Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A Little Night Magic

One of the things I loved most about painting (both in watercolors and in oils) was the magic process of blending colors. Oh, I know there really isn't any magic involved. It's actually a very logical process. Red + Blue = Purple. Blue + Yellow = Green. Sure, there are a thousand variations within the formula but the principle remains the same.

When I started knitting again in August 2003 I greatly missed the fun of setting out daubs of paint on a palette and seeing what I could make with them. It never occurred to me that the same kind of magic could be found with yarn. I mean, yarn is . . . well, it's yarn. It isn't liquid. It can't lose itself in another liquid and become transformed.

Or can it? I picked some beautiful pink mohair and some equally beautiful orchid mohair from my stash. I knitted a small swatch of pink just to see how it handled. (A knitterly test drive, as it were.) I knitted a small swatch of orchid. To be honest, I wasn't particularly overwhelmed by either one. But when I took a strand of each and knitted both of them together --

Wow! They blended together into something brand new and gorgeous. The fuzzy bits of each color collided together and locked like Velcro and I was enchanted.I know it sounds simple. Ridiculous, even. But it's part of the knitting journey I seem to be on this time. I would never have tried that years ago. I saw yarns as separate entities destined for separate fates. I didn't use dpns or circs. I never ripped back. And I lived in terror of dropped stitches.

Not any more.

If this is part of getting older, I think I like it.



Blogger LauraP said...

I love experimenting with yarn combinations like that. My favorite mitten pattern calls for two strands in mitt area, and I've had such fun combining colors and textures. As for the magic aspect...the magic is what happens after the mixing. It's in the synthesis of raw materials, imagination, and talent.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Barbara, the combined color is MUCH prettier than the separate ones. I wouldn't have thought of knitting two colors together to get a third.

I did do one combination recently but it was not as radical. I wanted sparkly yarn for my daughter's shawl but couldn't find any in the right gauge. So I bought non-shiny yarn and then added a very slim strand of glittery stuff. Of course, it meant that the shawl cost twice as much to knit but it had the effect I wanted.

You're right, LauraP. The magic is in the synthesis.

8:31 PM  

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