Sunday, September 9, 2012

Color Lessons

Last week was our first guild meeting of the year and we were very fortunate to have Amy Hendrix of MadelineTosh yarns.  If you are not familiar with her yarns, you are missing a treat.  Great fibers and really striking color ways for hand-dyed yarns.

I can't do justice to her talk here, but a few points she brought out.  She did describe color in terms of value, hue, saturation and temperature.  If you have had a basic color class or art class, you have heard these terms.  She also talked about how our perception of color is altered by light and what surrounds the color - the Albers Theory.  This is demonstrated by some of his color studies like this one:

The small squares are the same color but we don't perceive it that way due to the colors around them.  She also showed a series of Monet paintings of haystacks where the only differences were the season they were painted in and time of day.  The series on Rouen Cathedral shows the same thing.

She also talked about how everyone has a personal color palette that is more sophisticated than the winter, spring, summer and fall we all learned in the 80's.  She strongly believes that everyone can wear any color based on what you put around it.  That was comforting.

Like most of us, I struggle with putting colors together.  She had advice that was a revelation to me.  She said to think about the colors you are combining in terms of their hue, value, saturation and temperature.  She finds that if she selects colors where they are the same in two of these elements and different in the other elements, it will be a pleasing combination.  If you want it to be more conservative, then maybe tweak only one element.  If you want to be bolder, change three of them.  She had people stand up next to each other to show combinations of what they were wearing and knitting to demonstrate this.  I don't have great pictures of this, but I'm letting the concept rattle around in my brain for awhile.  I'd like to use this concept in choosing my next fair isle project - who knows when that will be!

Next week is the Knit and Crochet Show by TKGA in Reno.  I'm getting there on Tuesday and am very excited about it.  But it did really put me in a time crunch this weekend.  I really wanted to finish a new sweater I've been working on and it took a marathon of knitting over the weekend to get it to where it is upstairs being blocked.  Hopefully it is dry enough to put in the suitcase by tomorrow night. My fingers on my right hand are actually sore - not a good sign so I'll take it easy until Tuesday and hopefully be okay.  You would think I would learn about deadline knitting.

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