Using the Big Huge Labs Mosaic Maker application with Flickr, I have created some “color story boards” that really inspire me to explore these shades of colors more. I know that I am particularly drawn to whites, ivories, silvers, grays, and soft neutrals right now because of the season. I love the winter, and I am still hoping that we see a big snowstorm before spring comes.
The muted color palettes… the soft texture of these colors… so much to go on. And I didn’t realize until I got home from the yarn shop the other day (after an amazing Super Bowl sale – 25-55% off of everything…), that my purchases directly corresponded with my color inspirations. I was subconsciously drawn to the stock shelves with the light gray mohair- and to the basket with the neutral silk. I am planning garments (aren’t I always?) a simple mohair pullover with the Jo Sharp Rare Comfort Kid Mohair, and a summer tunic with the RYC Natural Silk Aran.
On the other end of the color wheel, I am equally drawn to deep reds and orangey-pink tones. Maybe it is the desire for warmth and comfort amidst the cold temperatures?
My most recent cowl was a nod to my recent red fascination. Just like the grays before it, I was drawn to the red and orange tones at the recent yarn shop sale – I still can’t believe my luck in getting so many beautiful yarns for such wonderful prices…
I have so little orange in my stash, as I thought it was a color that never really complemented my skin tone, but I am starting to rethink that – or at least disregard it, because if I like it, I am going to wear it! For these beauties, I am planning a tank or a tee with the Berroco Pure Pima, and for the heathery red Jo Sharp DK Wool, a vest or a top-down raglan.
All of this color inspiration has me thinking about the next round of Project Spectrum. At first, I wasn’t sure where to start. After three years of PS, I wondered if there was still a place for it in the online community. I felt a little “tapped out” because I felt that the PS Elements idea was probably the pinnacle, and nothing else could really match it. Of course, it is not about outdoing the previous year… but I did want to make something special. With the help and ideas of some of the Ravelry PS group participants, I got really turned on to the idea of exploring the colors through the lens of the cardinal directions… so many cultures associate the directions (North-South-East-West) with colors, and I thought it would be an interesting cultural exploration on top of the general colors. I found a website that outlines many of the cultural traditions that associate colors and cardinal directions.
If we were to choose this idea, I would want to try one of the models that has four distinct colors for each of the cardinal directions, e.g. the Tibetan model: North = blue, East = Yellow, South = Red, West = Green. So, to broaden this idea, we could use the color next to it on the color wheel to have a color set, e.g. North = blue/black – East = yellow/orange, etc. If you look at this webpage (scroll towards the bottom), it also states that these directions AND the colors correspond to elements and materials like wood and metal. It might be fun to play with these materials too during the tenure of Project Spectrum.
Other ideas that were mentioned: Seasons/hemispheres – exploring the northern and southern hemispheres and seasonal changes through the colors.
~ OR ~
The tried-and-true color wheel approach of the original Project Spectrum back in 2006 = ROYGBIV.
I want to make a decision soon (end of the week?) and possibly start the next round of PS in March 2009. If you have an opinion or any feedback on these ideas or Project Spectrum in general, please feel free to share here in the comments or on the PS Ravelry forum.
Like so many things in life, it is what you make it. You want Project Spectrum to be special this year? help me make it so by telling me what you think!
With the temperatures peaking, the trees budding in our neighborhood, and our windows open for the breeze, my mind is already thinking about spring-time knits. With Project Spectrum colors as my guide, I did a little stash diving and found some very nice matches for some tops that I have had my eye on…
For the first two-month span (February / March) we will be exploring the possibilities with blue, white, and gray. There is so much to do with these colors, and I can't wait to see how you will use them.
This is the "Sirocco" camisole, from the June 2004 issue of Knitting magazine, a UK-based magazine. I picked it up when I first started knitting, and this tank caught my eye. It calls for a cotton yarn, and I just so happen to have some lovely Rowan 4-ply cotton in the "Night Sky" colorway (pictured) that fits the bill. The color is a favorite of mine – sort of a dark periwinkle. So, it could really fit in blue or purple… I decided to call it blue so that I could start it sooner. Plus, if I start it in February, I will actually be able to wear it during the warm months! (Small needles and lace details translate to slow knitting for Lolly – I am just being realistic).
It will probably require some tweaking, because I do not have the "build" of this wispy little model, but I think I am up for the challenge. Probably will start this one in the first few weeks of February.
Also of note, the lovely "Acorn Camisole" from Interweave Knits, Summer 2005. I have a great clearance-bin find: a soft green mercerized cotton, very similar to the color of the yarn used in the sample, in fact. I considered the color to be gray when I first saw it, but after looking at it under natural light, it was clearly green, and therefore, perfect for April / May time frame (green, pink, yellow).
Do you have some projects in mind for Project Spectrum? Are you "thinking outside of the box"? I am obviously thinking about the ways to explore color with my trusty needles and yarn, but I encourage you all to think about what else you can create in the colors of the month. Project Spectrum is not just another knitalong, so we have eight months – EIGHT MONTHS! – why not try something new?
We have over 700 participants in Project Spectrum so far: a wonderfully diverse group of crafters and artisans. We have hundreds of textile artists – spinners, crocheters, knitters, hug hookers, dyers, weavers – and dozens of needlework afficianados – embroiderers, sewers, quilters – a great number of photographers, beaders and jewelry makers, glass artisans, and basket makers. So much diversity! So many colorful prospects!
In addition to all of the knitting I have planned, I am also planning several other crafts. I have long enjoyed needle crafts like embroidery and cross-stitch. Last year, I found this beautiful silk scarf kit at the craft store.
I love the two-toned silk scarf, and the embroidery is simple and sweet. The kit is a Linea Blue Silk Scarf/Shawl – there are different patterns that use the same blue silk base.
I am planning some quilting for April and May, using Denyse Schmidt's Quilt-It Kit.
That pillow on the front cover seems like a good introduction – and the fabric colors are perfect!
And outside of the textile/needle work world, I am also planning some paper crafts…
The Origami Page-A-Day Calendar 2007 was a fun addition to my [alread] large calendar collection. Who can pass up cute paper pigs?
I would love to hear what things you are planning to create during Project Spectrum! Let me know!]]>
The beauty of socks: they always fit.
While your tummy and thighs may fluctuate in size,
Your feet remain the same.
Yeah, there are a few exceptions, but usually, socks fit. You make them, and as long as you measure correctly and take good care of them, you can wear those socks until your dying day. You gotta love something that has that kind of consistency.
Last November, Maritza and I set up a little swap. She sent me a skein of lovely Socks that Rock yarn (I didn't have a skein to my name), and I sent her a hank of my beloved Tess Designer Yarns, fresh from Stitches East market.
Since I also bought a skein of the same lovely green colorway that I sent to her, we decided to do a little informal green sock knitalong at some point. Well, turns out that neither of us could really hold off that long. I mean, come on, look at that yarn! You can see why, right? So, although we both have full plates already, we decided that now is as good a time as any to cast on for the green socks.
Maritza's button creation!
There is a big stress on the informal nature of this little knitalong – no signups, no deadlines, nothing like that. It is really just about using green yarn and making socks. Feel free to download the cute button and join us! For me, this knitalong comes at an interesting time – on the cusp of Project Spectrum 2.0 - which looks like it will be another successful round of the colorwheel! Green is not the first two-month span of colors, but there is some time before PS2 officially is underway, so I went ahead and chose a pattern and cast on. I know I won't finish in time (socks take me forever), but that will give me something to pick up again once April and May's green comes around!
I decided to use the "Juta's Stockings" pattern from Nancy Bush's Folk Knitting In Estonia. The pattern is simple and sweet, and a nice complement to the yarn's ever-so-slight variegation.
If you have a good eye and keen observational skills, you will see that I am using my new rosewood needles. Wow, what a great set. I think I may be spoiled now. I didn't think there would be too much of a difference, but I can now report: there is a difference. These particular needles are wonderfully pointy, very sturdy (I am hard on my double points – nearly all of my aluminums are bent, and my bamboos are definitely "bowed"). Plus, there is a great "grab" on the yarn, but also a smoothness when sliding yarn across. Very nice indeed.
Alas, I am also knitting socks for my mister. I finished sock one of the Plain Winter socks from Nancy's Knitting Vintage Socks. I am so pleased with the fit. It is hard enough to get socks that fit me well, let alone Kris's big man foot. Knitting socks for other people is often a challenge, but this one turned out well. Now onto sock two!
Thanks to Chawne, it looks like I have the perfect sock yarn for April and May's color triad. I won a little contest on her blog a few week's ago, and she sent along this lovely skein of self-striping Mama Llama. So pretty! Thanks C! (Check out her lovely knits - she makes some amazing things!)
Inevitably, many of my Project Spectrum crafts will be knitting related. Of course, since I encourage people to "think outside the box" in terms of crafting in color, I am doing the same thing. I am planning to expand my crafty repetoire with some sewing, paper crafts, beading, quilting, and crochet. The idealism that comes early in the project! Savor it now!
I am beginning to feel the call of the sweater again – goodness me, I have enough stashed yarn for many more! – but I am trying to resist for a short while to work on these socks, and some other lovely accessories… more on that later!
In closing, I was overwhelmed by your kind words and sweet wishes on my anniversary post. Thank you so much. Kris is wearing his sweater at work today!]]>
Starting this February – as in FOUR WEEKS from today! – we will embark on another exploration of the color wheel. This time, there will be more “wiggle room”; with each two month span there will be THREE colors or groups. This means that you can choose one of the colors and immerse yourself in it for two whole months, or you can use all three in your creative process.
February / March
Blue, White, Gray
April / May
Green, Yellow, Pink
June / July
Red, Black, Metallics
August / September
Brown, Orange, Purple
The color triads were picked randomly and fell in this nice little order. Three colors a month gives all of us more latitude and more room to explore. Of note: the addition of the “Metallics” category in June / July. This is the perfect time to work with the golds, silvers, coppers, etc. that are in your various craft stashes. I am thinking that this may be the perfect way to use those silver beads I got as a birthday gift…
The general inspiration is the same as the first incarnation of Project Spectrum. Creative expressions of all kinds are welcomed and highly encouraged. Bust out of your crafty routine and challenge yourself to see colors in a different way! If this means dipping into a new craft, or simply seeing your own craft through a different lens, Project Spectrum is the impetus you need!
Just for a little rundown and review of WHAT Project Spectrum is for the newcomers (a rehashing of last year’s post on the topic with a few new highlights):
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!).
It is really about expressing yourself creatively – making something beautiful, and creating something unique with your hands. It is also about thinking outside of the box – perhaps taking up a new hobby, or a long neglected one, or finally dabbling in design.
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 – whether you plan to tile your kitchen or photograph a blooming tree in your backyard – it is not a race, it is just about sharing your creative work to inspire others and express your spirit!
You do not have to have a blog to participate. If you would like to share your work with others, think about joining the Project Spectrum Flickr Group! You simply have to have a passion for creating and expressing yourself through your work, and encouraging others to do the same. This is a create-along! It can easily work with any crafty obligations you may have – whether they are swaps, planned gifts, etc.
Project Spectrum is about expression and creating beauty with all of the colors of the rainbow – and there are millions of ways to do that! Let’s discover them together!
There you have it – a new adventure in the making!
In the coming days, I will post about what I am planning to do during the Project Spectrum span, as well as inspirational photographs and crafts that get me thinking about all of the colors of the rainbow! Please let me know what you think of the color combos, and join the Flickr discussion about what you are planning for this round! Also, grab one of the trusty Project Spectrum buttons, and tell your friends! Stay tuned – This is going to be great
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:
Here's what I am thinking:
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!]]>
…and since the weather was pristine yesterday afternoon, I decided outdoor photographs were in order!
Of course, I needed one of the pomegranates from my collection to remind you just why I call this sweater "Pomegranate" – the color is a dead ringer for the fruit! It captures the three-way color blend of pink, orange, and red so well. No wonder I was drawn to the yarn at the craft fair, nearly a year ago…
Pattern: "Mohair Hoodie" from Knitting to Go Deck by Kris Percival
Yarn: Woolarina Handpaints Merino Laceweight
Needles: Size US 9 bamboo needles
Started: March 2006 / Finished: September 2006
See the Pomegranate Pullover Photo Mosaic!
This sweater started back in the Project Spectrum Red/Pink month of March, and it has been on the back burner ever since, coming to the forefront once again for Project Spectrum Clean Sweep. I did a few rows here and there, but there was no real progress until the last few weeks. I am so happy to have it finished! Maryland's weather is mild right now – chilly mornings and warm days – so this pullover is the perfect garment. And I even have a pomegranate-colored cami to wear underneath!
I used the pattern more as a guideline, primarily for the set-in sleeves. I used a lot of creative license in this one: I omitted the hood, which is an option that the pattern gives, but I also omitted the mock turtleneck that it calls for if you don't do the hood. I picked up the stitches to do so, but the laceweight was floppy, and not suited for that kind of neckline. I did a pretty little single crochet chain – the extent of my crochet skills – and the crew neck is a much better fit for the yarn and for my style. I also cropped the sleeves to my preferred three-quarters length, and made the torso longer than the pattern – seeing it now, I could have gone even more.
|The Knitting to Go Deck was a great find. It contains 25 patterns for women, men, and children – all of the patterns are printed out on folded cards that fit into a knitting bag so well! The patterns are basic in nature, and provide a great jumping off point if you want to experiment with lace, and/or textures in your knitting. I split the deck with my mom and sister who wanted to try some of the beginner patterns.|
I picked it up at a bookstore in Grand Central Terminal where I was waiting to meet Carrie back in March. I had a gauzy light pattern in mind for this yarn from the moment I bought it, and as I flipped through this deck, I found this pattern. It was perfect! When I got home, I swatched and had to play with the gauge a little to ensure a proper fit. As many of you have noted, my shape has changed since March – specifically up top (I am wondering just where my b**bs went…) I am glad that I decided on a smaller fit and size – I think it will fit me as I continue to lose weight.
|Speaking of great books… I recently borrowed Amy Butler's In Stitches from my friend Avice (check out her lovely Rowan Seabreeze pullover and her Log Cabin blanket!) and after just flipping through, I added it to my wishlist. This book is spectacular! I really want to catch the sewing bug ~ this book has so many patterns, and best of all: detailed technical diagrams!|
Here's a little sneak peek…
(Click on the photo for links to larger photographs)
This weekend will finally be a restful one – it may even give me a chance to answer my huge backlog of emails (I am sorry if you have been waiting to hear from me!)
"Lauren is a very bright student, and a joy to have in class. However, she talks to her peers and is easily distracted."
Ahem. The worst part was that I had to get my parents to sign the report card, just to prove that they had actually seen it. (Forgery did cross my mind…) Of course they knew I was loquacious Lolly. Of course they knew that I was easily distracted. They lived with me. I prefer to think that I was developing good communication skills, and that I was a good multi-tasker…
I am still a talkative girl – but I think it has tempered a bit. I still am easily distracted… but sometimes I know that "staying the course" is really best because the end result will be so sweet.
Take the Pomegranate Hoodie: I really want to cast on for some other things… but I really want a finished sweater too. So, I worked on her non-stop during my weekend road trip to Tennessee. Sleeve 2 banged out in a few hours, and then the seaming.
I kept trying her on at various stages of seaming… first time doing set-in sleeves, so I wanted to ensure a proper fit. I am happy with it!
I have been working on this hoodie since March. I started it as part of the red month for Project Spectrum, and it is still on the needles. Just as a reminder, I am using Woolarina Handpaints laceweight yarn (it is so great!) I thought the color resembled a pomegranate, hence the name of the hoodie (sometimes shortened to Pom Hoodie). I am using the Hoodie pattern from the Knitting to Go Deck by Kris Percival.
September is officially the Project Spectrum Clean Sweep month, and I want to finish this sweater, as well as my Sesame cardigan. I hope I can make it before the end of the month!
Sleeve 2 was set in and sewn up while watching last week's Project Runway episode. (wasn't crazy about that twist…) Since this picture I have finished both side seams, and have picked up the neck stitches for the hood attachment.
The hood is completely vestigial. Purely for aesthetics. In a rain storm, I would still be soaking wet. In a gust of wind, my ears would still freeze. There is no point to it whatsoever. It crossed my mind to just leave it off. What do you think? (See what the original pattern looks like here) Let me know, because I can't decide. (You can add indecisiveness to the list of my "endearing" character traits, right beside short attention span and procrastination…)
Just because I needed a little change of pace while sitting in the car for approximately 16 hours round trip, I also started working on "My So-Called Scarf" pattern in the delicious new Malabrigo for my Scarf Exchange pal.
My pal actually reads my blog (it may be you and you don't even know it!) and she lives in a colder climate, so I though the wool would be a great way to go. She listed green among her favorite colors, and I think this fits the bill very well. There are slight blueish green variegations in the yarn. I had heard reviews about Malabrigo but had never seen it. I ordered it online to give it a try, and I can't say enough good things about it. It is so soft – that is definitely its edge over the other kettle-dyed Uruguayan wools on the market (and I have used several: Manos, Rio de la Plata, and Handpaintedyarn) I hope it continues to hold up well, I don't want any pilling or fuzzing on my pal's scarf!
Can I get these things done before the end of the month? It appears that some
six seven eight hundred people are devoting themselves to SOCKS next month, so I better 'get a move on'!
1. Scarf knotted in front, 2. Scarf knitting in progress, 3. Scarf Displayed, 4. Scarf wound around neck
Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf
Yarn: Skacel Zitron Unikat wool (colorway #02)
Pattern: Mulitdirectional Diagonal Scarf (free pattern)
Needles: Size US 13
I started this scarf last month, in the neutrals month of Project Spectrum. I never got around to finishing it until last night – when I finally got the chance to catch up on my TV (Project Runway! oo la la!) It was a quick and fun knit, especially on size 13 needles. It is quite long, but I like that, more to wrap around on those cold winter days!
More scarf knitting is in the works, in fact. I got my secret pal's name for the International Scarf Exchange! I am excited – this is my first swap. I figured the scarf would be the way to go… I can't mess that up too much. While I love the concept of the sock swaps, I don't think I am ready for them. I am finally getting to the point where I can size a sock for my own foot, let alone someone else's! Scarves are easy though. According to the questionnaire for the Scarf Exchange, we have similar tastes in colors and style, so I hope my pal likes what I have planned. I am thinking kettle-dyed wool in a rich autumnal color palette – possibly a cross-hatch pattern, like Stacey's So-Called-Scarf. Would you like to receive something like that if you were my pal? I contacted my pal, but I am still waiting to hear from the person who has my name… are you out there?
My weekend is jam-packed – culminating in a Ben Harper show on Sunday night. It should be great times… and I really hope to fit some knitting in between it all!
PS-I am delighted with all of the response on the Fair Isle question! Thank you!]]>
Take the Seed Stitch purse I started back in April… If you blinked, you probably missed it. I only blogged about it once.
I am using some inherited Tahki Cotton Classic in gold, and basing my purse on the one seen in the book, Cool Girls’ Guide to Knitting. The buttons are from my grandmother’s tin, all of the orange ones I could find. I may mix in some other buttons from my collection, but I like seeing the seed stitch in the background. I am planning to use a pillowcase I found at the thrift store as the liner for this bag. So, all of the ingredients will be hand-me-downs or thrifted!
The Pomegranate Hoodie is still forefront on the Finish List. I worked on her all weekend, and the front is nearly complete.
The yarn is quite a lovely color – despite how it looks on your monitor. It is hard to photograph without looking too “harsh” and fiery. It is actually more pink than orange, and I hope that shows when it is finished. Paula and Kate did an amazing job with this yarn – there is no pooling, just a beautiful variegation of light and dark pomegranate colors. Just to make sure that the colors matched my complexion, I did the ol’ yarn-by-face trick before balling the second hank. The yarn even looks nice as a cowl/necklace!
I was able to make such great progress on the hoodie because I had a great companion who knit with me all day on Saturday! Jenna was “baching” it this weekend, so she made a trip to the ‘burbs to see me, get some yummy Indian cuisine, and shop at the LYS. After all of that, we made a cozy nest in my basement, watched movies and the Discovery Channel, and knit the night away. Despite the rainy day, we had a wonderful time.
Behold! A finished Carla sweater!
Jenna finished her Project Spectrum August knit: The Carla sweater from Rowan’s It’s a Tape Thing. Just brilliant! I think hers turned out better than mine - maybe that is because I am on such a brown kick lately. She just blogged about it too! She also had something to do with this…
14 Balls of DK wool – brown, cream, and eggplant
Jenna wanted to go to All About Yarn and buy some yarn for her next pair of socks. They just happened to have this lovely wool on sale – Jo Sharp DK Wool – and I just happened to have a pattern in mind for it.
|This is the Nordic Memories pullover from Interweave Knits, Winter 2003. This was the first Interweave magazine I ever bought – I had just learned to knit, and I looked through and said “Someday… someday…” Now, almost three years later, I am finally ready to tackle the color work and learn how to do Fair Isle.|
CosmicPluto did this sweater last winter, and I can’t wait to have my own version. Brown as the base color, cream as the bird’s eye pattern, and eggplant as the collar and sleeve edge. Jenna and I sat on the floor of All About Yarn putting this combo together, and I really couldn’t be happier.
Adding another knit to the list… yet another “good intention”.
PS - What a loss! You’ll be missed, Steve.]]>
My Project Spectrum Photo Set
Project Spectrum Flickr Page
Project Spectrum Blog Archive
Stay tuned for Project Spectrum Round Two at the first of the year! We will start the year off with a rainbow of colors! Feel free to tell me what you would like to see in PSII by email, comment, or in the Flickr discussion forum. Also, finish up those leftover projects in the month of September for Project Spectrum Clean Sweep!
PS – So, I guess that's a yes! I will setup a sign-up form in the next few weeks… Stay tuned!]]>