Colours are like children. You learn, for example, never to leave young Cedric alone with little Jessica, because they won’t play nicely unless maybe you’ve also got sweet Timmy there to provide a soothing influence on both of them.
But things can turn unpredictable in a heartbeat. Dear Hieronymus and Maud are usually a delightful combination, but add Bob into the mix and – WHAM! – all three start swinging from the chandeliers and behaving monstrously.
As it is with children, so it is with colours. They never exist entirely alone: there is always a context, and that affects how we see them.
Just in case you’re wondering, this post is about a skirt that I’m designing for the book. All began well enough, and the actual knitting started so well that I began to get smug. Let me tell you that when that happens, the universe always shows up to slap me round the face with the cold wet kipper of reason. Every. Single. Time.
As I worked my way optimistically downwards from waistband in the direction of hem, I noticed that colours which combined charmingly near the top mixed badly with the muddier shades that I introduced lower down. This photo looks a lot better than the reality:-
That pale cream was so gentle and calm at first, but appeared harsh and glaring against more muted shades. *sigh*
It was never going to work. Radical surgery was required. Don’t worry; the surgeon was mildly anesthetized with wine throughout the procedure, so she didn’t feel a thing.
And that, my Fine Fibrous Friends, is why I’m currently sitting beside three separate portions of skirt, contemplating the final stages of re-knitting and grafting.
I’d planned just to remove the palest cream, but once I’d done that, the pink that had previously looked delightfully dusky started seeming sickly sweet, so I swapped that out, too.
And now I’m scared that I’ve started a process that will end several years and layers of sanity from now, right back where I began, and after very, very, many attempted substitutions of colour. Did I mention *sigh*?
The plan is that once the skirt has been thoroughly chopped, and swapped, and chopped some more, I’ll graft the pieces back together, and you’ll never guess that it wasn’t perfect right from the beginning. I might even start getting smug. What could possibly go wrong?!