Sunday, 25 April 2010

alls well that ends well

I foolishly made the claim just a few days ago that one of the reasons I enjoy dyeing is that I am not too particular about where the process leads me. Good advice if I actually followed it all the time.

My gift and curse here is that my sense of colour is crap. Along with drawing, it's my major crafty weakness and I often rely on the judgements of others, particularly when I am out of my colour familiars. The good bit about that is that I can be happy with a dye outcome because I don't have rigid ideas about good and bad colours. The bad bit is that setting out to seek the 'perfect' colour or shade is like a blindfolded tightrope walk, I have absolutely no tools or skills in navigating the colour spectrum.

So the problem is that when you are heading into a full size adult garment armed with the knowledge that such pieces are relatively rare and considerable investments, the knitting becomes considerably more angst ridden. The pattern, the yarn, the colour. The desire to make something you are confident will turn out, fit well, look great, get a lot of use, be stunning and a many boxes to tick!

I was dyeing for the perfect red. So the tomato yarn became burgundy yarn became gothic purple yarn and now that it's all dried it's become a rather appealing mix of darkest aubergine with warm red highlights, purple undertones and inferences of black. I don't think the colours in the picture are exactly spot on (if anyone knows the secret to better colour capture do please let on), but I'm guessing once knit it will look different yet again anyway. The process of drying alone has seriously transformed it already.

The bottom line to it all is that it took a long time and rather a lot of dye and swearing to get here, and here is not where I was heading, but I find it quite agreeable now that I am indeed here.


Ren said...

I like the final result very much. Can't wait to see it all knitted and on you. It will look awesome.

flowerpress said...

I love your colour! I liked it at the last stage too :-)

And I love the subtlety of all the other colours within it. Will look great with the detail of that tea leaves pattern - I think they will look great against black too.

(Oh and I find that shade of red one of the hardest colours to photograph.)

Linda said...

After a decade of colour mixing with preschoolers and in-service training Prac students I boldy offer the following unsolicited advice:

The 3 primary colours are red, blue and yellow. Black and white are shades. Every other possible colour is a combination of either 2 or 3 of the primary colours.

If you bring in a hint of yellow (off white wool would be a "yellow") you will get a red/yellow such as the colour that is usually referred to as tomato red.

If you start with a brilliant white you should get a true red.

If you bring in a hint of blue you get an entirely different shade of red. The red/blue is usually more flattering to wear.

Trying to get a red/blue after starting with a red/yellow sits firmly in the "too hard" basket. The blue and the yellow results in green and then you have a red/green and start heading towards the "dirty reds".

If you want to take the fun out it you can buy Colour Wheels at most craft stores.

I drool over you sock knitting - in a good way of course..

Linda said...

bugger - typo in the last sentence - should read "I drool over YOUR sock knitting" - sorry if I grossed anyone out...

Megan said...

I must make that tea leaves pattern too - every one I have seen looks great in a photograph.

I absolutely adore this colour you have mixed up for yourself.

nikkishell said...

I like it!

travellersyarn said...

Now you can have socks to match too! I think that the sock yarn that I dyed for you was created with pretty much the same process.

mary jane said...

Scrumptious, I'd be tempted to try and eat it.

Kate said...

Red's are particularly hard to photograph accurately, apparently. Linda's exposition was v. interesting - I sit firmly in the blue-red camp. And, predictably, I like them highly saturated. This is partly preference, partly what looks good on me - I find blue reds are richer and make my dark colouring look interesting, whereas yellow reds make me look sallow and untrustworthy :P

I really like the colour you've ended up with! It's hard to like things completely when they turn out not like you saw them in your head. Especially, as you say, when the stakes are high and you want to start with something you love. But I think that will look glorious.