March 2009 marks the beginning of the 4th cycle of Project Spectrum! This year’s theme is the compass rose and the four cardinal directions. In many cultures, each of the cardinal directions – North, East, South, and West – are associated with a certain color. Using this traditional model of four distinct colors representing the directions on the compass rose, we will explore the ways that these four colors can be mixed, blended and combined with others through our projects, as well as taking notice of these colors around us day to day.
Just as the cardinal directions are linked to a color, each direction is also linked to a season, an element, and a natural material in many cultures. This quartet of features (color, material, season, and element) are a part of this cardinal direction. As a participant in Project Spectrum, you can choose to simply explore the colors associated, or even the textures of the natural material. If you choose, you can interpret the directions through the lens of the associated season or of the element. Your interpretations can be literal or esoteric. You can explore the science or the philosophy. Like the Project Spectrums of years past, it is totally up to you!
Think of the liberty of having four colors – you can blend the colors and explore the different hues, or you can combine the colors with others in the rainbow, comparing and contrasting. You can play with hues of color where green meets yellow, or before red shades into blue.
The natural material aspect is something that I have wanted to incorporate in to Project Spectrum for some time. I love playing with texture in my own projects, and wanted to find a way to bring this aspect to the group. I think that the material may, in fact, be one of the most rewarding aspects of this Project Spectrum cycle! It also encourages participants to, once again, think outside of the box – expanding the creative process past the needles and the yarn. (Not that there is anything necessarily wrong with that!) Stonework, wooden buttons, metal pins, and glass beads – how do you interpret these natural materials alongside the colors? If you want to focus solely on the natural materials, this is also your decision.
I am most excited about the basic cardinal directions aspect, because it gives us the opportunity to think about where we are on this planet, and how our interpretations of the directions are very different. If we allow it to, this Project can teach us a lot about ourselves, and about others. Be open to it!
If this is your first time trying out Project Spectrum, there is a lot of information on the basic premise behind the “create-along” here. For some great discussion, inspiration, and project planning, please check out the Project Spectrum Ravelry group and the Project Spectrum Flickr Pool!
It would be a wonderful pleasure to have you join me in this fourth cycle of Project Spectrum!