Thursday, January 31, 2013

Color and doubt

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Sweater.  Very colorful, but only five colors.  I can’t believe how hard it is to choose only five colors.  Five colors is not very many, and they have to do all the work and provide all the complexity I usually rely on thirty different colors to accomplish.  They need to be compatible, but not too analagous, nor too primary, nor too dull, nor too neon, and they need to have value contrast, which is the most difficult part for me.  Unless I photograph the yarns and view them in black and white, I can’t see the values at all.  My brain sees pink yarn and thinks it must be lighter than the green yarn, because pink is a light color, right?  Right?  Usually, it turns out I’ve chosen five colors that are the exact same value as each other, which, for a project like this, won’t work. 

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All the way through this colorwork section, I was feeling a little hinky about my yarn choices.  So close to primary colors, which I resist like crazy.  I changed my mind once and started over.  I swapped stuff out, bought new yarn, went back to the original plan, swapped stuff out again.  Doubt.  Finally, there was nothing to do but plow ahead or give up, so I plowed ahead.

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Wait, that looks pretty good!  Don’t you love it when that happens?  When something you dreamed up seems like it’s going all sideways, but then it doesn’t?  When it looks like you imagined?  The best.  (Hey, is that a steek in there?  Am I going to cut that with scissors??  Yes, yes I am.  Gulp.)

39 comments:

  1. Awesome! The colors look great. Sometimes it just happens, and sometimes you have to work it. This is going to be super cute, so your doubt paid off.
    Now what the heck is a steek, and why are you cutting it?

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    1. The steek is that pixellated bit at the center front of the stranded colorwork section. It is waaaay easier to work a stranded design in the round rather than going back and forth, so somebody along the way thought up the idea of the steek, which is just the addition of extra stitches at the point where you'd like your garment to eventually be open (i.e. the front of a cardigan) that you will later cut open with scissors (yiiiiiiikes!) and stitch down on the inside. I don't know why they call it a "steek"--I'll be googling that to find out, because now I'm curious.

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  2. OMG YOU Are AMAZINGLY TALENTED!!!! that is gorgeous and while I accept that you are Human I find it so hard to believe that you actually struggle with color work!!! And; WOW you work fast!!!
    DO you sleep @ night LOL!!!! Kudos to you Kristen <3

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  3. it's looking wonderful!! steeking will be the easy part after all your work in designing, well done kristen!

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  4. I love the color choices. I have those moments of doubt with projects. Some how it just works out. :)

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  5. Got it! I was wondering what was going on there in the front. I'll be anxious to see how you finish it : ) I'm loving that pattern around the bottom.

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  6. I love it! The colors are bright but absolutely stunning together! Love it!

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  7. Well, I love the colours! Looking forward to seeing it finished.....
    Carly
    x

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  8. OMG!!!! SCISSORS!!!!!!!

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  9. I find choosing colours the most difficult part of crochet/knitting. I haven't managed to work out the best way of choosing as I order most wool online as there aren't any decent yarn shops close by. The wool usually turns up and is a totally different shade to the photo on the website. Interesting to hear how you use a b&w photo of the colours to get the values right. I think you have chosen some great colours which work perfectly together. Looking forward to seeing the finished garment - never heard of a steek before and cutting into something hand knitted brings me out in a cold sweat! Good luck with that!! xx

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  10. The colours are awesome & so is the pattern!!!
    Want to see it finished!!!

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  11. I really love this. The colours are beautiful. Most colours are, just a few ughh ones around. I love the design too, does that graph paper say that you made that as well? It's really pretty. Can't wait to see it all done!

    I'm dying to do a steak - it sounds like fun! I wouldn't care if I messed it up, I'd just do some more. My knitting isn't going to get me any place where I need to do one soon though.
    Sara

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  12. Amazing colours Kristen, its looking gorgeous! Love the combo of stripes and pattern, its exciting!Going to be a dazzler!
    Gill xx

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  13. Wow that's beautiful! I'm sure your 'steeking' will go just fine!! (Even with your explanation I'm not quite sure I get it!!)
    Looking forward to seeing it finished (then maybe I'll understand!)

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  14. Oh, Dear Kristen, You need to write your own pattern book! Girl you are so amazingly off the hook talented, whatever your book contained, from the largest down to the smallest thing. It would sell out. You're a innovater just what the world needs. Love everything about the sweater.

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    1. *blush* You are so kind, Pamela. Thank you. :)

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  15. You may have had reservations about the colours initially but boy, do these work! It's wonderful! I'd hate to have to take a pair of scissors anywhere near that though! Take a deep breath and for goodness' sake check twice or thrice before cutting your beautiful work! E x

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  16. You are so very clever and such an expert at your colours. A steek is on my bucket list.
    I absolutely ADORE your new header. Pure class.

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  17. What a beautiful looking sweater! I just took a class to learn stranding and steeking was explained to me. I didn't know what it was and I think it is even a scary sounding word. You are so talented though I'm sure it will come out wonderful and I can't want to see it when you are finished.

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  18. You are one super sonic and ever so inspiring hand knitter Kristen, I love this and the 5 colours you chose xox Penelope

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  19. This sweater is gorgeous and the colors are perfect.

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  20. Pretty Good ???...it's delightful!!! So bright<3

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  22. I think you did the right choice when you decided to knit the huge stripes : they give harmony to the entire design!!!
    xxx Ale

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  23. Hopefully much less doubt, now! Because it truly is fabulous! And quite bright and cheerful, very spring and summer like. Almost kind of a beachy feel to it somehow. It really is fantastic! They are not even remotely primary colours, I don't think - much more joy in them than that! Can't wait to see the end result of your "steek"ing! xoxo, Jess

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  24. Gosh!!!! I really feel stupid when I see such incredibly talent!!!!

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  25. Hi, Kristen! When I started reading I thought you gave up...;but then seeing the last picture, i liked the colors so so much! They match well, not too contrast but visible.
    i had the same doubt when I started combining colors for my granny blanket. I bought only 6 of them but it was So hard to decide which ones will go good together.
    Nice job in the end and I look forward to see your final tunic :)

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  26. The pictures match very well! I find the best way to choose colors is to all lay them down together (on a bright day, i find dull grey days do not justice to the 'real' color) and then start with one colour/group of colours that I would definitely like in this blanket (usually what I already have drawn out) and then start picking them one by one, squeezing my eyes to get al the colors out of focus to see if they blend too much. It's the same 'technique' I use in finding out if my color distribution in blankets is ok, if there is no corner filled with red while others aren't etc.

    Love, Kirsten

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  27. O, Wauw! Beautiful colour combo and design! Liefs Else X

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  28. Hi Kristen, It's me again! I was so enamoured with your lovely new header that I went on a mission today and made up a little vignette of my own to use as my new header! I hope you don't mind?

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    1. Oh, yours is beautiful! And of course I don't mind. :)

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  29. Oh good luck! I am dying to do this - but I agree - choosing the colours is so hard!!

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  30. That came together beautifully! It would probably take me a month to knit a washcloth at this point but I dream of the day I make a baby sweater. ;)

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  31. What lovely colours! I've never tried knitting in so many colours.. is it something really difficult?
    Lavinia

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    1. It takes some practice, but I'm sure you can do it. :)

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