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color color everywhere [Apr. 21st, 2004|12:57 pm]
[mood |thoughtfulthoughtful]

I have seen a number of people (and talked to people I know) who have real trouble with color in their knitting and sewing. They're fine with a one-color item, or with using colorful yarn that someone else has designed. But putting colors together freaks them out. Now there's a lot of things that freak me out, but color is not one of them. I was matching my mom's outfits and accessories from before I can remember, and I've always loved color.

In fact, I don't do it full time, but I actually color professionally (and I was even nominated for an award for it once!), and think about color a lot -- putting together combinations in the house (turquoise and pale blue dining room; red and gray living room; orange and cream in the boy's office, etc) or wherever. And starting to play with color in knitting is something I look forward to!

But for those who aren't comfortable with color there doesn't seem to be a lot of help other than the most basic color wheel instruction that you get in any home decorating book, although there is an upcoming book that looks very valuable, Color Works, which addresses the issue.

Here are some things I recommend to anyone interested in color:

Read through some basic color theory books. For the most part, get them from a library as you will not really need to refer to these books later. The Elements of Color is a great book I read in one of my design classes in college. The Color Star is by the same author. Skip the books about mixing color, or that are geared towards painters. The effects of color in paint (or printing) are quite different from the effects of putting two opaque colors side by side.

Also check out some books on color for graphic designers. The pantone books are almost always great (if frightfully expensive). The Guide to Communicating with Color is a very good one.

For slightly cheaper inspiration, look for home magazines that focus on painting. There are often specialty issues that are about nothing but color schemes for rooms, which I always find fascinating. There is nothing wrong with copping someone else's color scheme!

And finally, my #1 source of color play and inspiration: every time you are near a home or paint store, look at the paint chips. Pull colors that attract you, whether you think you'd ever use it or not, whether you think you can put it with anything else or not (skip the metallic and special effects stuff). The larger single-color chips are especially good for this. Take them home and start a collection of them. Eventually, you will have a vast range of little swatches of colors you have found interesting, and you can combine and recombine them to your heart's content. There is no better way to learn about color and to learn what combinations you like. Reading up on color theory may help you understand why you like what you like and make it easier to find other colors you will be able to integrate into your color schemes. But even if you're just running on intuition, this alone will really help you look at color. I have a whole box of paint chips myself (going all the way back to the 1930s) and I may not pull them out all the time, but I still will go through them looking for inspiration every so often, whether it's to change the color of a room, pick fabrics for a new project, or whatever. And if you decide to chuck it all and never think about color again, your investment was $0!
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more references! [Apr. 21st, 2004|12:15 pm]
[mood |soreachy]

So that was Nanette of Knitting in Color who let me know about her swatches. And she also sent me some more great references for the Master Knitter's program:

Esther Bozak's intro to mosaic knitting -- for Level III, but essential because I know I haven't been able to wrap my mind around the concept yet, so this'll be great to have on hand when I get that far (you know, in 10 years).

An online argyle sock knitting class!! From the Socknitters' site, an absolutely great reference for the Level II sock. Not just a pattern you can use, but every step and every concept is explained in detail. Just going by the quality of this guide, I'd say if you're interested in socks at all please go check this site out.

And here's an interesting page, including the actual "you've passed" letter that this woman got when she passed Level I. Pretty neat. (She also has pamphlets and patterns available that are almost all applicable to the program).

In knitting news, hurt my shoulder and arm badly yesterday so no knitting! It hurt all the way to the end of my left hand. No idea what I did, either. The boy was all for taking my to his arm/shoulder guy but I decided to wait and see. Seems better today. Fingers crossed it's nothing (um, right hand fingers only, that is)
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TKGA swatches [Apr. 20th, 2004|11:07 am]
[mood |happyhappy]

Got a comment 2 posts down about Level II swatches being up on someone's blog -- the comment was anonymous, but then I thought "maybe that was Nanette from knitting in color"? (which btw is one of the few knitting blogs I check daily, it's so inspirational -- and spookoo, she has bunnies...). So, anyway, I started looking in her archives and came up with more swatches to look at!! These are for TKGA Level II: inset pocket; several seaming examples (see close-ups); tubular knit fair isle (I love that pattern); laces; cables; and an inside-out view of the argyle sock.

Knitting in Color was on the short reference list I sent around to friends of mine who are also signing up for Level I:

see TKGA reference listCollapse )

Also, keep meaning to post this link: Joann's online now has a knitting section of the website/catalog. Not the greatest selection but their prices are always good.
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bleh [Apr. 19th, 2004|11:44 am]
[mood |awakeawake]

Long weekend, didn't get much done. Got some work done on the stripey kitty blanket, but I think a kittycat here has an eye on it...but since our cats are all, in fact, rescued NYC cats, I suppose they deserve kitty blankets too. If I have to I'll switch to sewing for the kitties!

In TKGA tidbits: I hopefully will be picking up all my office supply stuff today, and yarn on Thursday (we'll see). I did find a good cheap source of Paton's Classic online though, at Smiley's Yarn. (scroll down). Minimum order is $30, but there's a lot of really neat discounted yarn here, it would be easy to put together $30 worth!! If I can't get to my yarn by the end of this week, I may go with Smiley's myself.

And I think I found my next project...there's a really cute moss stitch cardigan in the Winter 2003 VK, with a silk tie. Can't find a picture online but if my scanner stops being mean to me I'll get a pic of it soon. I think it would be a great fall sweater (not that interested in summer knits). Looking at Lopi Lite for it, which comes in some beeyootiful colors. I'll need to get a sample and see it it itches me too badly.
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TKGA links [Apr. 16th, 2004|11:38 am]
Some recent posts on the knitting in color blog worth hanging onto: brioche stitch (level III) and some thoughts; a list of reference used through all 3 levels.

I'd love to see more swatches like this, especially from people who've passed. I think it's good to see that no, you don't have to make your knitting look like a machine did it!

Also on the TKGA front, I scored almost every book I needed with a deal from the Crafter's Choice book club. They sent me a "renew your membership" offer and for about $15 total I got: The big Vogue Knitting book; the Maria Parry Jones Knitting Stitch Bible; Knitting in the Old Way by by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts and Deborah Robson; Nancie M. Wiseman's Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques; then because there was no reference left, the Knitter's Book of Handy Patterns by Ann Budd. Plus, a bonus free book (for inviting a new member -- anyone else want to join? I love free books ^_^), the upcoming Knitting on the Edge by Nicky Epstein. SCOOOOORE!!!The only other book I wanted was the Montse Stanley book, which amazon has pretty cheap. So all I need are my office supplies and then my yarn, which I hopefully can go in to get next week.

In other news, all knitting on the secret project was finished yesterday (mostly at the accountant's). Today it's sitting through some very hardcore blocking. I have it on top of the (hot) radiator, my favorite blocking technique, so it should be ready to finish tonight. It's the first thing I've designed 100%! (Well, I did design the scarves, but that whole group grew out of the original Coronet design so I don't count them as 100% original.)

whoops, never finished this entry!!

blocking was a huge success. Finishing today and then some photos.

The reason I never finished this is we took yesterday off and went to our favorite hangout, Mitsuwa. At the big Kinokuniya, I tracked down the knitting book shelf and checked a few out before we went to eat. A little too much on the foofy-frilly side but there were some neat-looking books. Next time I'll have to give myself time to really look. And the best was all the character knitting! A book of Hello Kitty/Sanrio toys to knit; a book of Hamtaro sweaters and toys; and an all-pokemon book! (the highlight -- the pikachu hoodie) Such cute stuff! When my nephew is a little bit older I might have to start picking those books up!
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Norwegian knitting!! [Apr. 15th, 2004|10:33 am]
[mood |soresore]

A link to this collection of vintage knitting books from Norway (actually, in Norway, I think) was posted recently on the yahoo vintage knitting group. Very cool, every single page is scanned. Of course the instructions aren't quite readable and they're in Norwegian. But the pictures are great. Check out all the lingerie and bathing suits! Pretty amazing that people used to knit such things. I'm so glad that we have a zillion places to buy clothes from and we aren't forced to make our own, we can do it because we choose to.

Also from Norway -- knitted menstrual pads from the 19th century. (Don't worry, the photo is not creepy.) I think....not. Although I bet someone, somewhere, is going to revive this idea.
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argh [Apr. 14th, 2004|10:38 am]
[mood |tiredtired]

Yes, we're going to the accountant's today to go over the tax return. Could I have cut it any closer? Ugh. But, on the good side, I can take my knitting and (assuming I get a seat, that is) try to get closer to finishing my current (secret) project. It's pretty close, although it will be in need of some heavy duty blocking when I finish.

And to add to yesterday's list: a notebook to keep track of stitch patterns and things in, which isn't exactly a big deal since I've probably got 10-20 unused sanrio notebooks I've amassed over the last decade. Gotta use it or recycle it!!

And now that all that is over, hopefully I can get to that last piece of Emerald City and finish that up by next week!
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things to buy [Apr. 13th, 2004|11:06 am]
[mood |contemplativecontemplative]

My TKGA shopping list:

:: Sheet protectors, 20-25. Have to hold knitted swatches so these "high capacity" ones might do the trick.
:: A binder, no more than 2" thick. Won't buy until everything's done so I know just how deep it needs to be. Lighter weight is recommended, and I think this is a nice option, or something like this with a thin plastic cover. Maybe grab a super-cheap one in the meantime to hold everything.
:: supplies for making tags: card stock (which I probably have) and hole reinforcements (which I may also have).
:: A couple balls of Patons Classic Wool, in a pastel with one (light) contrast color.
:: And a few more reference books. If nothing else, a copy of Vogue Knitting. Which is of course, out of stock everywhere. And maybe the Montse Stanley Knitter's Handbook. But I wanted those anyway. Maybe a finishing book too, but I haven't had a chance to check them out and figure out which one I want.

And that should just about do it. Now, the question is...when do I actually find the time to get everything?
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home again II [Apr. 12th, 2004|07:52 pm]
[mood |chipperchipper]

LYS update: we drove by the open store and it turned out to be really for quilting and needlepoint. They were closed but we could see in pretty easily and there is some yarn and knitting supplies. And it looks like a nice friendly store, so if I need something quick and don't want the headache of Joann's or Michael's, at least it's an option. The 2nd store (not open yet) looks to be all-knitting, so here's hoping!

Also, I got my TKGA Level I materials in the mail! Very exciting. I need to go into the city to buy the yarn I plan to use and figure out what else I need to assemble before I start. I feel pretty confident about, well, let's say a decent portion of it. And I think there's nothing in there that's beyond me. Cables are about the hardest and I've been doing those for a short while now. Which doesn't mean I'll breeze through, or pass the first time even, but that I feel totally up to the challenge.

I've also decided to put a couple of blankets for the critter knitters on my project list for the next couple of months (although I may sew a few). I got to see an old blanket knitted from Lion Brand Homespun this weekend, and not only has it held up well to many washings, but it was very soft and the cats love it. So I think I'll make kitty blankets out of that, and maybe practice color changes or something while I'm at it, using this Critter Blanket pattern as my starting point. With 3 of our cats being rescued, and having personally rescued and adopted out 4 feral kittens it's kind of a personal thing for me. We see those shelter cats (and I've seen their little blankets!) and we wish we could give them all a home. But we can't (because that's how you turn into those crazy people with 74 cats and a health hazard) so I'm going to make them some quick blankets instead.
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home again home again [Apr. 12th, 2004|11:28 am]
[mood |awakeawake]

The trip was good, got lots of work done. Actually had knitting talk, as my brother's mother-in-law is a die-hard knitter and crocheter. She is way beyond me proficiency-wise but I was able to tell her about provisional cast-ons which she didn't know about (I think she's mainly a blanket knitter). Got lots done on my project, both on the plane and during the weekend.

Exciting knitting news: a week or so ago the boy noticed a brand-new yarn store open pretty close to us, which I haven't gotten a chance to check out yet, and this weekend he was driving somewhere from our house and saw a storefront for yet another new store that is "coming soon". So that is pretty exciting, since the only actual LYS near me was pretty lame (because it's really for latch-hookers!). And now I'll have 2 locals and at least one of them looks pretty hip.

I also found a book I'd gotten waiting in my stack of mail, Hollywood Knits by Bill Gibb, a major 1970s UK knitwear designer. The book came out in 1987, shortly before his untimely death, and is a guide to recreating 20 different old-Hollywood sweaters as seen in various studio publicity shots. The photos and bios are great (and I'd never heard of some of these people, like Vilma Banky, "the Hungarian Rhapsody"), and a lot of the sweaters are really cool. I got my copy super-cheap because it was discolored on the outside (who cares!) but it seems pretty gettable at a reasonable price. Definitely worth seeking out if you're interesting in vintage sweaters or just want an interesting project.

I also had about a half-hour of downtime during which I just started surfing knitting blogs, and if I can figure out where some of them are I found some interesting links I'd like to post. If I can find them again, that is....
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