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Color Me(me)

Fallberriesfromourwalk_2 It's the time of year when the talk of color is on everyone's lips.  The colors of fall are vibrant or subtle, always warm and inviting, truly rich and earthy. This weekend Birdsong and I had a long conversation about color.  She had her colors 'done' and learned some colors were better for her than others. Some were colors she already wore and loved and others were a bit of a revelation. 

Astheberriesturnorange It's time to change over the closets and so I've been thinking, gleaning, cleaning and dreaming about wardrobe fixes, too. Kristi steered my thoughts in this direction last week when she started her color series. If you have been curious about color, but never understood the terms or theories, you'll find Kristi's series very helpful.

Her first post had a meme with excellent questions about color choices. After you read  the color questions (which can be answered on your own blog), go back to her post on color theory, the first in the series. You might also find her answers to the meme interesting.

Over the years my ideas about color, my likes and dislikes have changed.  Trends have an impact on what we like (because of what we see), but with the process of aging eyes and changing preference, what once looked good to, or on a person, evolves.  It was interesting to think about the transition

Here are my answers to the meme.

What is your current favorite color?
Shades of blue & red catch my eye more often than any other color.  I'm drawn to bright clear color, but often find myself enchanted by something new, such as a color that hasn't been seen for a long time.

Had your favorite color changed over the years?
As a grrl-child my favorite color was hot pink (the rest of my bedroom was a cowboy theme), but I've always been partial to blue and other jewel tones. The colors I use, or wear, least are yellow and green and that much hasn't changed.

Is your current favorite color one that is currently trendy? (Do you see it in the fashion rags or on the clothes rack or in the linen aisle right now? How about 5 years ago?)
After checking with this site, I see that my favorite colors (clear, not gray) are out, in general. Plus, there is NO blue!? I'm not sure about 5 years ago, but two two years ago ago the colors were clearer.  Color changes so rapidly any more.  Is one color 'out' for long anyway? (Or maybe I just don't pay attention.)

What is your favorite color combination?
Right now it's brown and red, brown and blue, brown and almost anything. 

Is that combination a popular one? (Is it used in prints you see in the stores and catalogs and magazines now? How about 5 years ago?)
From the looks of the above link, brown is very in, as are brown 'toned' colors…bright is out and drab is in.  Maybe bright colors were more popular 5 years ago, I'm not sure. I'm not that conscious of fashion trends and often have trouble finding clothing in colors I like.

What is your favorite way of using color in your knitting? (Are you a stranded knitter? Do you prefer simple stripes? Do you prefer just accents at the hems/collars?)
If I use two or more colors in my knitting it's usually in a stranded project. Color choices also depend on the project. Socks in colorful yarns, multiple colored yarns are fun to knit and a good way to play with color(s), colors that may not be 'my thing'. 

What colors look good on you?
Blue shows off my eyes and bright, clear colors are best with my skin tone. People are often fooled by my color preferences as I'll knit any color in socks and even wear pants in colors that wouldn't be good close to my face.

What colors look bad on you?
The current fashion favorites…grayed or brown tones. (Birdsong and I found we are at opposite ends when it comes to what colors look best on us.  Opposites do attract.)

Do you wear colors that don’t look good on you just because you like them?
I don't wear any color I don't like and try to stay away from a color that doesn't look good, but sometimes I'll get a printed T-shirt just because I like the subject matter and only wear it around the house.

What is your favorite neutral color? black/white/ivory/tan/brown/gray – if brown or gray do you prefer cool or warm versions of those or does it matter? And, how dark?
Black has always been a favorite color, as well as gray…any shade of gray.  Pale neutrals (ivory or tan) don't work for me and, when I wear brown, I like red browns in darker shades.

Is there a sweater pattern that uses more than one color that you’d like to make, but you wish to change the colors from what is published? If yes, which one? What do you not like about the published colors?
I love Eunny's s Autumn Rose, but the colors would not look good on me. Sad, because if I change them it will no longer be Autumn Rose!

Beautifulsunfloweronlastleg_2Color study is very interesting and I enjoyed taking many classes on color theory when I studyied embroidery.  What I learned is helpful when I teach embroidery and the students enjoy learning tidbits along the way.  They find it easy to absorb the principles in small doses and when it can be used in a practical application.  Many people find it complicated and hard to understand color theory, but learning just a few basics will be very helpful to you when you dye yarn and/or pick colors for a project.  Check out Kristi's series...you should find it very helpful.

Skeinofcelebrationshetlandfromspunk click for big

Speaking of color...Amy does such amazing color work when she dyes yarn and roving.  This was the July selection in her Spunky Club...Shetland wool in the colorway Celebration.  I spun it in a partial woolen method and plied it in chained singles so the colors wouldn't mix together.  It was then wet finished (as in abused with a yarn plunger in very hot water and smacked around quite a bit) and it turned out beautifully!

Comments

All this talk of color overwhelms me, I'm not sure I can think about it this much. Love your celebration yarn! Mine is ready to ply. Did you miss me last night?

I love color! Your answers were quite insightful... it's so interesting how differently everyone approaches color.

Thanks for the color-theory class -- very informative and useful! I do a fair amount of dyeing, and more or less go with what I like and what moves me (deep, saturated color), but I'd like to learn more about the theory behind it. And your yarn came out beautifully! I generally give my finished yarn a bit of abuse, but have not tried the plunger method yet!

So much food for thought here! I've always wondered why clothes turn drab for the winter -- well, actually I know why, it dates from the time when you couldn't wash as much in the winter, plus there was all that mud splashing about, so you wore darks to hide the dirt better. But there's nothing like a jewel-toned sweater or vest (Rosalie comes to mind) to lift my midwinter spirits.

You know me: I'm all about the purples, blues and reds, with splashes of green in there too. I'm much fonder of green than you, as you know, but not Kelly green, and not all by itself. I like the pine, the pond, the shadows, the murky mysterious greens.

All right, I'll stop now, and write my own post. Thanks for getting me started!

One color I never wear is black. I just don't feel good when I wear it.

I've had several courses involving color theory (art class in grad school, photography, rubber stamping, SOAR seminar on color blending, dye class) and it all still makes my eyes cross. I find my taste changes every so often, but I'm not usually influenced by the current "fashion". Intriguing post!

Those color links were really interesting. I'm glad I just do my own things - and that black is always basically in style!

Oh, what a nice job you did with "Celebration." Did you split it into long lengths to pre-draft?

Margene, this is a fabulous post on color, and it's made me think a lot...enough to feel mentally exhausted. I'm going to have to come back to this again and do more thinking about it.

I've figured out that I love ALL color, in its place and in its time. There really isn't any color that I look at and say, "ick."

This is such a fun post! I'm loving that fashion trendsetter link (I'm actually thinking of all the ways you could use it to redesign a blog, haha). I think as far as "color trends" go, there is such a huge spectrum of color that it's kindof silly to say what's in and out. I mean, yeah, there are always going to be trends, but there are also always going to be classics to choose from, and bright, clear colors are classic. I think. I don't look great in drab either, by the way.

Your Celebration turned out very nicely, I like the color separation a lot.

Very though-provoking post. I know my color preferences in clothing have changed over the years as my life and coloring have changed. But my true favorites of colors I just love for themselves go way back to childhood.

wow! my celebration came out much, much darker. i did mine in chained singles as well, t o preserve some of the colors. i found that i don't like spinning iwth the coarser wools. maybe it's my merino habit, lol. i was taught to spin with merino.

Interesting thinking about color. One of my friends who has Asian coloring showed up at an event dressed completely in neutral shades. There were shades of warm grey, white, and taupe, but all so subtle that it was just perfect. When I told her how wonderful her ensemble was, she said that her husband was worried that you can't wear grey and taupe together. I wouldn't even have those colors in my wardrobe to play with, but they were wonderful for her.

Your questions made me think about why some people think about color more than others. Do creative people think about color more because they have to in order to make their art "work" or are they color-conscious because that is how their brain works. Is it learned or instinctive for them? I also think you need to add another question... Do you not wear colors that look good on you just cause you don't like them. Boy, thats a lot of talking. Guess I am making up for lost time since I haven't been blogging all summer. Good to see you again!

Ohh, color is better than candy shops! Sometimes I go to the paint sites (Behr has a great one) and just play with color for a while. Thanks for another thought-provking post!

And why do different cultures feature different colorways? Slavic peasant costume is unlike African tribal colors, is different from "European" urban, is not similar to . . .

(I love to see yellow, but it makes me look completely jaundiced.))

Thanks so much for playing along, Margene!

Quite an interesting discussion, with lots of possibilities. I do find my tolerances changing with exposure.

I agree that color can be a bit overwhelming but your right learning about it in small doses can really help you when picking out colors for knitting as well as dyeing.

Your Celebration yarn came out great. You did the right thing by doing a chained single. I decided to do the 2 ply and while it looked good in the skein, it looked awful when I tried to knit it up.

Your yarn came out so even that I thought it was mill-spun!

Wow. very thoughtful answers!!

Ooh, I love color theory. So much so that I already had a subfolder under knitting labeled color that I could pop Kristi's post in to read at leisure later. I've taken a few workshops in color theory and had some in art classes, but I never tire of reading someone else's take on it. Thanks for the link.

The colors I wear have changed in the last few years. After they started to shift I also went in to buy new makeup and found I no longer have bluish undertones but now have a neutral to yellow coloring. Not common for a blue-eyed blonde but the shift isn't unusual with age. I never have had my actual colors done. Someday I should.

Color is so much fun. There are so many things that you can do with it.

What great, deep-thinking answers... I am inspired to spend some time going through the meme and Kristi's other materials over the weekend... I love certain colors more for their existence in the world than what good they do for me. I think my skin tone also shifted a bit as I aged, but it is really the olive-green of my eyes (with greenish-gold flecks) that has been the part of the puzzle I have been missing... too often other people had called them brown and I didn't have good enough eyesight to see how wrong they were! I have better 'color sense' when combining yarn or fabric as pure art than for my own skin tones. I am off on a new adventure, being able to see better and having a new palette to play with.

Very interesting thoughts on color. I have the same problem with pale neutrals, too. Oh, and you should totally knit Autumn Rose. There's a KAL for it (called In Love With Autumn Rose), and at least one or two people have already come up with their own color combos to use.

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