Thursday, September 20, 2007

Red Alert!

I am a color junkie. I am addicted to playing with, manipulating, and staring at color. I also think a lot about it works, why it works, what colors mean.

I have been pondering these questions again this week because I once again watched talented and intelligent individuals freak out about combining colors at the retreat last weekend. I have an inate sense of color and, I am told, a wider perceptual range. That is, I can discern finer degrees of variation between shades than most people. I know it is a gift, and I am grateful to have it. But having this gift, I am always startled when I see someone else struggling to match colors. I just do it and it doesn't occur to me that others need to think about it. So on the drive home, I worked out a plan for a workshop to teach the simple tricks that I take for granted to others. (If you would like information on the workshop, email me!)

The other color issue that I have been pondering for a while is color ruts. We all get into them. We call them our "signature colors", but really, they are ruts. For the past 10 years or so, I have been the Queen of Green. Kelly, lime, avocado, chartreuse, forest, moss, khaki, kiwi, mint, call it what you

Then one fine morning in April, I woke up and decided that I needed a red sweater. No good reason, I just wanted one.

I knew my Mom had some vintage red mohair in the basement...the pattern magazine stuffed in the bag was dated 1968. So I started scheming around a red mohair sweater. The only problem was that this particular mohair itched like a bitch. Then came the scheme to knit it together with another yarn. I space-dyed some lovely Polwarth in reds, plums and blues and started to spin. Then I got sidelined by my Dad's stroke and spinning 1500 yards of sportweight went out the window.

Then one day on a break from hospital duty, I wandered into a Value Village in search of props for the Odd-Lot Puppetry Co. and there was this sweater. Cotton chenille, exactly the same shade of red as the mohair, with spots of purple and orange. Closer examination showed me that it could be unravelled, and that it was 2 singles knitted together, so there was twice the yardage! And it was $3.99!

The unravelling began that night and the knitting began the next day. I used Sally Melville's Einstein Coat pattern, which is a million miles of garter stitch, but it was mindless and fast. There was precious little knitting done on it when the summer temperatures soared past 30C, but August got cool and rainy and things clipped along nicely again.

Ta da!

However, this red sweater triggered something. Our new couch is...


Then there was this dahlia that the boys brought me...

which sat proudly in a vase beside my spinning chair for nearly 2 weeks.
And then, of course there is the red shawl from a previous post, woven off, fringed, washed and awaiting a good pressing.
I'd better be careful, or it looks like red will become the new green!


  1. Hi Michelle - love your Einstein jacket. And the red is great! I've got a lime-y green thing going on... 1 purse, 1 jacket, 2 pairs of shoes... Also have a 10 pound cone (yes an ebay *special deal*)that I had marked for the Einstein coat...I haven't actually started making furniture purchases in this colour yet... but who knows!

  2. I actually learned how to dye way back in high school because I could never buy the weird tertiary shades that I love best.I love colours especially fall ones but the larger majority of my clothes are black! Go figure.