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#58 CLOSED -A Conversation about Color with Designer1234
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Jun 6, 2014 18:41:01   #
Designer1234 (a regular here)

Introducing color into your knitted and crochet projects including lace
Good Morning! We are trying something a little different on the workshops this week.

We are going to have a discussion about incorporating color in your knitted and crochet work.

Many of the people who are joining us members of the lace party group on KP and I am here to give them some ideas how to go out of the box a bit – and try to use colors in their lace in ways that they hadn’t thought of.

The discussion and suggestions can also be used in regular knit and crochet projects such as Scarves, shawls, afghans, sweaters, and certainly heavier weight lace patterns.

Combining colors has been a huge part of my life for 60 years. I am pretty well self taught and therefore I learned by trial and error. No one ever told me – “that is against the rules, you can’t do that” – so I just went ahead and did different things and actually most worked, although certainly some didn’t; however I got to the point where I didn’t have too many failures, and I rarely if ever followed a pattern.

I use to call my classes – ONE OF A KIND – as my hope is that people, even though they still might follow a pattern- have the courage to use it as a basic start but add to the pattern by using different stitches and different colors in many different ways, making each of your projects a ‘one of a kind’.

I have a basic top down cardigan pattern that I followed the first time I did a top down.

I have made the basic pattern many times but you would never know that it was the same basic pattern.

I have never made sweater that followed exactly a pattern although I used the basic shape, and just varied the stitches, and the individual parts as well as the stitches and color. - I never know what I will end up as I never plan ahead on my projects, whether they be watercolor, crochet shawls, stained glass, knitting projects, fabric wall hangings or just about anything else.

I am not suggesting that everyone throw away their patterns and jump off the deep end of the knitting spectrum.

I am suggesting to give thought to making the projects one of a kind by using color combinations and stitch combinations.

I recently made a ‘stashbuster cardigan’ see below which intrigued quite a few people when I showed a picture.

My discussion today is to try to convince you all that color is not something you should allow yourself to fear. Some are afraid to step away from using color because they are afraid they will ‘spoil’ a project. I am not going to ask you to do that here, but to seriously consider using color to give your knitting and crochet, and especially lace, a personality and to create a project that is original.

Lace is usually knit or crochet with fine yarn , and specific stitch patterns – scarves and shawls and cardigans are commonly projects that take well to lace making. Most lacework is done in one color.

Once in awhile you see a variegated lace project and once in awhile you see the whole project done in a different color.

Even though our main thought is about lace and color – the same information can be used on all other knitting projects too- and we will get into that as we go along as well.I hope to give you some ideas.

There are three ways of adding color
[i] one is through dyeing but not everyone is experienced nor do they have a place where dyeing is possible. There are lots of videos and information on line about using different dyes—I have found that the dyes used to dye fabric usually work for light or white yarn.

[ii]using variegated or striped yarn. We will talk about putting together different yarns to make colorful lace scarves or shawls – sock wool can be used for making beautiful shawls.

[iii]–(my favorite) picking yarn of different colors and working them into a pattern on the project using either rows of different colors and using different stitches

I use the Russian Join – for joining yarn in most cases, although I have just started using this join – it means you don’t have ends to work in when you are finished and it works for both crochet and knitting. It makes a slightly heavier yarn for an inch or two but in most cases does not affect the look of the project .

I hate weaving In colors but have spent hours doing so. This join really works quite well.

If you want to join any colors in other projects as well, this join is very good- It doesn’t thicken the yarn too much and it saves you having to weave in the ends. It is tidy and although it takes a few minutes it is well worth it.

to join the colors, and I use large intarsia sections as one of the main ways to use different colors In sweaters and afghans and just about anything I feel I would like to do at the time. Scarves are wonderful when done in intarsia colors.

Lacework is so fine and so beautiful, that colorworks would be something very new, and very different and very worthwhile in my opinion.

Imagine looking at a beautiful blue sky with clouds, and the beginnings of a sunset—Deep blue, light blue, off white(pale grey) and a soft very quiet pink, or lilac (mauve)color, or even a soft yellow gold added to that combination on a lace shawl -- There would never be another like it if you decide on the colors yourself

I am posting some pictures of my different ways of using a variety of color in my work –(hand dyed wall hangings with applicue and thread painting, crochet afghans, stashbuster cardigan and work in progress on a summer cardigan.

NOTEEven though I have mentioned lace as the reason for this conversation as I was asked to talk about lace. I do not knit lace, but I use the lessons in this conversation over and over in my work. The world is full of wonderful color combinations. I see color everywhere. Nature does not avoid mixing colors that people say are 'wrong'. NO COLORS ARE WRONG. It is how you use them and what you accomplish using them.
WIP -cardigan -
WIP -cardigan -...
Stashbuster cardigan
Stashbuster cardigan...
narrow step afghan
narrow step afghan...
Stashbuster Narrow step (WIP)
Stashbuster  Narrow  step  (WIP)...

A KP friend from New Delhi India -(Ranji) sent me this beautiful yarn - Also a glorious blue.
A KP friend from New Delhi India -(Ranji) sent me ...
Note the variety of stitches and colors in this crochet afghan - made for my grand daughter
Note the variety of stitches and colors in this cr...
I cant find the label for the colorway of these socks- I do know it is a well known brand -(Michaels I think. It would make a wonderful shawl.
I cant find the label for the colorway  of these s...

Jun 6, 2014 18:59:38   #
Designer1234 (a regular here)
Lets look at the Northern lights and different skies to start

I am attaching pictures of the northern lights north of Canada and the UK – they are called aurora borealis (wonderful full name for a project.)

As I mentioned above all these pictures are real – so why are they not a good reason to incorporate them in your work?

I know some of you will shudder at how bright some of them are – but you can use the colors in the amounts and areas YOU CHOOSE –you can also buy soft shades of yarn -

I am not suggesting that you try to copy the sky – but just the colors—

However, with the northern lights – it might give you an idea of how to show those colors.

Just because there has not been much colorwork in shawls, doesn’t mean they can’t be done. There are always those who start a path for others. Also – who says that vibrant colors can’t be used in lace? Used with care – can you imagine what can be achieved?
You do these for yourselves- so if you are concerned about doing a shawl ,which I realize is a huge undertaking, why don’t you start with scarves?

I KNOW they would be outstanding and you would receive nothing but praise for your original work. Ask me how I know! It happened to me.

I want to acknowledge that I understand that lace, knitted on fine fine yarn and small needles would have to be carefully thought out so you will always have to keep that in mind when we discuss combinations.

I however I definitely don’t mean bright colors can not be used. So I am thinking I will talk about lace, as well as other knitted and crochet items with the same color combinations. You can always use soft muted colors for lace projects and brighter yarn for other knitted and crochet projects.

I just want you to decide to try branching out into more color after we have had this workshop and that you use whatever pattern you wish ( or design your own) and make a project.

Here are some pictures of the Northern Lights and storm and sky scenes-- look at the colors-- do any of them 'speak' to you?

Northern Lights -

Jun 6, 2014 19:08:42   #
Designer1234 (a regular here)
Stormy skies

Jun 6, 2014 19:16:16   #
Designer1234 (a regular here)
Once we talk about the first two sections - we will get into specifics - how to pick out yarn that will work together.

I have prepared some strips of shapes which can be added to scarves and shawls and once we have had some discussion on the shapes, I will then post them. I also have broken down groups of different colored yarns and want you to look at them and we will discuss different ways to use them. I am quite excited about this conversation and I hope you are too. These will be posted on Sunday.
Jun 6, 2014 19:49:25   #
Those are spectacular pics and I would really like to incorporate those into a shawl. I have to confess it would be a real leap of faith for me, but I am game. I have a lot of Regia sock yarn leftovers and would love to find a way to use them up.

Jun 6, 2014 19:52:47   #
Hi Shirley! This is awesome! I love the pictures of your works and these lovely photos! What inspiration. I'll be checking in tomorrow, but you have already got my color-groove going! Thank you so much for doing this!
Jun 6, 2014 20:06:19   #
Hi Shirley, you certainly have me thinking a little differently about colour. I have this selection of different sock yarns that I have always thought of as not going with any of the others but I see now that grouping them together does give a different perspective.


Jun 6, 2014 20:21:59   #
Nature is certainly not shy about color--why should we be.

Your photos are beautifully awesome.
Jun 6, 2014 20:54:11   #
sisu (a regular here)
Oh those sky pictures are all beautiful. I especially love the lightening sky with the range of blues and purple and then the hint of yellow!
Jun 6, 2014 21:29:44   #
eshlemania (a regular here)
Thank you so much for this. I've been playing with my yarn. Grouping them in like colors, then squinting at some of your Life Work Shirley and then trying to figure which yarns to use. So amazing. At first I really felt out of my depth and it was a little stressful. Which is why I started with all same shades together. But your pictures above started the juices going again. No stress. :D:D

I love the first and third pictures of the Northern Lights.
Jun 6, 2014 21:37:39   #
That photo in my post was my spur of the moment attempt at grouping yarns! I didn't do the squinting bit. I know what you mean about the juices going! So many possibilities.
Jun 6, 2014 22:11:55   #
Loved all the sky photos! I am not afraid of color, when using one color, I do go strong. But, need help putting together colors.
Jun 6, 2014 22:20:06   #
Designer1234 (a regular here)
Shirley here-- I am so glad that you have joined me .

I have been doing a bit of work on making strips showing different ways to color a scarf -- you don't want hard lines and once we have talked a bit about the above posts I will post a lot of photos I have taken of different combinations for you. So nice that I am able to share my ideas. I can see that some of you are 'seeing' something new to try!
Jun 6, 2014 22:26:40   #
Shirley, I absolutely adore your WIP cardigan of the sky and sunset. I can't wait to see how that turns out.
Jun 6, 2014 22:36:24   #
Designer1234 (a regular here)
Here I am again:

Last night I took a variety of different colored yarns and put them together and will post them below. I want you to think about how you would use them -- if there are two, what one would you use for the main color and what for the less amount of color. If there are 3 think about which color you would use for the main color, then the 2nd color and then the 'zip' color. Write them down . It woujld be interesting to see how many agreed.

We will also break them down and I will give you my thoughts about how it could work and why.
#1-which should be main color - -what order - which one would you leave out
#1-which should be main color - -what order - whic...
#2 Would you make the Red the main color? if not, why
#2 Would you make the Red the main color?  if not,...
#3 what would you do with these three colors -- which would you remove if you only could pick out 2
#3 what would you do with these three colors -- wh...
#4 - Do you like the center color with this combination -- what would you use instead? WHY?
#4 - Do you like the center color with this combin...
#5 Do these colors work? which would you use for the main color - 2nd, 3rd
#5 Do these colors work?  which would you use for ...
#6 - would you put these three together - if not which one would you leave out and which one would you use as main color?
#6 - would you put these three together - if not w...
#7- do you feel more comfortable with this combination or the one above it?
#7- do you feel more comfortable with this combina...
#8 what would you prefer as the main color the first or second?
#8 what would you prefer as the main color the fir...
#9- do you like this combination better than #8
#9- do  you like this combination better than #8...
#10- what would you knit with this combo - Lace,? sweater? scarf?
#10- what would you knit with this combo - Lace,? ...
#11- which brown is best for knitting a project this or #12 -why
#11- which brown is best for knitting a project  t...
#12-Which brown is better suited to a project? What color could you use to replace the dark brown?
#12-Which brown is better suited to a project? Wha...
#13 If I asked you to knit something with this combination, could you do it? Would you want to? what project would you make?
#13  If I asked you to knit something with this co...
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