Purple is a State of Mind  

Thursday, June 28, 2007

You may have noticed already but I do not have a lot of purple in my color fan. I have one selection of beautiful shades of red/purple. So really, where is all the purple? That was pretty hard for the Purple Princess to take at first. I mean how could I not have a full pallet of all shades of purple? Should I become the Brown Princess? How about the warm coral Red Princess? Maybe even the Teal, Blue Green Princess. No none of those will do at all. How can the Purple Princess be the Purple Princess without purple? What a dilemma. Threw me off balance for a bit but I have come to grips with the irony of it all. I can and will continue to enjoy the color purple from afar and the Purple Princess will remain the Purple Princess. Purple is universally known as a royal color and after all I am a Princess. I just won't be wearing purple. I will be thinking purple. After all Purple is just a state of mind.What of the rainbow Kauni Cardigan? I have been looking at this

and this

and this

Is it me? Mmmmm... I am having a hard time with this. I don't think it really is me but the blues and some of the reds in the yarn are good. It is slightly warm to warm. This is really, really tough because I absolutely love the yarn and want to make the cardigan but is it really me???? I think there are some other colorways of the Kauni yarn that would be better for me. So do I sell this yarn and just get a new colorway? Do I make this one anyway? Such are the dilemmas that I have and this one is agonizing! Maybe, just maybe because I like it so much, there is a way to make this work. I will let you know.

This is my mother in the Burgundy Jawbreaker I made out of the Patagonia cotton. It fits her perfectly.

But is it her color???? (Yes, I made my own mother get her colors done also.)

Not really... her colors are much lighter than mine so I have been a bad daughter. I make my own mother wear everything not right for me. Bad daughter.

Her she is in the entrelac vest I made out of Noro Kureyon color #102. Good fit on mom but colorwise ...???? Not the worst but certainly not the very best, however, she can pull this one off better than I can. She needs to wear it with blue or black. My mom's colors don't show up real well in the pictures but she does have a light yellow, light orange and various pinks. Interesting thing is that she does have a black and I don't. The original pattern for this vest was so bad and I had to change it so much so that I ended up just typing up my own pattern. It fits my mother perfectly!

Nachaele you would like this pattern, see all the double seed stitch?

Sorry mom, I will try to turn over a new leaf and do better to make you stuff in your colors also. Okay I will try to even knit things picked out especially for you.

Kathy, quit laughing so loud, I can hear you!

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Got my Colors, What Now  

Monday, June 25, 2007

I received my new color swatches and as you know I immediately started cleaning out my closets. I skipped over the why fors and the how tos and now I gotta keep it in the dl. (I just heard it from our summer student yesterday) I had never heard it before but it means on the down low, and what that means is anyones guess. Anyway....

After Cynthia put together swatches of my hair color, skin color, eyes, natural blush and freckles, she then went through 2000 plus color swatches in order to pull out my best colors. She came up with these colors that represent me ...

These are the colors that go best with "me" ...I love these colors! These colors describe "me" as slightly warm, radiant and energized. Floral is possibly another word but we left that off the new swatches since it was on my old colors and they were lighter and more of what I think of when I say floral.

So how does one use these swatches and all this information, you ask? Even if you didn't ask I will tell anyway. The colors are not necessarily used individually, they are used as a whole to ensure that one will look their best. I can match any one color to an outfit or article of clothing, however I must also ask myself , will I look slightly warm, radiant and energized. I have some "cool" blues and pinks in my pallet but if the outfit I choose is all "cool" colors, it would not match me since I am slightly warm. The looking radiant and energized comes in when I add to the "cool" colors something in the warm tones to give me that overall look. When I wear the correct colors in the correct combinations I will look slightly warm, radiant and energized. For example ....

I am making a top with this blue yarn ...

It is a very cool blue. It is the lightest color of blue that I can possibly wear. It will look great with a pair of jeans. (I actually have not yet divulged what this will be, but it is a way cool cabley top, more about that later) This will only work with me if I pick one of my medium tone, warm colors to wear under the top to pull it together as an outfit with my jeans. My warm browns and teals will be perfect for warming this one up.

When I cleaned out my closets, I fanned my color swatch and held it up next to the item so I could look at each item next to the colors as a whole. Some obvious mistakes I had made in clothing were the light bright greens and the true cool reds.

I have started working through my yarn. This is much harder than going through my clothes because the clothes are already made up and you know what they are and with the yarn, it will depend on what it will be. It could work even if it doesn't perfectly match any one color, as long as it doesn't clash with me.

I received the new Socks that Rock and the new pattern, The Solstice Slip.

I love the colors, I even love the pattern. How does this yarn look with me?

LOVE IT. LOVE IT, LOVE IT and I think it looks great! There is an orange in the yarn that I do not have on my swatches, but when you look at this yarn as a whole it looks really great with me. It is slightly warm, radiant and energized! What a great yarn.

This is the Noro Silk Garden that I had started the Lady Eleanor with. Too bad I am allergic to the yarn because the colors are wonderful.

This is the Patagonia cotton in a lavender color for a Jawbreaker. This is not a good color and matches nothing. I will trading this in for a better color.

This is the Debbie Bliss Rialto yarn that I traded for the Eggplant color in the same yarn. This color is awesome for me and will become the new Isabella.

I know this is crazy but I really think I will enjoy my knitting so much more by paying attention to what colors look best on me.

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It's Been a Bit Rough  

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I received my new color pallet. I love my colors. Stay tuned for show and tell. I am just too exhausted to get my "color" pictures posted today. There is the good and the bad that goes along with having your colors done.

The good; I have been busy cleaning closets, yes, closets. I am weeding out items that are absolutely not my color or style, keeping only a few questionable items for later review.

The bad; I will not have very many summer clothes left after this. I owned a lot of pastels, bright & lime greens and the wrong reds. I have made so many mistakes that I need to right.

The good; Good Will Industries will receive some very nice clothes, some with tags still on them. Obviously they were not right for me or I would have worn them already. Some have only been worn once or twice.

The bad; I have to buy more clothes.

The good; I have to buy more clothes.

It is pretty rough because I have not been much paying attention to what looks best on me, I have been buying what I see and like whether it was good for me or not! More about his later. This is hard work and I am tired. Also, it is draining because there are things I like that I need to part with and I am finding that to be a bit difficult. My motivation is seeing the difference in myself.

Next I will be going through my YARN!! This could be interesting and will take a lot longer than one weekend. I have already ripped this ...

and returned this ...

The bad; this process may cut deeply into my wonderful yarn stash!

The good; I get to build a new wonderful yarn stash!

I started working on this
The Lady Eleanor Stole in Scarf Style. http://www.interweave.com/knit/books/Scarf_Style.asp

I started it with Noro Silk Garden colorway 246. After one day of using the yarn my hands were a mess. I have never used Silk Garden before and I found out the hard way that I am allergic to it. My hands developed a new break out of tiny blisters that cracked and oozed. Yes, it was very gross and painful. I am allergic to many metals so Cathy R. suggested that it could have been the metals used in the dyes. No matter, I am not using this yarn. I ripped it out and went back to the drawing board.

My friend Kathy is using Trendsetter Tonalita for this project. So I picked some out and yes, I do believe this will work even better than the Silk Garden. It is so soft and beautiful. Best of all I do not seem to be allergic. Thank you Kathy.

I picked this color.

Ocean and Sky Blues #2352.

I also started my Montego Bay Scarf with my Hand Maiden Sea Silk in amethyst that I received as a git from Nachaele.

It is softer than butter and melts in your hands! It is so nice to work with since my hands hurt from using the Silk Garden. Nachaele was kind enough to cut me 24 pieces of fringe while she was cutting hers. Thank you Nachaele.

I also heard through the grapevine that my kit for this has been shipped. I am waiting, looking, wondering and anticipating its arrival!!!


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Color Exploration ... the Beginning  

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Have you ever saw some great yarn, picked out a beautiful color, purchased it, took it home, started knitting a great project, then something else better comes along and you have an instant UFO. Why is it that I am so easily led astray. The beautiful yarn I just purchased is suddenly shunned for another great project with another great yarn that I just have to start. Why??? If the first yarn purchase was so great, why is it not being knitted to completion? I will throw it in a basket, look at it daily until I decide to put it into one of many covered bins upstairs to be finished much later. That way the yarn will stay "fresh and dust free." Ha, that is what I tell myself anyway so why does later never seem to happen.

Have you ever just wasted your money on the "wrong" yarn? Be it color, contrast, texture, style or a combination. Deep down you knew it but you bought the yarn anyway and so it just sits in your stash forever. What good will come of this?

Have you ever worked on a project that you love knitting, you finish it right away but when the item is finished there is just something not right about it. It may fit, you may love it but you don't love wearing it. You really can't say why but you know something just isn't right. So it goes to someone else or it sits in your drawer forever. It may be the wrong color, style or both.

I set out to discover how to make good color choices and good yarn purchases. I spend too much on yarn to keep buying the wrong colors. What really started all this, you ask? Well, for one, I saw this picture .....My finished Burgundy Jawbreaker. Great yarn, great color, great sweater, fun to knit but it looks ghastly on me, it makes me look ghastly and pale. I put a lot of thought into what it is about the Jawbreaker that isn't right. I love the yarn. I did make it too big, see the shoulders hanging down? I could live with that but then there is something else. The color! It is all wrong for me. I can wear medium to dark colors if they are the right colors, it is really the tone of this is all wrong for me.

I also saw this picture .....The yarn colors are good but I am wearing the wrong color of makeup; my make up is too pale and too yellow for my light to medium skin that has natural pink tones to it. (Actually after I saw this picture I went right out and bought a new shade of makeup that received Cynthia's approval.) Wearing the right colors are important in order to look your best. This includes the right makeup color. Obviously!

These thoughts led me once again to Cynthia who owns a company called Color Quest. My updated session with Cynthia proved to be invaluable. I arrived wearing no make up. She cloaked me in off white and then used her color pallet of over 2,000 colors to find the best ones for me. First she pulls out the colors in my hair, my skin, my eyes and my natural blush. Then she proceeds to go through every one of her color trays to pull out the colors that look best on me. Awesome. After she was done she looked at the colors she did for me 16 years ago. The color palette was very similar but there are differences in my hair colors which changed my the contrast of color I can wear. I have a few more darker shades of colors. It will take a couple of weeks to get my new colors in. We also talked about makeup, hairstyle and clothing style. More about that later. Cynthia is AWESOME.

Can you see the difference when I wear the right makeup and the right color of clothing. I look slightly warm, radiant and energizing, apparently that is me!

Meanwhile, here is a shot of my old colors and some obvious Nays and Yeas with some of my more recent yarn purchases. I brought some of my yarn to Cynthia for advice and if you want her advice she gives it to you and does not hold back. Did I say she is AWESOME!These are the colors of my hair, skin, eyes and blush 16 years ago.

This is my color palette 16 years ago. I was described as slightly warm, floral, cheerful. (more about what this means later) I have changed a bit but these colors still represent me. Right away you can see my color choice for this yarn is a NAY. It sticks out like a sore thumb and does not look good with "me" at all. This is a NAY, this yarn does not look good with "me" at all. I would have made Isabella, and looked like a big green blob because the color over powers the look of "me." Both of those yarns are recent purchases of Debbie Bliss Rialto yarn. I had even started working on Isabella with the green yarn. Since it is a color that clearly clashes with me, it is in my best interest to cut my losses, rip it out and exchange the unused yarn for a better color. I will be also able to exchange the Eggplant color. Based on my new colors (you will see these later) I plan to get the Chocolate Brown and Dark Teal Rialto.

Just for fun above are a couple of Yea yarns. Can you see the difference?

Besides color, another aspect of good knitting is to know your own style. I will explore my personal style later. I will also go more into depth with my past color choices of yarn after I receive my new color palette. I plan to review every yarn purchase, make the tough decisions and set myself straight so I can fully enjoy my knitting projects. That is what this is all about. I love to knit and from here forward I want to love what I knit.

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Peaceful Busy Saturday  

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Some of my my Lilies are blooming. Lilies are my absolute favorite flower and I plant a new Lily in my backyard every year. There are only two of them that are currently blooming. I am having a hard time keeping the rabbits from eating them so my other plants are a bit sad at the moment. Does anyone know how to keep rabbits out of the yard, humanely?!

I left the house at 8:00 am on Saturday morning and did not return home until midnight. The day was long yet very enjoyable.

First I had an appointment with Cynthia who has a company called Color Quest to explore color, my color specifically. I learned so much about color, makeup and style. I had been to Cynthia 16 years ago but over the years I have slowly moved away from using my personal colors to make the right make up, clothing and yarn purchases. I love color and love many colors that are clearly not right for me personally but I learned that you can enjoy the colors you love from a distance but when making personal spending choices you need to use the colors that look best on you in order to feel your best. I have also changed a bit and needed this update to get me back on track. My hair has gotten darker and my skin is a bit pinker and what this does is change my color range a bit. I can wear a bit more contrast and my colors even though they were all in the same color family as they were 16 years ago were a little more in the meduim to dark range and maybe a bit muted. More about his experience later.

In the afternoon I went over to Knit Knack to enjoy knitting with friends. It was a more intimate group since many people had gone to Estes Park for the Wool Market. As always it was a great afternoon. Knitting friends are the best.

Nachaele gave me a really cool present. I don't deserve it but I love it! It is a skein of Hand Maiden Sea Silk in the most beautiful shade of purple, a red purple which is a perfect color for me. It is the softest most beautiful yarn and I am so excited. We are going to make the Montego Bay Scarf in the Summer 2007 issue of Interweave Knits. The scarf is beautiful and I will love making it. I can't wait to get started so maybe this week! I want to wait and start it at the same time Nachaele starts hers.
Thank you Nachaele, you are the best.
Christie finished her very first pair of toe up socks.
They are looking mighty fine. Good job Christie.
Judy finished her Isabella. Beautiful, I can't wait to see you wear it. Maybe when it isn't 90 degrees out?
Cheryl finished a cute dress for her very lucky granddaughter. It is so adorable. Cheryl also brought in some pictures of a window she painted. She is a very talented artist.
This is Betsy's sister Stephanie who joined us. She is taking a beginning knitting class and is doing really well.
Betsy, Cathy and Leah were all there as well. Knit Knack is one of those wonderful knitting stores that is welcoming and warm. It is a great place to spend a Saturday afternoon. Very peaceful.
After Knit Knack closed I met my DH, Patty, Jeanne and Dale at Sharon and Drew's house house. They are a group on non-knitting "muggles" who do not understand my knitting life but sometimes they get "gifts" they seem to like.

My friend Patty wore her vest that I designed and knit for her. I used Berroco Suede in blue. The vest is simple, a 3 x 3 rib with a garter stitch edge that I knit in one piece to the arms, knitting the edging in as I went so there was minimal finishing. I just wanted to make something with that suede yarn to see how it worked up. I liked it.
It will close in the front but being a "muggle" she does not know how to block it out after she washes it. It is a 3x3 rib that was intended to be pulled apart and blocked out completely, oh well, I try but she says she likes it and doesn't want me to block it for her again!

Sharon and Drew fixed dinner and then we all went to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Made for a late night but it was a fun, busy day. I love the weekends.

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Ended Finished Done Completed Concluded  

Friday, June 15, 2007

I finally finished sewing up my Roman Stripe Boatneck. It is complete and ready to wear. I will get a picture of me wearing it later. I used Tahki cotton Classic in a rich teal color. It is a good color for me.

The pattern is in this wonderful book by Ann McCauley. There are many other beautiful patterns in this book as well.

Here is a close up of the pattern stitch. It was actually a fun easy pattern to knit. Since it is a boatneck there is minimal shaping since the front and back are identical. If you do this pattern be sure to but an extra skein or maybe 2 of the yarn you choose. I ran out and had to order a skein and couldn't get the same dye lot. Fortunately the Takhi Cotton Classic is very predictable in color and you really can't tell. I have only a tiny little bit left after buying a whole other skein even though I purchased an extra one from what the pattern said right from the start.
Knit Knack, my new favorite LYS located in old Arvada has this fun and funky yarn in a tall bucket on the floor next to the cash register in the shop. This is the kind of yarn you just have to knit with so you see what it looks like. Nachaele actually found the yarn and wanted to make the Dream Swatch pattern by Wendy at http://www.knitandtonic.typepad.com/

The yarn is very different and pretty cool, so my interest was peaked. I also wanted to use this yarn, it is funky and fun so I took a small break purchased 2 skeins of color 3 (many colors with a main color of turquoise.) Same color as Nachaele if you must know.

The yarn is much different than the yarn Knit and Tonic used in her pattern so I adjusted a bit. I used a size 6 needle, only cast on 18 stitches and knitted this up. Just for fun every once in a while one needs a break and needs to knit up something fun and funky!

Okay, picture needs help, model needs more help, bad hair day, bad makeup day, bad light day and then I still need to weave in ends and block this but its just for FUN! You can still get the idea.

Here is a close up of the pattern. Fun and funky but I love it!

Beginning Saturday I will be concentrating on color. More about that later but I promise it will be interesting. If you spend a lot of money on yarn and clothes you will want to stay tuned. If you are on a tight budget you will want to stay tuned. I will be going through a process of determining my color and style so I can make the best use of my yarn, makeup and clothes budget. I will Pass on some how to tips along the way. After a few obvious blunders and wrong color choices I want to do this so I can prevent future costly mistakes by learning to only buy only what looks the best on me.

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