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purple (MC)

May 8, 2008

There’s a woman in my knitting group who is always commenting about my color choices. She often says something like, “I would never think to put those colors together.” I can’t really tell if it’s a true compliment of my sense of color or a veiled insult. One time she said those exact words while I was knitting a swatch of a dark blue color pattern on a heather brown background (below, from a while ago, never became more than a swatch). Nothing monumental or out of the ordinary, but she felt compelled to point out my “interesting color choice.”



The way I see it, I don’t care about color that much…and at the same time I care about it deeply. I will try anything, I will push boundaries if I feel like it, but if it’s not working color-wise, I will rip it out. No biggie.  I spend a lot of time at yarn stores and with my stash throwing balls of yarn around to see what works.  My favorite thing to do is to find the color that is most repulsive and throw it in to the mix.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not.

The other day my local yarn store was having their annual sale and they had a bunch of bags of yarn marked at a deep discount. Many of the bags were kits, but when I saw the bag of Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed (see it on Rav), I snatched it up just as quick as I could, caring more about the price than the fact that it was purple. When I got it home I realized that 1) it was purple 2) it was purple and 3) it was purple. I never wear purple! In my haste to purchase I also disregarded the fact that there were only nine balls – not enough to make a proper sweater for myself.

So I went back to the yarn store on day two of the sale. My goal was to find more purple (I knew that they wouldn’t have it) or find some contrasting colors of the same yarn for a yoke design (I knew that this, too, was a long shot). Of course they were out of the Silkroad Aran Tweed, but with the help of the lovely employees at the store, I decided that I could use some similar tweedy yarns: Donegal Aran Tweed from Debbie Bliss and Plymouth Tweed. These yarns don’t have that cloud-like feel of the Jo Sharp Tweed, but they have the same look. I got down on the floor and threw a bunch of balls around.  When I got home I tested the colors together on a swatch.


“I likey,” I thought to myself.

So I cast on a sleeve.


Purple as a main color mixed with gold, brown, blue and oatmeal.  Perhaps an atypical color palate; perhaps even butt ugly.  But for reals, every time I look at this sleeve I love it more and more.  And more!

For the record, I am going to flaunt this the next time I see that woman at our knitting group and I cannot wait to see what she says.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. May 8, 2008 9:31 am

    i like your color choices! and from here, it looks more blue than purple. is it my monitor?

  2. wazzuki permalink
    May 8, 2008 9:47 am

    heh! I know exactly what you mean about ‘I would never put those colours together’. I have had similar comments on my knitting. Such people really do assume its OK to make pointed remarks about personal taste….The other day I encountered a woman at a conference who I had only met once before – five years ago, also at a conference. I hardly know her, but she greeted me gaily by asking me if I ‘always wore grey.’ I was tempted to ask her if she was always so berloody rude, but restrained myself.

    Anyway, the colours of your tweedy sleeve are glorious — gorse against a spring sky.

  3. May 8, 2008 9:51 am

    I love your color choices too! It’s stunning!

  4. May 8, 2008 9:54 am

    LOL- GO FOR IT! I hate it when people say things like that, too. I would like to tell her to go fly a kite!

  5. May 8, 2008 10:19 am

    I love that combo! But the MC looks almost baby blue to me?

    Subconsciously, this person may be a little jealous that you can dream up great color combos. Not a gift everyone has!

  6. May 8, 2008 11:54 am

    I think her comment could go either way. As long as you don’t really care about color choices, just take it as a compliment. My thinking is that she means well and wouldn’t purposely hurt your feelings. I think you do beautiful work!

  7. May 8, 2008 12:22 pm

    see, you do have a way with color!

  8. May 8, 2008 12:51 pm

    I really like it!!!!

  9. May 8, 2008 3:14 pm

    Huh? is right! That lady is crazy. Navy blue on an oatmeal background is a perfectly acceptable color combo. In fact, it’s perfect. The light background is a wonderful contrast to the inky blue.

    I LOVE IT when people put dissimilar colors together. Your new sweater combo looks divine! I’m also fond of like-colors together, like orange, red and hot pink!

    You go, Girl!

  10. May 8, 2008 5:04 pm

    I’m seeing blue also, not purple, but it’s lovely all the same.
    When I saw your swatche on Flickr my first thought was “Awesome!” then I thought, I have lots of odd balls of SilkyWool, similarly tweedy, and I want to join your color adventure!

  11. May 8, 2008 6:08 pm

    Yes I thought it was a light blue too. The colors do look together though so it will be interesting to see what that other woman says. Does she knit in different colors or just boring plain ones, although I dont think any color is boring if it is yarn.

  12. crimsonpurl permalink
    May 8, 2008 9:57 pm

    Okay I must be blind as a bat b/c it doesn’t look lke purple as the MC to me…but then again it is very hard to photograph purple. I should know I knitted up tons in purple already and LUV Jo Silk Tweed!! Great find and substitue yarns too!

    Tee hee @ flaunt it in front of her!
    Likewise I think she means well, and her possible backhanded comments are not meant to be malicious.

  13. May 9, 2008 2:18 pm

    It’s good to be bold with your color choices! As for me? I’m in the .4% of women who managed to be colorblind. Hooray for heredity….maybe that woman just needs to get her colors straight!

  14. Katie permalink
    May 9, 2008 3:27 pm

    I like your sleeve!

  15. May 9, 2008 4:21 pm

    I for one, have always been a big fan of your knitting. So if you have bad color choices, I do too. Well…I’ve always known about my bad choices LOL 🙂

  16. May 10, 2008 2:08 am

    Hey, it’s your craft. Do what makes you happy.

  17. May 10, 2008 10:34 am

    I’d be glad to tongue lash her for you, even if it’s me!

  18. Jamieat50 permalink
    May 11, 2008 11:15 am

    OOOOOOH, lovely lady, I do think you & I are kindred spirits, and the person with the irritating comment about your color choices deserves to be totally ignored –! I agree with the many others that the “purple” looks blue — but my personal signature in every item I knit is a two-row stripe of something totally different, and so far everyone loves it. You go, girl — here’s to making everything we knit as unique as we are!

  19. May 11, 2008 12:36 pm

    i love your colour choices. i love your little strawberry blonde girl in all those interesting colours that makes her look even more significant and cute and pre rafaelite than she is already for instance. and i love those swatches.

  20. May 12, 2008 2:17 pm

    Wow. I think it’s fandamntastic.

  21. May 13, 2008 10:26 am

    Supreme colors.

    Here in MN I’m often offered the “Well, isn’t that different?”

    Scathing, isn’t it! 🙂

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