might choose for it.

The Babette Blanket calls for a good large handful of colors in the pattern. One person chose to do it in all white, some limited themselves to just a few colors, and some added more colors than were originally specified. I found it very interesting to play the photo slideshow (there are over 100 slides, so I recommend choosing the fast speed in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen).

I just let the colorways glance past my eyes and I tried to notice if there might be one color in there which I might prefer to be changed. If I felt that way (knowing that my choices are different than anyone else’s) I asked myself what it was about that color I wanted to swap out, that I thought made me like it less in the grouping. Often it was a too-much-gray or not-enough-gray situation. Sometimes it was a very-dark or very-light, sometimes it was a not-enough-warm/yellow or not-enough cool/blue situation.

The flickr photo slideshow (Babette Blanket Pool) can be found here.