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It’s Elemental: Project Spectrum THREE
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It’s Elemental: Project Spectrum THREE

...Project Spectrum Elements...

The classical elements. The forms and states of matter.

The elements provide endless amounts of inspiration and creativity from the natural world.


These elements provided a philosophy and an understanding for early civilizations, combined with the final element, one to describe non-matter and what was beyond this world: the IDEA.

The ancient model of the four physical elements with the spark of a creative idea was my own inspiration for the third year of Project Spectrum. Much like the previous Project Spectrum incarnations [year one and year two], PS Elements has a list of associated colors and month.

FEBRUARY / MARCH – FIRE- orange, red, pink

APRIL / MAY – EARTH – green, brown, metallics

JUNE / JULY – AIR – gray, white, yellow

AUGUST / SEPTEMBER – WATER – blue, black, purple

Something so unique that there is not anything exactly like it in the world… not even one. Creating with your own hands – using your precious time to make something beautiful, something thought-provoking, or something simply spontaneous…

Creating memories. Creating stitches. Creating something that only existed on paper or in your mind before it came into your capable hands. Creating something completely new and beautiful from an item that someone else discarded and considered useless.

What can be more rewarding than that?

Colors inspire. Colors elicit deep emotions and memories. Colors symbolize life events and the changing of the seasons. We surround ourselves with color – in our homes, in our gardens, and even on our dinner plate.The idea of Project Spectrum is simply a celebration of the colors around us, and taking the time to notice them. Participants can dye, crochet, weave, decoupage, spin, build, stitch, knit, paint, scrapbook, construct, sew, quilt, cook, grow, collage, photograph, bake, or bead items in that color group (of course all arts and crafts that I missed are totally welcome as well!)

You can choose to make one thing out of the designated color(s) in the two-month span – or twenty things! This is a no-pressure project. You can simply make a photo essay – you carry around your camera with you and post pictures of the color objects you see throughout your daily travels.

Projects can be big or small – it is not a race, it is just about sharing your creative work to inspire others and express your spirit!

Taking that final element – the IDEA – and letting your mind and spirit explore. Expressing yourself creatively – making something beautiful, and creating something unique. Thinking outside of the box – perhaps taking up a new hobby or a long neglected one, or finally dabbling in design.

It is about texture and depth, making an item that is tangible and real. With the elemental theme, texture plays a large part in the process: flowing waters, crisp flames, grainy earth, and smooth breezes…

Please remember that Project Spectrum is not a knit-along. It is an opportunity to join a community of crafters, artisans, and generally creative people who explore the meaning of colors and their impact. Some of the participants in the Project Spectrum Flickr group have suggested working with mediums related to the elements, like working with clay and pottery, or cooking for the FIRE element, or planning an herb garden for EARTH. These ideas excite me, and I hope they excite you too.

There are many ideas and several projects in the works – including a card swap, book discussions, and some contests to encourage participation and true exploration of these elements. I will update with more information in the coming days. In the meantime, you can join the communities at Flickr and Ravelry to start discussing your own plans for this third year. Maybe you will be inspired by someone else – and you can inspire others as well.

The third time will truly be a charm ~ won’t you join me?

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183 Responses

  1. ann

    I love it! This is a great breakdown for PS3. I’m eager to see how it goes!

    (Also, belatedly – you had a lovely post over the weekend. Happy anniversary!)

  2. knitography

    Fantastic idea! I’m looking forward to being inspired by this year’s theme, as well as by everyone else’s interpretations!

  3. Marianne

    I am loving this color breakdown and I can’t wait to get started! I think it will be a great tool to help me stretch my creativity using many different media.

  4. Kristyn

    I also can not wait for PS3. This is going to be a lot of fun!

  5. Kirsten

    I’m in!!! I love the elemental theme – very inspiring!

  6. Laura

    Woohoo! Count me in!!!

  7. Peacock Chic

    ohhh can’t wait. This time I am in!! I also thought wouldn’t it be cool to use the 4 elements as a backdrop and put the project spectrum circle in the middle and use it as a badge for PS3? Hmmm just a thought.

  8. jodi

    Awesome! Great idea. I’m in.

  9. Christie

    Count me in!

  10. Zarah

    This is going to be really cool! Great idea, Lolly!

  11. Heather

    What a great idea–your prose is so inspiring!

  12. lucy

    You bet am in!

  13. Julia

    Yay! I had actually been planning to knit socks…one for each element using colors and patterns that I thought “fit” the elements. So this is pretty perfect! I’m glad I can incorporate other things into this year long meditation on the elements! :o )

    I read a book recently called The Earthpath by Starhawk and in it she talks about how to live more green, and has a chapter or two on her thoughts about each of the elements, and how to incorporate them into your life. Sounds strange…but it’s a great book. Might be of interest :o )

  14. Kim

    Nice concept for year 3! I’m in!

  15. cindee

    I’m working myself up to this. Right now my natural worlds is all air and water as we are in the middle of an 8 day storm with snow on the ground and grey and white skies. It is difficult to see fire right now, other than what’s in the wood stove, but your challenge is sparking the fire within me and I’m sure it will grow to a warm glow soon.

    I love the theme and am looking forward to seeing what we all create.

  16. *karen

    OK, what the heck, I’m in too.

  17. amanda

    I somehow missed the last 2 incarnations of Project Spectrum (don’t mind me while I emerge, blinking rapidly, from under my rock) so my interest and curiosity is absolutely piqued. I’m in!

  18. Jodie

    Awesome! I’m so glad this is back. I love having a knitting/spinning project in colors I wouldn’t usually put together.

    I’m just using some yarn I dyed for August last year, and loving it! It is purples and browns, something I wouldn’t have thought of before, but now is a color combination I find myself dreaming about often.

  19. Ühltje

    Such a truly inspiring post to prelude the next Project Spectrum. How can I resist? I’m already trying to think of projects that include both the assigned colours and also a touch of the element.

  20. Marie

    Ah, I wasn’t going to join this time, but you managed to put a new spin on it and now I’m all inspired!! I’m in!!

  21. maryse

    i really like the mosaic of elements. may i download it from flickr as a thumbnail and use it as the button on my blog?

  22. Carole

    I sort of fell down on PS2 but I’m willing to try again with PS3!

  23. karen

    Count me in! I enjoyed seeing it last year but didn’t participate. Love the theme this year.

  24. del

    This is my first time participating & I’m really excited about it. I love how you’re weaving the elements into the overall theme.

  25. margaux

    awesome!! i love this. last year i was really on the sidelines a lot, I hope to really get into it this year :-)

  26. Amanda

    Wonderful! I took year two off because I did a miserable job about keeping on task for year one, but I’ve since become a bit more crafty and less knitting-centric – so I’m READY!!

  27. Melissa A.

    Every year I have joined, but then I end up losing steam :( I will enjoy looking looking at what everyone else is making though!

  28. Elemmaciltur

    ooooh! Yes!!! I need to sign up!

  29. Grad School Knitter

    I want to join but I don’t know how disciplined I can be! I’ll try but I can’t promise no green projects before April… I have a lovely green malabrigo waiting to be made into Wicked!! I’ll try to keep it as a reward, but it will be difficult!

  30. chemgrrl

    Oh Lolly, I love it! What a great idea. Can’t wait to get started.

  31. Oooh Aaaah Just A Little Bit « phoeknits

    [...] Have you seen the theme for Project Spectrum 3? It’s the elements! I am so chuffed with this idea, in the past PS hasn’t been [...]

  32. Tara

    Oh, I’m so excited! I just dyed some red/orange fiber for spinning a (Valentine’s Day) yarn inspired by Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire.
    As usual, perfect creative serendipity!

  33. Phoe

    This is really inspiring so I’m in! The elements, how awesome.

  34. AmyP

    Thanks for running this again – it really gets my creative juices flowing! I’ll definitely be joining in this year.

  35. Heather

    I’ve been watching on the sidelines durring the second half of PS 2 and am very excited about participating in PS Elements. I plan to try to explore different mediums with this project and tie it into what I already enjoy doing, cooking, gardening, photography, collage, knitting etc. It will give my work a bit more focused exploration. Thanks for allowing us to participate in this wonderful project.

  36. Netter

    I love this structure. I’m in!

  37. Nichole D.

    I love the elements idea! I’m so excited for PS3, it definitely has been something to look forward to, inspire me, and get me motivated!

  38. danielle

    Your ideas are always inspiring and thoughtful. I’m going to try and follow along this time, instead of just being a dedicated spectator :) Thanks for being a source of creativity!

  39. knittingnurse

    Tee hee. I just wanted to share a little story with you about the new project spectrum breakdown. I was reviewing your “elements” idea with hubby and my son overheard me. He was so excited that Ms. Lolly was doing an “Avatar” project spectrum theme. Now if I could just figure out how to air bend my needles into knitting on their own. . . . . hahahahaha

    (Avatar is a cartoon series on Nickelodean)

  40. AmyDe

    Thank you for such an inspired PS3. I am so looking forward to the broadened mindset and exploration of the coming projects.

  41. courtney

    YAY! I remember reading about the element idea on the Flicker page for the last PS, and being excited. Now I am even more so. You’ve outdone yourself again Lolly, can’t wait to get started!

  42. Nonnahs

    Very cool concept for this year’s PS!

  43. Kamicha

    Lolly, this is really great! This year I will be more daring with colours!

  44. Sarah

    Yes please! So in need of some fiery colours to get me through the winter!!

  45. Mary de B

    Great, I’m looking forward to it!

  46. Liz

    Yay! I can’t wait!

  47. Jennifer

    Yay! I’m so excited for PS 3! I love the elements idea, and hope that I will be inspired to explore other crafts besides my usual knitting!

  48. nova

    Brilliance, itself. I look forward to participating!

  49. sarah b.

    Oh yeah! I want to play! There is great inspiration in nature and using the elements will be great for that.

  50. Alice

    Awesome. I’m feeling inspired already! Can’t wait!

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