Saturday, January 23, 2010

color...

When Ted and Sylvia Plath Hughes purchased their first home in North Tawton, Devon, England in the early sixties, Sylvia, the whirling dervish that she was, immediately set about making the house a home. She painted the walls, doors, woodwork, furniture, and probably even some of the floors. This part of her story is always guaranteed to make me feel like a sloth.

From the numerous biographical material I've read over the years, the house held a room on the second floor which was hers, and hers alone. A writing study. One of the room's most prominent features was a vivid red floor rug. Or was it walls (or both)? I'm pretty sure it was the carpet, but I'm far too focused on my thoughts to ferret the truth out of my bookcase.

Sylvia was invigorated by color, especially red. She believed it actively fed her creativity. As a knitter, I identify with this; color is my primary inspiration. What I realized last month is that the color of my projects can either inhibit or fuel my knitting.

When I didn't feel like knitting a pair of turquoise colored socks that needed to be done a week before Christmas, I panicked. Failure was not an option. I wracked my brain for way to trick my Id, for lack of a better metaphor, into sating the requirements of my Superego.

I felt the ennui in my bones. Eight days passed. Then, with less than a week left to finish and ship the socks my inner knitter came to the rescue with the idea that a new project, in a contrastingly colored yarn, might do the trick. The turquoise sock was the third project in a row in the blue family.

Although my favorite color, I had unwittingly reached my threshold for blue projects. I searched the stash, found an anti-serum to the blue and after a few hours knitting with the contrast project, my passion for the turquoise socks was reignited. The project was completed in four days and arrived at it's new home across the country with two days to spare.

bluemosaicv2

When I need a short distraction at work I visit Sundara Yarn's web page. Ogling her yarn several times a week is one of my life's simple pleasures.

A week or so ago, some sport merino in the Glacier colorway sprung up:



It barely registered. Yes, it is one of my favorite blue shades: pale, steely, aloof, but at $28 bucks a pop, not a likely candidate for purchase. There are more vibrant colorways to capture my attention, fuel my imagination. I was finishing up my second candy colored pair of socks, pondering the wide open field I had for my next project.

Was it a day later, or two? It may have been three days, but it happened. I realized I wanted to knit a sweater in that glorious glacier yarn, and I wanted to knit it now! now! now! Yet, I can't justify the purchase of pricey, varying skein to skein Sundara yarn. Not for a sweater. My inner knitter has no doubts about this. She knows I have two sweater quantity stashes taking up room in my yarn closet. I must knit with this yarn first.

The first is some fabulous Jo Sharp DK Tweed. My new go-to sweater yarn


EOS_2557b

The second, some forest green Cascade 220 superwash. This opalescent yarn has been stewing in my stash for about 2 1/2 years. I've abandoned numerous sweater projects with it and have had a design swatching project sitting in my knitting basket vying, unsuccessfully, for my attention:

raglan scoop testing

What I didn't know until that aforementioned moment is that neither of those colors were the right color for a sweater project now. I wasn't knitting a sweater because I was lazy, I wasn't knitting a sweater because the right and perfect color hadn't knocked my socks off yet.

Now that it had, I did what any self-respecting, fiber-obsessed knitter does. I hit a local LYS on my lunch break. I found the perfect color in a not so perfect yarn. I was hoping for some serviceable cascade 220, but my muse came to me in the form of some Patton's classic merino blend.

Paton's Classic Merino blend

As I swatched, and I swatched, I felt some condescension towards this workhorse yarn. The haughty snobbery metamorphed into tension in my neck and shoulders and I grew crabby.

By last night it reached a point which I decided would be its zenith. I grasped, hopefully, for an antidote, a size US8 circular needle, and cast on with verve.

Ice-9 Raglan


Success is the best revenge.

 

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