Color Affection Shawl - Choosing colors

Monday, July 29, 2013

I have to say that half the fun of selecting a new knitting project is deciding on yarn and colors. I don't know if it's because I have been flexing me creative muscle more through this blog (my photography and my projects), but I am starting to find more and more inspiration in my surroundings.My recent trip to California has filled me with ideas for new color combinations, projects, oh so many ideas. But more on that in the weeks to come.

Though it can sometimes be overwhelming to narrow things down, I always enjoy the process of choosing colors. Sure there is always that nagging doubt of whether the color is indeed right, but so far, I've been happy with my choices.

To help me in this process, I have created a Color Inspiration Pinterest Board where I gather pictures of color combinations that particularly speak to me. We all know what a tremendous source of inspiration (and obsession) Pinterest can be. I also particularly enjoy browsing Design Seeds. I have used their palettes as a starting point in decorating, knitting, tons of crafty projects, even wardrobe choices.

My current endeavor is the Color Affection Shawl by Veera Välimäki. This is an increasingly popular project on Ravelry and one I could not stay away from. Also, it is a three color project, that literally begs for some funky experiments.

Now here's what I think. If your goal is to have a more muted, subtle shawl, choose tones that are "related", in the same color family. If you are feeling adventurous however, and want to go bold, let your imagination soar!

I had lots of ideas but to be able to make them work I had to choose a yarn base that offered plenty of choices, and for that I went with Knitpicks Palette, after all they do offer it in 150 colors, surely something for everyone? I had several combinations I was considering, about 8 to be honest, and I looked at them for days, asked for feedback, and slowly eliminated them one by one. I even went as far as cutting up my Knitpicks magazine and playing around with the scraps of paper trying to decide. 

Curious yet? All right, well here it is, my yarn and inspiration together:

My colors (top down) are: Marble Heather, Opal Heather and Turmeric.

I find it is a very happy looking combination. Something that will put a smile on my face when I wear it, something to add some color to those dreary winter days.

If you are curious to see, here are some other combinations I was considering:

Summer knitting - Petra

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Like any self-respecting knitter I planned on having a project to work on while away on vacation. I settled on the Petra pattern by the extremely talented Pam Allen. I was attracted by the simplicity of this pattern, by its clean lines and the little bit of pizzaz the twists at the top add to it.

I had some Cascade Dolce yarn in my stash that I had purchased especially for this project, so that decision was easily made. I worked on getting gauge before leaving, so I was all set... or so I thought. 

I cast on within the first few days of arriving in La Jolla, but quickly realized that the needles I had with me  were wrong after all. The sweater is knit in the round starting at the neckline, starting with 120 stitches that you are supposed to knit with a 31 inch circular needle. I really had to stretch my stitches apart in order to be able to accomplish this, and this would have resulted in an extremely wide neck-line. So I was stuck, as I had no other needles with me.

A bit of Google detective work showed me that there were a couple of yarn stores in the area, but by no means close by. I put my project aside, thinking that was it for vacation knitting. A few days later we decided to drive along the coast line, and all of a sudden, while stopped at a red light I glimpsed a store sign that said "The Black Sheep". I confess, I may have screeched!

Naturally we pulled over and I was able to purchase the right set of needles, after having thoroughly inspected their yarn offerings, of course! I was really impresses by the choices of Manos Del Uruguay yarn they offered, it really is beautiful, and I am thinking I may stock up on some in the future.

But my adventures with this sweater continued. I happily carried on knitting away at the pattern, and it may have been the vacation mood, but I did not quite read the pattern instructions well. I was convinced that I had to repeat the pattern 8 times and then it would be smooth sailing in stockinette. Alas, after having gotten that far, I realized it was only 4 times that I had to repeat the pattern....So I did put the sweater aside for now...and I will continue working on it....but I have gotten side-tracked by other projects.

So this is it, it seems my vacation projects are always sprinkled with a bit of drama (see Spain Summer Sweater pattern notes), but in my mind that just makes them memorable!

A glorious trip to La Jolla

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I have started writing this post three times, and all I can say is, words fail me! I want to tell you about our vacation in California, where we spend two glorious weeks, but I am having a hard time finding the words to describe it.

How do you describe paradise?

I fell in love with La Jolla! With the city itself, its Spanish style architecture, the incredible beaches, breathtaking vistas, the laid back pace of life.

I hope that my photos do it justice, but try as I might I know that I only captured a fraction of the beauty that is to be found there.

A little late to the party

Monday, July 8, 2013

In case you were wondering, I have not fallen off the face of the earth, nor have I given up on this blog. I apologize for the long silence, but summer got in the way.

We spend a couple of blissful weeks by the ocean.... but more on that later.

Right now, though extremely late I realize, I want to mention that since Google Reader is no more, you can continue to follow my blog with Bloglovin. I have installed the (hopefully functioning) links to the right of this page. 

So please don't give up on me, I promise more regular updates to come!

Thanks for hanging in there!