Monday, August 30, 2010

The Evolution of a Color

Way back towards the first of the year, I started a conversation with Alice Yu of Knit Nation fame about her sock club, Knit Love Club.

The original idea was to have a color that was a Viking Blue - a sort of ocean-esque soft blue - the softness you get with Swedish light. She was leaning towards one of our nearly solids because the pattern she had in mind involved Viking cables. I dyed a few things up and sent them along.

In addition to the blues we'd discussed, I also did one that leaned a little more towards green. There was something in one of the inspiration photos she'd sent that made me want to include a choice that leaned a little more towards green. I don't know what in particular it was. But that's not really unusual. Quite a bit of my color creation revolves around things I can't articulate.

Alice got busy swatching and realized things weren't quite right. The colors were pretty and what she had asked for, but she wanted something with just a little more pizazz. She'd been doing a bunch of colorwork at the time and the nearly solid seemed a little lifeless and flat.

I revisited some of the pictures she'd sent and read over our email conversations again. There was a mention of turquoise and duck eggs that I'd overlooked. So, back to the dyepots for me with visions of Vikings and oceans and duck eggs. The next set of samples were variegated and bolder.

I'm always a little nervous when I send a customer color samples. There's a piece of me that worries that I'll disappoint. Color is such a personal thing. Everyone sees something a little different in their mind's eye when they say "I want a deep, rich blue" or "Just like the red at sunset". And there is so much emotion tied in with color too. It's hard sometimes to create emotion with dye.

I turns out I didn't need to be worried. One of the colors I sent hit the nail on the head. We decided to call it Bleen and Grue. Alice created the 2luvcrew sock in honor of the Knit Nation volunteer crew.

So, there's a little peek into how this particular colorway was created. They all come to life differently. This is certainly not how they all evolve, but I wouldn't say it is atypical either. Most of the time it's a collaboration where pictures and conversation and a vision collide with yarn and color ensues.


Mary Beth said...

I like this...what it is fingering weight? Could it be used in a sweater?

Lorna's Laces said...

This is our Shepherd Sock yarn. It could certainly be used to make a sweater. I really like Tempest on, and there is a beautiful one in Ysolda's new book, It's due out in September.

Stefanie said...

Wow! The stitch design along with the varigated colorway really does give the sock dimension and pop.

Alice Yu said...

Loved loved loved the colourway! Thank you so much. Both yarn and colour are a total dream to knit with.

Melissa said...

Simply gorgeous. Very inspirational. This is one of my favorite colours too.