Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lilac dreams

At this time of year in my garden, there is more blue and purple and pink than any other time. Blues and purples always remind me of the freshness and coolness of spring. I can’t get enough of them. The other day, our old-fashioned lilac started blooming. Behind it was a maple tree which was popping out limey and chartreuse all over. Against the blue sky, it was a beautiful sight.

Knitters often ask me how I put colors together. I've just been doing it for so long now that is hard to think about how I first started. The whole thing is very natural and intuitive. I've written a few articles on color for knitting magazines and you'll find a good color chapter in Colorful Stitchery. Right now, I am thinking about putting together some kind of talk on color that I can set up on my computer and present to interested knitters and designers for a fee.

Nature is one of the easiest places to gather color ideas. I've been taking a lot of photos to document nice color combinations in nature. I will be posting them here on my blog and hopefully translating them into swatches to post too. It's a long range project that I don't have a lot of time for - but I think it will be fun and be a learning tool I can share with knitters and stitchers when I see them in person.

I've found a new blog you might like to read - it's all about color. Here's the link to The ColourLover's blog and website. If you are a color junkie, prepare to spend a bunch of time on this website. Evidently, there are more people fascinated by color than just me. Does anyone out there know any other color blogs?


knittingiris said...

I've been thinking alot lately about your recent post on green colors, how they just surround us now this time of year. That spring maple color, I didn't know anyone else out there noticed but me. Really. You're right. A hint of chartreuse never hurts.
As for purples, they usually don't grab me, but this time of year....the lilacs, they're just incredible, and make me want to go out and plant hedgerows of them.
Oh wait, I already did that about 9-10 years ago along our driveway coming into our place. Only problem is that they don't get any supplemental water or care so, after checking on them for several years and seeing little to no new growth, I just stopped checking and figured they'd all died off...until yesterday, on a walk to the mailbox I decided to poke around in the grass and other growth. Guess how many I found still alive, even if not a whole lot bigger than they were when we planted them as little whips purchased through the soil conservation district office. TWENTY TWO!!!!! I was so excited. Maybe when I'm ninety they'll be as big as the ones growing on the older homesteads around here and I'll finally have that lilac hedgerow I dreamed about having when we first moved onto our place.

What I really meant to comment about: You really need to open your eyes to see the colors and combinations of them around that really speak to you. It really is almost like a skill that you can learn about and develop, so your color/teaching idea makes sense. Beautiful pics, this post, by the way.

Julie said...

I always love your color combinations! Great idea to take photographs and then develop swatches on that basis...I'm going to give that a try....thanks as always for the inspiration!

Mary K. in Rockport said...

The spring colors you put together look beautiful and perfect. Have you tried Yarnstorm's blog for gorgeous color combos?

Anonymous said...

I have been trying to learn more about color with like minded people for some time now. I asked a rug hooking teacher if she would teach a class strictly about color, tones and hues and my response was a "pause". I then asked a watercolor artist if she was willing to teach me something about straight color, and the same response - that is no difinitive response. Reading it all in books doesn't have the same appeal as being taught by someone who knows. So attendinging a class on color seems like a dream to me. I will be soaking up your forthcoming pages and in a minute will hop over to the color blog you thoughtfully linked. Thanks for some great ideas about copying nature. I see it requires having my digital camera in my purse and being on alert all the time. Enjoy your blog. Jayne

Tami said...

I can almost smell the lilac flowers through my computer screen.

Felicia said...

Yarn and beautiful flowers. It doesn't really get any better. :)

Commonplace iris said...

I've been enjoying reading your blog for a while -- a friend told me she thought I'd like it. I though it was about time I actually leave a comment and say hello.

I'm looking forward to seeing more about your colour project.

Another blog I've stopped by that explores colour is Knitting on Impulse (link to playing with colour posts). At January One, when she was making a mitre square blanket recently, she started taking colour inspiration from photos (mitre madness link).

Oh, and I came across this online tool as well: Palette Generator: Automagically create a harmonious color palette from a photograph. I've tried it out a few times and it sometimes suprises me which colours it does and does not pick out from the photos.

bwilliams said...

Kristin, you like Mother Nature herself have a wonderful eye for color. Green and violet are one of my favorite combos, and when a touch of blue is thrown into the mix its like a breath of fresh air. Another early spring color feast for the eyes is the chartreause if new maple leaves edged in scarlet and brassy-gold... a peek at the magic that comes with the advent of fall.