So, I should probably start by explaining I am addicted to yarn and fabric. I often buy bits just because I like them. Other times I buy bits because they're on offer. Every now and again I buy for a specific project. Now I realise this is a bit of an odd way to shop because it means I have yarn in my basket that I might never actually use. There's also the leftover scraps that "might come in useful one day".
But there's one thing I have realised from looking at the yarn in my basket. I am drawn to blues and purples. It's true, those are my favourite yarn colours. There's also a distinct lack of yellow, my least favourite colour EVER.
Then I look at what I buy for specific projects and I see the lovely bright mixtures from the Stylecraft range, that I use because I was inspired to by Attic24's Lucy. The granny stripe blanket I made makes me smile every time I go to bed.
I also have no real preference between pale pastels, brights and deep, dark colours. I can appreciate them all. I can see how they bring a different look to a finished item and that they all have their merits.
Take my sofa as an example:
There's such a mixture of colours, from the dark green and red in the hexagon blanket to the muted pastels in the granny square cushion to the bright spots of the cushions. Yet they work well together.
I'm often amazed at how much you can mix colours together and get something that works. When I look at old quilts in exhibitions made from vast quantities of scrap fabrics that look so beautiful and yet so often I will buy a range of co-ordinating fabrics to make my quilts with.
|Bargello Quilt Top made from Sophie by Chez Moi for Moda Jelly Roll|
I think some of the most beautiful items I've seen are made with a single dull colour of yarn, like a grey or a brown. I often wonder why I rarely buy these colours; they are the ones I buy when I want to make something specific.
Then I wonder if plain yarns are like backing fabric for quilts? One of those things I can't get excited about until I see the finished top. Maybe I just can't get excited about a plain grey yarn until I see an amazing pattern.
I think that's why I love the Halloween quilt I made. I loved choosing a backing fabric because I didn't want a plain back. I wanted to indulge the Halloween theme. I wanted witches, ghosts and spookiness.
So, when I'm dyeing I don't want to churn old those plain old colours that are so widely commercially available. I don't want to put one colour in the dyepot. I want to be excited about what I might pull out. I want to pour random colours into a slow cooker and be amazed when I lift the lid. I want to put colours together that you just don't see in your local wool shop.
But I also bear in mind what the yarn might be used for. I do pull myself back from colour combinations at times. I think about who might buy the yarn, what they might make with it. Laceweight is a good example of this. Many people use it for shawls with gorgeous stitch patterns and having a yarn with subtle colour changes in it can have stunning results.
But I keep wondering why I don't apply the same thought when shopping for yarn. Why don't I consider what I'm using it for & how much I'll need? Because that's how I've ended up with a basket of yarn and no plans to use it!