30 October 2014

The Colour Collaborative: October


From a colour point of view October is most definitely a yellow month to me.  It's the leaves that do it, they fade to many shades of yellow.  Other colours too, but yellow seems strongest through October, with orange taking over for November.  Halloween is the clear moment that the switch takes place though.  For the symbol of Halloween, to me, is the pumpkin and so the colour most clearly associated with that festival is orange.

They growing numbers of Halloween decorations and costumes in the shops these days also employ eerie black in abundance of course, slimey green, spooky purples, not to mention terrible blood red too but they can't overtake the sheer glorious bright orangeness of the pumpkin.

Orange can be a difficult colour to pair up being such a glaring and bold colour, but I love it together with subtle and sober greys.  Such a classic combination that I don't ever seem to tire of seeing.  I guess it's the flamboyance of one and the cautionary calmness of the other that balance out so perfectly.

Photo Credit: Steven Depolo

They say that Halloween is about remembering the dead and using humour to ridicule the power of death.  I guess that may still true but lets face it, it seems mostly about the dressing up and the sweetie haul these days.  Those garish candy colours look like a treasure trove of delight to a child but make for a very vibrant and quite frankly eye watering palette to the older eye.  Or maybe just my eye...

Unsurprisingly my favourites are the pumpkin selections.  The happy buoyant orange again, mixed with earthier tones to temper the whole thing down.  I can't decide which I prefer though, the one at the top or this one below.  They are similar but yet slight changes in shade or tone can change the whole flavour of a colour selection and this is an example of that.

The top one is complied of stronger, cleaner colours, the ones below have a chalky tint which makes the whole thing much softer.  I'd happily use either some day though.

But now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go and revel in some orange because we still have this year's Jack o'lanterns to make...

: :

Don't forget to check out the other great 'Colour Collaborative' blogs
for more of today's posts...

Annie at Annie Cholewa
Jennifer at Thistlebear
Claire at Above the River

and this month's guest poster...

Steph at Woolythyme

What is The Colour Collaborative? 
All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff.
Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together?
Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too.
We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination 
our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.
S x


21 October 2014


Thank you so much for all your lovely comments on my last post about the Eleanor cowl and about my reluctant selfie!  I'm afraid it's been one of those weeks (again) and I just haven't had a moment to get back to each of you.  But as always, I'm very grateful for your kind words and I'm glad that you loved the pattern too.

My little sprinting sewing project the other day really reminded me how much I've been missing out on playing with fabric lately.  Trips to the craft room have become rare events and something that needs to change I think.  I'm a little busy with a Super Secret project again at the moment, so I needed another quickie to satisfy the sewing urge.

I fancied a little Autumnal touch, so I've made a little fabric pumpkin mat.  At least I thought I had, but the first two people to view it said, 'oh I like the apple you've made', so maybe I didn't make a pumpkin after all.  Maybe I've made an apple.... 

You be the judge...

Well, it could certainly pass for an apple, I'll give anyone that but I must confess that I was hoping the colour would be a giveaway.  Maybe I should have stuck with my original idea, which was to use curved pieces of fabric to attempt to mimic the contours of the bulging pumpkin shape.  I thought about doing that and then decided, as this was to be a quick and enjoyable little sewing room trip, that I'd stick to something simple.

Ah well, some you win.... some end up looking like an apple!

For all it's imperfections, I quite like it.  It was fun to make and it does add that Autumnal touch that I was after, so it's alright in my book.  Now I just need to get up in the loft and find the rest of my seasonal nick nacks to spread the Autumnal feel around the home a little.

S x


17 October 2014


After my unsuccessful deliberation over what to do with the Noro yarn I got recently I was left in desperate need of some other reason to test drive the sleek Lantern Moon needles I got at the same time.  The answer was this gorgeous cowl pattern in some of the most wonderfully buttery soft yarn that I got on a birthday trip to Loop earlier this year.

I seem to using knitting more as a way to relax lately.  I can get a little fanatical about my crochet projects and so, when I really want to unwind and let the stress melt away, I'm finding knitting is the perfect thing to do.  So I was originally looking out for a simple pattern, something soothing, maybe just a tad mind numbing.  But what I found and then couldn't resist, was Eleanor by Audrey Knight. (Rav link)

Apart from looking lovely, it looks fabulously complicated but actually I still found it to be a relaxing knit.  It's clearly charted out for one thing, but it's one of the those patterns that has a rhythm to it, so you can tell where you are and what you should be doing next.  I really enjoyed it.

It helped that the yarn was some of the scrummiest yarn it's been my pleasure to use in a long time.   (Madelinetosh Merino DK - just in case you were wondering) It was one of those, 'I don't know what it's for but I have to have it' type purchases.  Which, as it was part of a special birthday trip and visit to Loop, I hope I can be excused for.   

I hope it'll be a great choice for a cowl though as it's one of those yarns you just want to smoosh your face into as soon as you touch it.  (I'm not the only one who gets that urge... right?)  Anyway, I'm thinking that having it snuggled around my neck this winter will be a real treat.

Not such an easy one to get a shot of though.  Especially not a 'showing the cowl clearly but not having me in it' type of shot, which is my normal preference, so I've had to resort to a 'selfie' I'm afraid.... scroll down if you dare!

♡     E L E A N O R   C O W L    ♡

Pattern:  Eleanor by Audrey Knight

S x


09 October 2014

The marathon and the sprint

It's a bit of an oblique title and no doubt rubbish for my SEO, but you'll see what I'm getting at in a minute.  I can put your mind at rest though if you were worrying this might be a post about running... I assure you that the terms are used purely figuratively.

No, those words are used here to represent what I've been up to lately.  You see, I've been working on these granny squares and although I'm loving them, me oh my they've been hanging around forever and a day.  Look, I mentioned them way back here in July!  

I'm not good with projects that linger and this one has had so many interruptions and disruptions that progress has been far too slow to keep me happy.  Worse still, after deciding this weekend that I couldn't possibly hook up one more square and 63 of the blooming things would just have to do, I've now joined them together and seen what an utterly inadequate size of blanket they make.  

I've tried to convince myself that it could just be a baby blanket, but for what baby exactly?  Or maybe a really thick border would make it big enough to use as a lap blanket?  But in truth I knew at once that more squares would be needed.  Many more.  Here is my marathon and I'm not even half way yet.

It's while I've been making these squares, pulling colours in and out of my workbasket, that it's become increasingly annoying to me how plain and dull my little brown basket is.  I've had it for ages now, a cheap thing from Dunelm Mill if I remember and suddenly, all this time later I found myself wondering why on earth I hadn't done anything to cheer it up a bit.  A speedy makeover seemed called for.  My sprint!

So a jolly afternoon of fabric selection and sewing was spent fixing the problem.  I had a few pre-cut squares of some CK fabric left in about the right size, so I used those and a few others to whip up a quick lining.  Well, not even that, I just modified the top part that folds over the edge, just a few pretty bits of material and some ribbon on the parts you can see.  The rest of the plain lining was left intact to cover the inside of the basket, just to make my sprint of a project as quick and easy as it could possibly be.

So, now I'm back to the marathon, but you know what, I'm enjoying it.  You can't sprint a marathon I know, but just at the moment I have the time and the energy so I'm racing through these second lot of squares as quickly as I can!

S x

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