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Archive for September 9th, 2009

My Palette from Nature

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

I asked you all to contribute links to images. They were to inspire you, me and others who visit here, with possible three-color combinations for my Hot Waves sock design.

Tuesday afternoon I went for a walk with beloved friend Cynthia. We were walking down a sidewalk on Grand River Avenue in Old Town (Lansing, Michigan) and saw this:


So many thoughts flooded my mind! First was… wait! Petunias don’t grow as weeds! Next was to appreciate the colorful beauty. Then I noticed the contrast between the delicate, vibrantly-blooming, healthy petunia and its neighbor, the prickly thistle (also healthy).

And no surprise… the last thought? Wow, I would like to do a pair of socks in magenta, green and yellow. (Do you see the tiny bit of yellow on the tip of one of those thistle’s leaves???)

I went to a favorite site I don’t visit enough, because I could stay there and never leave. It is called ColourLovers.com (yes, it is spelled correctly, obviously they have roots outside the USA). I have a free account with them which allows me to make palettes of color on screen.


You can tell them to start with a photo on the web, by giving the photo’s URL (web address). I tried that way first, but nothing came up that was the vibrant assortment in my mind.

I then (of course) built one by hand instead. It is not literal in color, it is inspired. That means my yellow and green are more about the feel I get from the photo, than the colors literally in the photo.

Notice the purple comes from the wilting blossoms, past their prime. Lovely, though on their way out.

Another Experiment with Combinations

I did another very fun experiment, thinking of you folks and your assignment for new colorway combinations for my sock design. I opened up a photo of both already-knit sock colorways, in PhotoShop. I cropped the photo so that it mostly just showed the sock colors and not the porch I was on for the photoshoot.

Then I went to the menus Image/Adjust/ Hue-Saturation. I adjusted the “Hue” slider to see possible other color combinations. The second photo here was set for -84.


It is true this second exploration was not inspired by nature, per se, but it started with real colors and took them to another place. I love how the tree is magenta in the background!!! I also really do like both new color combinations.

I find it amusing that when I adjusted color in the first photo to try to make it more like real life, I could not make the green bright enough. Now, on the second photo here, I have an incredibly intense yellow-green. Not the same as the first sock, but as bright. Sigh…

hotwaveselizabethcolorsIn the first day’s comments, Elizabeth said she would pick purple, red and green. I was able to get something like that by playing a little more with the hue slider. I am sure these are not the exact variations on those three colors she was thinking of, but I sure had fun trying.

Contest Question of the Day

For those who missed my announcement yesterday, I am running a 7-day contest with the prize a copy of the book Joy of Sox. This book includes the pattern for the sock shown above. It is my design, and it is called Hot Waves.

If you answer just in words, you get one entry in my contest. If you answer with words and also include a link to an image on the web illustrating your point, you get a bonus entry, total of 2, for that day.

You may answer once each post for my 7 days of columns (post 7 responses on the last day if you wish, I won’t mind). I will pick a winner next Tuesday. Let’s have some fun until then!

Which item in nature, makes you take notice of its color most completely? Or at least, which is one which has taken you by surprise recently?

In my case, I was most amazed by the colors of a fuchsia plant in a hanging pot, on the front porch of a friend. I had never seen such a plant, and it looked as though it had to be artificial because the colors were so intense and the blooms so sculpted. Please take a peek at this one, to see what I mean.

Funny, the colors in that photo go well with those in my self-created palette above. I’m so predictable, though I hope in a fun way.

I look forward to reading your comments. Remember, if you include a link, I have to physically approve your comment before you will see it on my site. Don’t worry if it does not show up instantly. Thanks a bunch for playing along. I’m having a great time.

(Consider going back to yesterday’s comments and following some links, they are very inspiring.)