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Project Spectrum Percolation
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Project Spectrum Percolation

When Project Spectrum ended last August, I received lots of feedback about what to do (and when to do) the second round. I knew that I needed some time off to focus on my last semester of school, and to prepare for the other blog-related extravaganza of Socktoberfest :) Luckily, things went smoothly, and now here we are looking onto a whole new year, and the prospects of more crafty colorful creations!

I have received several emails asking if Project Spectrum will resume in January 2007. I would like a little more time to gear up for it, so I actually prefer a February start date, or later – maybe March, like last year's Project. Of course, don't let the start date hold you back from creating a colorful craft menagerie!

There was a discussion thread on Flickr's Project Spectrum group – you can read it all here - and there are some wonderful suggestions. However, four months have passed, so people's ideas change, as well as plans for the future. Plus, new ideas crop up, and may revolutionize the whole thing all together!

So, I would love to know some things from YOU:

  • Do you want a Project Spectrum 2.0?
  • When would you like it to start?
  • What structure should it follow? Like last year's? or something new and radical?
  • Do you want to take more than one month with a color?
  • Do you want to extend the project over a whole year, or only 6 months like the first round?

Here's what I am thinking:

  • I want crafters and artists of every stripe to join the festivities! This may be primarily a knitting blog, but some of the most inspiring projects that I saw in last year's project were from quilters, painters, photographers, paper artists, and crocheters.
  • I want to switch up the colors, but still use a logical order. Last year, we started at Red (and pink) and followed the rainbow through, ending with the neutral colors. My personal preference would be to start with BLUE, as I have so many projects that I am dyeing to do with this amazing color ;) but of course, that is up for debate.
  • I want the Project to remain open and free to interpretation throughout its tenure. If you aren't "feeling" a certain color of the month, you don't need to feel obligated to create with it. No pressure is the name of this game, as always.
  • I want participants to feel comfortable expanding their horizons. In last rounds orange and yellow month (April), many people stated that these were their least favorite colors, but actually the time when they were the most creative!
  • I don't want it to become a "chore", and for people to get bored with it.  I felt like this happened last time, and I would love to have some suggestions on how to keep it fresh throughout.

If you have some thoughts, ideas, or answers to the questions above, please share a piece of your mind – give me your two cents! (Please don't be shy! you could have a great idea, and I wanna hear it!) I want Project Spectrum to be something special! Ideas will be gathered in this space, and we can talk about the possibilities and make some decisions together ;)

For the newcomers, you can learn more about Project Spectrum here:

Creating Colors: Project Spectrum

The post that got the ball rolling – almost a year ago!

Project Spectrum Flickr Pool

Crafters share their colorful creations and captures for each month, March – August

Project Spectrum in Interweave Knit's Web Watch column

Amy Singer gave our little Project some props in a magazine!

So, what's in store for Round Two? You tell me!

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54 Responses

  1. Michael

    Maybe incorporating each colours contrasting colour in some minor way when it is featured?

  2. Mary de B

    I think a cooling-off period after Xmas would be a fine idea. I’d like to spend more time on the neutrals — like a brown month, a grey month and a black/white month? Perhaps it’d be fun to mix up the colours, instead of doing them in spectral order, like hop from blue to orange…
    Do you know about the year of colour, where they chose a crayon out of the box every week?
    I’m not suggesting you do that, it’s just another fun colour thing!
    I’ll join, coz I like that little push when I’m deciding what to do next!

  3. Jane

    This is the first I’ve heard of it, but I love the idea and I’d be keen to jump on board with a second round of it.

    Personally, one of the concepts I like from the original post is that there are multiple colours for each month, and I’d be keen to keep that. I’m hesitant to do projects in pinks and yellows, for instance, because they very rarely work with my colouring, but I don’t mind red and orange.

  4. Jenna

    I think it would be interesting this year to look at colors more in groups or in relation to each other. Maybe have a primary colors month, warm or cool colors, etc. I think the ways colors work with each other is just as important as the individual shades.

  5. mariyarn

    Well, my two cents. I as you, would like to start with the color blue, as the seacolors are my favorites. I would so much like PS 2.0 to run a whole year. from february to february. And I think yhat instead of one color, the year should be divided into colorgroups, the neutrals, the seacolors, the sunny colors, maybe even choose a colortheme :spring for the green and fair pink/purple ;, summer for the bright colors of a day by the beach, the more subtle colors for autumn, like the reds of ripe apples, the goldens of the fields before harvest? I really enjoyed being a part of it the last time, and felt sorry for myself the day it ended! So now I´m looking forward with anticipation on PS 2.0.

  6. Carole

    Seems like a lot of people want to combine colors. I wouldn’t be opposed to that. Maybe then you could devote two months to a color combo instead of just one month to a specific color.
    That said, I did start to feel a little burnt out by the end. It’s not your fault but I do think next time I’d have to come up with ways to make it fresh each month.

  7. Penny

    I like Mariyarn’s idea of chosing the colour based on a theme. Spring could be “first shoots” – for us based in the northern hemisphere. That could have for eg browns and greens. After that, it could be “young animals” etc.

  8. Wendie

    Definitely something in the realm of relationships between colours. I’m so thrilled that there will be a second round!

  9. tara

    Waiting for PS sounds good to me, too. The only thing I’d change is how much work it is for you! Would you consider keeping it on an open blog…or even a forum! The flickr group was my favorite part of PS 1.0, as I liked seeing what everyone was doing.
    This is a great thing you do for the craft world Lolly, thank you!

  10. Liz K.

    I loved Project Spectrum last time, as I used it as a jumping off point to try a lot of new things. Maybe instead of doing it by month, we could group it by seasons, and have the colors be in families. Not in the “Color Me Beautiful” kind of way, but warm colors, cool colors, neutrals, etc.

    I think a lot of knitters are thinking about color combos, and this might be a great way to combine it.

  11. FaerieLady

    I didn’t have a chance to take part in the first version, so I’m definitely looking forward to the second! As an olive toned woman, I would much rather have a choice of two colors than one… because orange looks terrible on me! However, I’m in the “go with the flow” mood and seriously stashbusting during 2007, following Wendy and L-B’s example :-)

  12. Tasha

    Do you want a Project Spectrum 2.0?
    I wasn’t involved in 1.0, so a second chance would be fun.

    When would you like it to start?
    January or February, I’m looking forward to Sock Madness in March.

    What structure should it follow? Like last year’s? or something new and radical?
    No clue. I like Liz K.’s idea of color families. That might inspire some awesome projects.

    Do you want to take more than one month with a color?
    That would be nice for the slow knitters like me. If you were working with color families, faster knitters would have more range to explore.

    Do you want to extend the project over a whole year, or only 6 months like the first round?
    Whatever is easiest. :)

  13. Bee

    Great ideas so far. I wouldn’t mind starting a couple months after the holidays…Feb/March start date. I think we all need a break from the xmas knitting madness. I was late in joining all the PS fun, so it’s still all new to me. A year sounds nice but it also sounds a bit labor intensive, so I think 6 months would be better in my opinion without anyone getting burnt out. Also, have you thought of adding moderators to help you with PS this time around…especially since it was so sucessful last year, I am sure you’re going to have alot more participating this year.

    I really enjoyed PS…it really helped me expand my horizons. Thank you.

  14. Laura

    I know I said this at one of our knit nights towards the end of the last PS, but…..
    12 months long, and 2 months per color selection/family/whatever.

    This gives slower knitters some time to get something completed if they want to and gives you a month off between post-card organization if you are doing that again. I think a more self-empowering, less Lolly dependent PS is the way to go, because no one likes to see their friends stressed. :)


  15. Marisol

    I loved the first round and I’m definetely up for a 2.0. 2 months for color combos or family of colors sounds great–not as much pressure and more time to finish. Even though there is no pressure–we are sometimes our own worst enemies:)

  16. Dorothy B

    - I would love to join in a second round of Project Spectrum.
    - I do think a Christmas bills recovery period would be nice though. I don’t have a large stash and would have to buy/dye most colours as I go.
    - I think 6 months is the right amount of time. Like so many people say, go out while you are still on top and it will remembered forever.
    - I think having a month ot two with one dominant colour of the project’s choice, and and one secondary colour of the participant’s choice would be pretty fun too. Maybe inspire newer crafters to try colourwork. For photographers, spring or fall would be the ideal time for that. Spring or fall would allow people in both hemispheres to find loads colours outside.
    - Having a wind up month at the end seemed like it was very appreciated by many people.
    - The postcard swap looked pretty fun too, although I think that swapping handmade cards would be just as fun or pictures of the place you live.

    Maybe try having it for 8 months with 2 months dedicated to each colour grouping. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Ask that each participant post one picture of where they live with their name and town/city as the title of the picture to a Flickr group too. It would be pretty cool to see different places all over the world. Sort of like a whirlwind world tour.

  17. Moni

    yay for PS! I am open for anything. I do like the idea of maybe two months for a color, though.

  18. Madge

    So excited to hear that you’ll be hosting PS 2.0, Lolly! I didn’t participate in v. 1.0 (being blogless and not learning about it until late in the game), and would love to join in the fun this time around.

    As for start time, starting in Feb. or Mar works for me. I do like the idea of having the colors arranged around the seasons and/or groups (brights, pastels, neutrals, primaries, whatever). Since I’ll be knitting my projects, I’d prefer two months per color/color family to allow for enough time to finish. As for length of time, six or eight months probably is easier (?) than a full year?

    I also like the idea of an open blog/forum for members. And do you need help with some moderators? That might make things easier for you.

    Oh, I’m now looking forward to 2007!

  19. scout

    I like how it worked last year but maybe we could do 12 months?

  20. Folkcat

    Here’s a different idea – list a number of “teams”, each being the name of a color, or a group of colors like some have suggested (“warm”, “cool”, “Summer”, “Winter”).

    People can declare themselves as being on a particular team at the start of PS2. They would then try to knit as many items that explore that color during the PS2 time period as they can.

    Each team scores a point when a team member completes a FO in their color. The team with the most points at the end is the winner – each team member gets a special button they can display on their blog, and perhaps there are additional special drawings for prizes only for that team (aside from any for PS2 finishers and participants in general).

    Anyone can also be a participant without having to declare a team – but they will only be eligible for the general prizes, not the team competition ones.

  21. moirae

    For those of us who don’t dye how about a project spectrum sockalong?

    Dyeing is something I want to do eventually, but I’m planning a massive destash first.

  22. Mintyfresh

    Whatever you decide will be great, Lolly. I liked thinking about colors in a focused way, and I, for one, am in a new place in which to see them all anew! I don’t think turning it into a competition is necessary or desirable. 2 months per color grouping would be fine; seasons would be fine. i agree that more time to the “neutrals” (splitting them up) would be nice, but you might organize it differently anyway!

  23. Jenn

    I’m looking forward to v.2, I know that one of my P.S. projects will be redoing one of last year’s P.S. projects!

  24. Renee

    I loved PS, so I would really love version 2.0. For me personally, I liked the 6 month period, because I tried to stay very true to each month’s color, so by the end I was ready for a little chaos :-) I have no preference as to when it starts.

  25. Annie

    What about instead of each month being devoted to a color, we focus on color combinations. Either specific, like pink and green for example, or more general, like one month go with contrasting colors, the next maybe subtle shades of the same color. Another month could be devoted to variagated or tweed . I love color, also, and I’m fascinated with what you can do with different combinations.

  26. sandra

    I too missed out on the first PS, so am looking forward to this next one. I really like the idea of 2 months per group of colours – with spring (greens/pastels); summer (reds/yellows/bright blues); autumn (browns, oranges, yellows) and winter (neutrals/icy colours/Christmas). Whatever you decide it will be fun!

  27. Angelvista

    I like the idea of starting in February or March. Gives us time to recover from all the holiday crafts we do. I really want to participate this year. I love to challange and inspire myself with colors, especially colors I don’t always use. Suggestions on ways to do the colors: kindergarten color theory (primary colors, secondary colors, neautrals), randon color of the month, climbing the rainbow (neutrals, violet to red), or color temps (cool colors, newtruals, hot colors).

  28. mathea

    I realy liked the idea of Project Spectrum the first time around, and would like to join in for a new round. I notice that a lot of people are thinking along the lines of combining colours. How about setting up the main colours like last time (February = blue etc.) and we all decide for ourselves a colour to go with it (or stick to to that single colour if we prefer) – no set rules, just that we inspire eachother to experiment? Thank you for setting this up, and the decision is ultimately yours, of course! I’m sure that whatever you come up with will be fun :-)

  29. Poppins

    This would be my first time playing along, but I did have an idea after reading all of the posts:

    People seem to like the idea of colour families, or exploring colour relationships. What if the idea were to explore differences: contrasting colours one time, tone on tone another, playing with value or saturation rather than hue, colours beside each other on the colour wheel, etc. For us knitters this would mean learning how to do some of the colourwork techniques, but I think there seems to be a thirst to try them given the current vibe in magazines and blogs.

  30. shadkitty

    Whew! My head is swimming with all of these ideas! I cant wait. I got on the ball a little bit late last year and would love to participate in Project Spectrum this year. I’d give comments/suggestions, but am super busy right now. Perhaps I’ll drop back by and read through later and then add my own two cents. I’m so excited!

  31. Jennifer

    March sounds like a good time to me. I like the idea of having all crafts involved too. As far as ways to add to the base you have, what about including the idea of texture to the mix? Crafts are about color but also about the use of texture. Participants could be encouraged to expand into cables or lace if they have not already done so. Contrast colors would also be a nice addition. Perhaps having a separate month for colorwork would be nice too. What kind of projects are created with intarsia, fair isle, or working with a whole host of colors in beadwork, sewing, paper art, spinning and the like.

  32. Sheryl

    Lots of great ideas so I won’t repeat what has already been said. As for keeping it fresh – I did get bogged down towards the end (opening Yarntopia could have been part of the problem!) How about only revealing one challenge at a time; excitement would build as we anticipate what is next. I also think that more than one month per color/color group would be great. Lastly, exploration of secondary & tertiary combination could be fun. Thanks, Lolly!

  33. Stacey

    It’s your project – if you want to start with blue, then do so. :) If you want a logical order – since you are starting in the cooler months, start with the cool colors (blues, purples) use green in sping and move on to the hot colors for summer end with browns/neutrals for autumn. Or something logical like that ;)

  34. maryse

    well i think you know how much i enjoyed PS 1.0 even if i didn’t always produce as much as i had planned to. i also gave myself permission to stretch each color month by sometimes including a contrasting color that i thought accented the color of the month particularly well. someone suggested that we perhaps look at color categories, ie. pastels, jewel tones, neutrals, combinations. i like that idea. or go by the seasons. i like that crayon idea — maybe you could randomly pick a crayon for the month and that would be the color we’d explore…i kind of like the idea of living on the edge …

    and it would be fun to do it over the course of a year.

    anyway, let me know if you’d like some help too. i’d be happy to lend a hand.

  35. KaKi

    I missed out on v.1 as well, and can’t wait to join v.2! Seeing as how I didn’t participate last time, I will go with the flow. Anything you do will be great!

  36. Sara

    PS was a lot of fun for me last year…and it was one of the first things I actually joined. I think it would be a lot of fun to participate again this year….and the only thing I would change for myself – is I would not particiapte in the Post card swap…only because that became really hard for me to accomplish towards the end.

    Being a slow knitter/quilter I would like to see the color selection be longer than a month…but, I’m game to play away you plan it….

    Thanks for all you do…

  37. Kim

    I’d love to do a PS2. As for the start date, I think it should be whatever works for you. I would love to see two months devoted to each color selection, sometimes it’s really hard to find the time to make a statement in a month :)

    I liked last years structure, but it also might be fun to do two contrasting/complementary colors every other month(opposites on a color wheel type of thing). You could choose a project including both colors or one of either.

    Also, maybe you could choose a weekend or day per color where everyone could do a sort of photo essay type of thing using the colors? People kind of did that before, but I can’t remember if it was a requirement. Just a thought.

    I also really liked the PS wrap up month, where we got a chance to tie up loose ends/WIPs from the others.

    Do what works for you. You have such great ideas that I’m sure everyone will enjoy it and make it work :)

  38. Beth

    I followed Project Spectrum last year, but didn’t participate. How do I participate this year? The idea of waiting until March again is reasonable considering that post-holiday stress will be long gone by then. I love the freedom of choosing what craft you want to do with the assigned color of the month. It definitely helps use up the crafty items I already have in my apartment. Thanks!

  39. Debby

    I came in at the very end so would like to join PS 2. I agree with the other knitters that time off from the holidays would be great, to help us get organized.

    One thought re: colors is if you do pick one color per month, and someone doesn’t like that particular color or family, they could use that month as a neutral month instead. I really like some of the ideas here for themes, either seasons or something else. Is there some way, too, to tie in books or reading? Maybe read a book with that month’s color on the cover?

  40. Elinor

    The colors could be in alphabetical order. =D

  41. Susan

    I would like to see warm and cool colors separated out more. This way it will stretch folks who favor one color family over the others. (Like me. I love the warm colors, and stopped once the cool colors came along.)

    Maybe jump around the color wheel. Blue then orange, then green, then red, then yellow, then purple. Sprinkle in neutral families, and don’t have them all bunched together.

    Something like:


    Alternating warm colors, cool colors, and neutrals. Maybe some color exercises with complimentary colors, tertiaries, triads, split triads, etc.

    Anyway, that’s just a few ideas.

  42. Ismoyo

    Oh! I enjoyed participating so much last year, i would definitely be in for a round 2!!

    For now just stopping by to wish you a merry merry christmas! Hope you’re having a wonderful time!

    I’ll be back soon to check up on all the ideas for PS2!

  43. jackie

    I’m so happy for a PS2– I had big plans for the first PS but then broke my right arm in the first month and never got back on track!

    I like the color families idea, also playing with saturation and hue, and also thinking about contrasting colors. Maybe there could be a multicolored month– how many colors can you fit into one project?

    And for those interested, but who don’t like working on colors that don’t look good on them, maybe you could swap or donate those projects?

  44. Deb

    Well I think I am the only one that wants to jump right into a whole year of PS in January;) I love the idea of 2 months for a project. Although I see this as a challenge to create something different for each project. I had planned on that last year, but realized with my busy schedule my creations were mainly food related.

  45. Miss Scarlett

    Do you want a Project Spectrum 2.0?
    YES – I missed it the 1st time.

    When would you like it to start?
    I would like January…but looks like Feb. is the concencus so far.

    What structure should it follow? Like last year’s? or something new and radical?
    I like the idea of blended colour spectrums – maybe over 2 months eg Blue/Green; Red/Pink etc.

    Do you want to take more than one month with a color?
    See above :-D

    Do you want to extend the project over a whole year, or only 6 months like the first round?
    1 year seems good.

  46. Karin

    I loved PS in 2006 and am looking forward to it again. Starting in February and 1 color each month is fine, but if you come up with new ideas I am game. Maybe we can add some color theory challanges as well? Complementary colors, triadic color combination, monochromatic? But whatever you decide, I am looking forward to all the lovely projects we will see again.

  47. erica

    I really liked participating in PS this past year. It made me feel the need to work on some very neglected projects, which I’m happy to say were finished this year. I also loved the postcard exchange. I think it would be cool to do something with the color wheel, sort of three colors each month/two months (red could be the primary color of the month and the analogous colors could be part of the celebration). So if someone didn’t like red, they could be working on something in purple or orange.

    I’m not sure about an entire year because of all of the other KAL’s that are springing up over a period of a month. Although you could do quarters of colors.

  48. Cheryl

    I too missed Project Spectrum last year and would love to participate. Whether it lasts a year or six months is okay with me. Your color choices are fine too, I see them as an opportunity to try things I might not have otherwise.

  49. Liberty

    I am so excited about a 2.0! I am grateful to you for the first one, I discovered so many more colors to love. Thank you!

    What about different color wheel ‘tracks’ to choose from. For example, month one is red or red/green or red/yellow/blue or a neutral seashell pink. So the focus would be red, but it might open people up to red relationship to other colors. And if we worked thru the basic 6-7 colors – that would mean 2 months per color and we could still work neutrals in. Just a thought. Thank you again.

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