Project Spectrum

True Colors

This month, Project Spectrum draws to a close (this round, anyway).  This will be my final Project Spectrum post, so let's send things out with some fanfare.  Hit it, Phil. . .


(Last time I posted about this project, I shared a video by Cyndi Lauper.  It is, after all, Cyndi's voice I hear when I think about True Colors.  But Phil has a nice version, too.  And so do those Glee kids.  See the end of this post, though, for the Ultimate True Colors video.)

When I first started out with Project Spectrum. . . way back in May. . . I wanted to explore the Project Spectrum colors in my landscape, through my camera lens, at my sewing machine, and . . . with an all-encompassing Project Spectrum Color Blast yarn-y project.  I was fairly successful in meeting those goals -- and I enjoyed thinking about color within the Project Spectrum context.














Yep.  All there.  True Colors!  (Ravelry details here.)

Project Spectrum, I bid you adieu!  But first, let's check this out:  The most beautiful version of True Colors I've ever seen!  Please click in. . . but you might want to grab a Kleenex first.


True Colors, indeed!

Neutral. . . With a POP

I don't have a "favorite color."  I don't think I really ever have.  True, I went through a "purple phase" when I was a pre-adolescent (doesn't everyone?).  And I used to think I liked red more than any other color (but only certain shades).  But really, I tend to favor . . . neutrals. . . with a POP of almost any other color.

This really becomes evident when you spend some time with me.  My house?


Neutral.  With a POP of color.


My closet?


Overwhelminingly neutral.  With a few POPS here and there.

My decorating?


Neutral.  POPS.

My workout clothes?


You guessed it!

Even my dog. . .


Neutral with a POP.

Maybe that's why I tend to knit in the POP colors?


Maybe I like a neutral background so much. . . because then I can play with ALL the other colors.  And never have to choose a favorite!


And in Project Spectrum Sewing Project News for the month of December, I show you this:


The humble - yet neutral - polar fleece fringed blanket!

Over the years, I have made many, many (many) polar fleece fringed blankets.  I have made them in the team colors of every hockey team Brian has played on.  I have made them as gifts for friends and family.  I have made them to comfort friends who were sick or injured.  I have made them for babies.  I have even made one for Jenny. 

This one is for Erin's boyfriend.  He is a neutral-loving kind of guy, and this will be a perfect Christmas gift for him.  (He doesn't read my blog, so I'm safe in showing it here.)  Although Erin has several of my polar fleece fringed blankets, they were all made for a much younger version of Erin.  A version that liked, for example, blankets with bright yellow rubber duckies.  Or puppies-on-a-day-glo-pink background.  Erin says she giggles whenever she sees her boyfriend wrapped up in the ducks.  It's high time he had one of his own --  in a pattern and color that suits his style!

Hope he likes it!





The end of Project Spectrum is near!  November is the last month of our color journey, and we wrap up with the neutrals:  black, grey, white, beige, taupe.


Last month, I struggled to find teal in my landscape.  In my neck of the woods, teal is not a naturally-occurring color.


But neutrals?  Yeah.  Got 'em!  Especially when we hit late fall.  Then, the neutrals will take us straight through til spring!


Seems that everywhere I look. . .


there's a lot of neutral going on!


I don't mind, though.  The neutrals have a certain stark beauty all their own.  Because there is no color exciting your eyes, you tend to notice other things more.  Like . . . texture.


And shading.


And movement.


There's a lot to like about . . . neutrality.


Which is a good thing!  Because it's what we've got for the next several months!


MANY THANKS to all of you who volunteered to help Erin with her survey.  She was overwhelmed by the response, and I am so grateful for your support.  Hugs to all of you!

Lunch Bunch

This month brings a new Project Spectrum color . . . TEAL.

Hmmm.  Teal.  I wear darker shades of teal from time to time.  I have some beautiful teal yarns in my stash.  But, unless you're in the Caribbean, you don't typically see teal in the landscape.  Especially not in the fall -- when everything is moving toward yellow, brown, red, or orange!

Right now, aqua (which is really a form of teal) is enjoying a "grooviness" factor -- at least in the home décor arena.  It's popping up in trendy kitchens - appliances, dishes, accent colors, etc.  But it isn't showing up in mine.

I may end up sitting out this Project Spectrum month.

But before I go on my Project Spectrum vacation, I have one recent sewing project to show you.  I actually finished it last month -- but I've saved it to post now.  Because there is teal in it!

Last month, I sewed a little lunch bag for Erin.


She hasn't had a lunch bag in a very long time, but she needs to use one now -- because she has late afternoon and evening classes this semester, and needs to take a dinner with her when she heads to campus.

I had recently picked up this book:


I'm kind of a sucker for cute bags -- and I had planned to make a lunch bag for myself.  Instead, I picked this one out for Erin.

It turned out to be much more . . . involved. . . than I had planned.


There are clever little details and handy pockets.  Like this one (for a water bottle).


And an inside pocket


that can hold a little ice pack.

I'm really happy with the way it turned out . . . but, let me assure you, there were times during the sewing process that I wanted to chuck the whole thing in the trash and run out to Target to BUY her a lunch bag!


This is not a sewing project for the faint of heart!  The instructions are complete . . . but not terribly detailed or helpful.  Very few diagrams or photos.  There are millions of rectangles -- all different sizes -- that need to be pieced Just Right.  While I was making the bag, I wondered if the authors/editors really expected anyone to SEW one of the bags from their directions -- or if it was mainly put together to be an "inspiration" kind of book.  Not terribly user-friendly!  (But the bags are adorable!)


The bag is insulated (with Insul-Bright; an insulated batting), so - especially combined with the ice pack pocket - it can keep a lunch nice and fresh.  Thing is  . . . you need to quilt the insulated batting to the outside fabric before you can even begin piecing all the millions of rectangles together!  And then -- you still need to do a lining.  And . . . don't get me started on the straps!  (They are easy -- but the placement is crucial.  And there is no photo or diagram, save the finished product photo.)


Anyway.  There it is!  I'm pleased.  Erin is pleased.  And . . . teal!



This Sunday (October 2) is LIVESTRONG Day -- a day of "global, collective action in the fight against cancer."  (It's also Lance Armstrong's diagnosis anniversary date.)

The theme this year:  Wear Yellow.


I encourage you to visit the LIVESTRONG Day website.  Make a pledge to Wear Yellow on Sunday.  Share your story.  "Go Yellow" -- and create your own LIVESTRONG Day avatar!


And. . . if you know anyone with cancer . . . or struggling with issues of Survivorship. . . encourage them to visit the LIVESTRONG website.  They'll find people who understand, helpful resources, lots of support, and tools to fight!

Wear Yellow.


Shining Through


This week, Project Spectrum needs a little soundtrack.

(Oh, Cyndi.  Even though you can't belt out those high notes anymore, you're still a lot of fun!  Great haircut, too.)

When I first signed on for Project Spectrum, I set two goals for myself.

One: I wanted to let Project Spectrum inspire me to sit at my sewing machine again.  (For the most part, it has.  Although I lost steam during PINK. . . and totally let YELLOW slide by when it came to sewing.)


Two:  I wanted to do some "big" project using all the Project Spectrum colors; something that would last through the entire 7 months.


Initially, I wanted to do something with Granny Squares.  I have always been charmed by the Granny. . . and I thought it would be a fun way to play with all the colors of Project Spectrum.  But then I found this pattern -- and decided it might be fun to put round pegs in square holes.


Initially, I planned to crochet a square or two every month of Project Spectrum (after all, the pattern only calls for 9 squares), then stitch it together, slap on a colorful border, and be done with it by the end of the Project -- without making a real dent in my "regular" knitting.


But, after completing a few, I could see that 9 squares would make for a tiny afghan!  Baby-size.  And I wanted to curl up under this one . . . for a nap; when the snow flies.  So I had to up the stakes!  I decided to make 20 squares.

I've been a crocheting FOOL lately. . . and, while my crochet skills are definitely improving. . . I'm rather sick of this project!


I have finished 16 squares.  (Ravelry details, such as they are, here.)  Each different; each using the Project Spectrum colors in various shades; each crocheted from stash leftovers (except for the main color -- which I needed to purchase -- because you need a LOT of it).  I blocked out the 16 (because they are very. . . odd-shaped. . . before blocking; Tom thought I was making sombreros!), and I laid them out behind my couch in the living room.

I'm trying to figure out the best way to lay them out, color-wise.  I need to make 4 more squares, but I wanted to see what the finished afghan "needs" in terms of color before carrying on.

So I keep switching things around.  Contemplating.  Considering.  (Suggestions are most welcome.)


Now that the end is near, I'm finding these true colors . . . beautiful.

Like a rainbow!

Some Things Just Work Out

I never intended this to be a Project Spectrum . . . project.


I cast on for this tank top in May (that was Project Spectrum RED month).


And after a strong start in early June (that was Project Spectrum GREEN month), it languished throughout July (Project Spectrum BLUE) and August (Project Spectrum PINK) . . .


only to make it to "finished" status in September*.  Which happens to be Project Spectrum YELLOW month.

Some things just work out.

Ravelry details here.

* Of course. . . it's too cold to wear it now.  But there's always next year.

A Little Gloomish

The weather has taken a distinct turn for the gloomish.  It is too dark to take photos of my new yellow sweater.  It is too wet to take pictures of roses (which are blooming like crazy).  It is too cold to go looking for yellow.

This week, my Project Spectrum post can still feature yellow.  Just . . .yellow you can eat!


(My favorite.)

Enjoy the weekend.


A Color Story


Once upon a time, there was a bright pink skein of yarn.


Or, at least, it LOOKED like a bright pink skein of yarn.  It looked so bright that a Certain Knitter thought that it was probably TOO bright and TOO pink for her (very particular) tastes.  So it languished in The Stash for several years.

In that same Stash, there lived a prized skein of yarn from the Kingdom of Sundara


It was a skein that just looked like a party waiting to happen -- black. . . with pink/purple confetti.  The Certain Knitter was waiting. . . waiting . . . waiting for the perfect opportunity to release the power of the prized skein from The Stash.

And then, in the summer of 2011. . . there came to pass the Through the Loops Summer Shawl KALCladonia was calling.  Loudly.  And the Certain Knitter heeded the call.

What if. . .

What if. . .

What if. . . the Certain Knitter married the brightness that was the Too-Pink Skein. . . with the beauty that was the Confetti-Black Skein. . . in stripes!  Cladonia stripes!  The Confetti-Black would surely tame the brightness of the Too-Pink skein.

And. . .

What if. . .

They were joined in fun by


Mr. Neon Green.  Leftovers still lurking in The Stash.  Already appearing in Tempest And minions.  Wouldn't he make a fine addition to the party?

Absolutely.  Send the invitation.


Let the wild rumpus begin!


Something happened along the way.

The Confetti-Black. . . was a lot more . . . black. . . than expected.

And, when paired with black in a two-stripe pattern, the Too-Bright Pink. . . appeared. . . not-so-bright.  In fact. . . it appeared. . . sort of purple!


The Certain Knitter was slightly flummoxed.  She was planning on a Wild Rumpus.  She was planning on a Party.  This was Not Quite What She Expected.

Never fear, though.  Mr. Neon Green would pull her through!  He would Save the Day and become The Life of the Party.


But no.

That was not the case.

Mr. Neon Green did not Save the Day. Mr. Neon Green gave the Entire Project a witch-y look. . . somewhat reminiscent of the Certain Knitter's favorite musical.  And, while the Certain Knitter does not actually mind a Wicked-themed shawl, it was not the Look She Was Going For.

Serendipitously, a Certain Knitter sat on her needles and pulled out several rows.  Luckily, she discovered a more grievous error in her lace knitting.  Fortunately, a Certain Knitter had to re-think the project.  Just-in-the-nick-of-time, a Certain Knitter faced the facts.

This Color Story did NOT have a happy ending.

So she ripped.  And she pondered.  And she placed every darn stitch back on the needles.

And resigned herself to a slightly more-boring color scheme than she had imagined.  She knit the 16-row lace pattern in one of the main colors (the Not-Too-Bright-But-More-Like-Raspberry-Pink).  She settled on a two-color Cladonia.


But, then. . .

But, then. . .

But, then. . . she listened to the little nagging voice that kept whispering. . . Mr. Neon Green was invited to this party.  Mr. Neon Green Has Potential.  Mr. Neon Green Demands To Be Heard.

And the Certain Knitter decided to Go For It.

She decided to let Mr. Neon Green be In Charge of the Border.  She let him drip from the edge of the shawl.


And THAT. . .


made ALL the difference!


The End.

(Ravelry details here.)


Unfinished Business

Like. . . we're talking WAY unfinished.

Here it is, the end of August; the end of PINK in Project Spectrum. . . and what've I got to show for it?

Zip.  Nada.  Nil.  Zilch.  Nothin'.

But a pile of unfinished business!


Erin took one look at this shawl over the weekend and said, "Ummmmm.  Mom.  Wicked?"  That does it.  The green is going.  (Besides, it had to be ripped anyway.  I read the wrong side rows of the lace chart backward.  Duh.)


This is a possibly-adorable summer dress in tie-dye, heavy on the pink-ish (but hard to tell in my sewing room light), started on an early August afternoon and . . . still just sitting there.


And this was yet another rather ambitious August project.  (It's to be a garden bucket cover -- bottom right on the pattern.)  That's it's current status.  Pile. of. Fabric.

So, August is flying by -- without much PINK to show for it. 

What's a gal to do?  Why, take off for points Up North.  Leaving that unfinished business behind!  (Although I will take the Wicked shawl and try to . . . do something with it.)

Happy weekend!