Color Decisions

I’ve been thinking about color lately, which is an interesting reprise from painting in only black and white. Chinese scholars felt that within a black and white image, the receptive viewer could see all colors, and that a black ink painting would allow a person to dwell in the realm of the imagination.

When faced with color decisions in knitting, I expect it to be easy. In mass manufactured supplies, there are certain standard dyes and pigments regularly used – it should be easy to match them and find ones that go together. Ha.

A few weeks ago, I bought these three ribbons as possibilities for my Summertime Tunic. Each had their merits, but I couldn’t decide. At the time I favored the blue and white polka dot grosgrain, thinking the color match was nearly spot-on. My mother favored the sheer turquoise, thinking it would lend delicacy and elegance and that the color was actually closer. As a last resort, I also grabbed the navy satin, just in case.

So now I’m peering and squinting at all three, and I just can’t decide. They all have such different characters and would subtly affect the style of the tunic. I am leaning in a certain direction, but I thought it couldn’t hurt to ask: which do you prefer?

In a totally different color scenario, I got yarn for two other projects recently. At right, a juicy raspberry for a (now out-of-season) Coachella. This is completely uncharacteristic for me, as I usually prefer shades of greens, blues, and brown, but something about this top and my restless need to prolong summer called out for a saturated, decadent hue.

The left is called plum wine, which is really off the deep end as far as my color choices typically go, but for some reason it spoke to me. I bought it with the intention of knitting a Lelah top (seriously in denial about the season over here), but this was before it occurred to me that I may not be able to block acrylic into a nice lace pattern. I will definitely have to test that out.

A Tempting Tempting

This past weekend I started my Tempting and I really love it so far.

I absolutely adore this yarn (Caron Simply Soft) – it’s so squishy and delectable that I feel like snuggling it. The color varies with the light between a warm gray and an almost silver.

The project is moving quickly, which always scores major points with me. The ribbing keeps it interesting, and I’m looking forward to the construction.

What a perfect little knit!

Oh right, this is a knitting blog

Believe it or not, I have been knitting, though it seems I don’t have much to show for it.

I’ve made it past the ribbing on my Summertime Tunic, finally, and am now onto what many have lovingly described as “miles of stockinette.” It’s true that this is a good activity while reading or watching TV, but I do get a little tired of it.

The ribbing looks different from most 1×1 ribbing I’ve done, and I suspect this is to do with knitting in the round. It looks better when stretched, so I’m not worried.

As for the baby sweater (see how the “baby set” has been temporarily downgraded?), I regret to say that no progress has been made.

This is what I was greeted with when I attempted to extract it from my knitting pile. That is parts of the top-down raglan mingled with a very sad, frustrating attempt to unravel the first sweater I knit with this yarn (also, the nicely-matched button thread I found back in May).

Upon dissection, it reveals two separate entities: yarn spaghetti and the sweater. The yarn spaghetti took an inordinate amount of time and blue language, and as it turns out the yarn is all frazzled and strangely textured anyway. I’m not sure I’d want to knit with it again, as I can’t imagine it having adequate stitch definition or a nice appearance.

The sweater itself suffers a major problem. Can you see where I picked the stitches back up for the sleeve? Not a pretty join.

I thought that maybe I could cover that with some embroidery, but I realize the underarm is a disaster as well. It’s possible to rectify it somewhat from the inside, but I worry that I won’t have enough yarn to finish this and the second sleeve anyway.

Mostly, since I will probably have to buy still more yarn for this project anyway, I’m tempted to knit a blanket instead, even though its intended recipient is well past the swaddling stage. Toddlers use blankets, right? An additional concern is that if I don’t get this sweater to them almost immediately, baby Gabriel will never have a chance to wear it before he outgrows it – it may be too small already.

So, quite a pickle, and not one that I’m looking forward to sorting out. Add to this the fact that I can’t find my fifth DPN, and this is one aggravated knitter.

Cast On: Summertime Tunic

Though I can’t imagine I’ll have time to finish this anytime soon, I was happy to finally cast on for the Summertime Tunic.

At this point I’ve got about an inch done. I’m still in love with the yarn and I really like the way the stitches are coming out. I’m stricken by how closely the yarn color resembles my light blue stitch markers.

I also like the way it looks against my brown dress, which is giving me ideas for the ribbons…

I got gauge

Because I really am trying to improve myself as a knitter, I did something fairly out of character: I knit a gauge swatch for the Summertime Tunic. Further, I checked both the stitch count and the row count.

I wanted to make sure that the yarn actually held up to the gauge it claimed to be (yes indeed – you’ll have to take my word for it), and I also wanted to see what it felt like to knit with.

It is a dream. I love the color, which is called Sky Blue. I can just imagine how it will look against a nice Mediterranean tan. I’m happy with the stitch definition, and the feel of the squishy, cuddly yarn in my hands is fantastic.

The best part? It’s Red Heart Soft Baby. Each skein is 575 yards and costs $4.19. This means I will be able to knit the body of my Summertime Tunic for $8.38 (and I got free shipping). I can’t really argue with that.