Friday, February 03, 2017

A Carousal of Color

It's been so long since I've written anything here that I can't remember if this has ever come up. I am, also, disinclined to go spelunking into the deep recesses of the blog to find out.  In fact, it's been so long since I've posted that I had to write this entry out longhand on paper. (Shut up. I'm old. I know how to write cursive and I'm allowed.)

I should also probably note that, for all this purports to be a knitting blog, this post is not about knitting. It does have lots of yarn though.

The problem is color. I'm not good at it.  I love it, but I am not good at it.  In my head it's one thing. Then I am confronted by reality and it's something else again (the Barney shawl comes to mind).   For reasons of it's own, reality never conforms to my imagination so I usually play it safe:  reds, blues, neutrals, maybe a quiet or dark green. Yet here I've gone and committed to a Circle of Friends Afghan, inspired by the exuberantly colored ones I've found on Ravelry and Pinterest.

I should probably note here (full disclosure and all that) that I have a lot of yarn.  When I start on something as big as an afghan, I feel compelled to at least try and shop the stash.  That way I can feel all virtuous and economical about what I'm making.  Factor in that an afghan made for someone other than me has to be washable.  Given my aversion to acrylic yarn, that means super wash wool.

My choices for non-variegated, non-indie-dyed, or non-self-striping superwash were surprisingly limited.  I didn't have any; the Princess only had some. Dumping out her collection yielded lots of grey and light blue, a fair bit of dark blue, a couple skeins each of green and orangish-brown and one of bright yellow. Not what I would call a happy combination.  Also, not enough yarn. 

Back to our story.  I went shopping.  Looking at what I had in the context of what I needed, I decided on the grey, as the most neutral, for the background. That left me with five colors for the squares - an awfully limited palette. I further decided I needed eight colors (mostly based on the advice from this blogger's post).  I then decided (so much decision here!) I needed contrast and balance.  I had three cool colors and two warm ones.  I went looking for one additional blue-to-green and two reds (since I had a yellow and an orange).  So far so good.  In theory, it all should work out. When the new yarn came and I piled the all the skeins up, I thought they played well together.  

Then came the hard part.  Individually, I'm not sure that some of the skeins play together at all.  In fact, I'm pretty sure they fight.  I begin to fear that the best I can hope for is detente but that what I am most likely to get is a sort of grudging surliness.  

Determined not to let my yarn defeat me, I decided to make a truly unappealing square.  Behold. 

The yellow turns the fresh green nasty.  The dark blue is too strong a contrast to the yellow.  The light blue looks wishy-washy and words fail me when I consider the juxtaposition of the orangish-brown and the purple. Yet, if this is the ugliest I can achieve -- and I confess I find a certain appeal in its very lack of appeal -- I begin to think I might pull this off after all. 

I've lived with the square for a few days now. I will be unraveling it in due course, not because of the infelicitous color combination, but because I've since made a design decision.  The navy and orange sections are actually made up of two rounds each.  The first is single crochet with chain stitch spaces, then double crochet worked into the spaces on the following round.  I'm going to change that foundation row (the single crochet and chain one) to a contrast color, picking up the yarn from one remove.  So, the green repeated after the yellow and the dark blue after the light blue.

I did have the good sense to make up a sample using this scheme before I undid the original square.  I think I'm on to something here. 

For the record, and lest I forget:

Pattern - Circle of Friends Square by Priscilla's Crochet, designer Priscilla Hewitt.

Yarn - Cascade 220 Superwash in 874 Ridge Rock (the grey), 1910Summer Sky Heather, 856 Aporto (the darkest blue), 882 Plum Crazy, 821 Daffodil, 208 Treetop (the green),  212 Picante (the orangish brown), 210 Deep Ocean (the mid blue),  and 879 Very Berry.

Hook - I/9-5.50 mm.