This weekend I went to a knitting color workshop taught by Brandon Mably of the Kaffe Fassett design studio. I've been to this same workshop 6 years ago with Brandon, but I didn't do so well. When I saw he'd be back again, I decided to sign up.
Our homework was to knit a 10" swatch of stockinette stitch in random fair isle patterns using our favorite colors. At the beginning of the class, Brandon looked at each swatch and talked about how the colors might look different, depending on what colors were beside them. He tried not to criticize, but we could tell which ones he liked and which ones he didn't! I was pleased that he liked my variety of purple yarns in this swatch of little squares.
Our assignment during class was to choose a postcard of a painting from his collection, then to choose yarns in the colors represented in the painting. From there we were to knit a swatch using those colors in the tumbling blocks pattern and work on making the colors work together. Within each section, colors were to graduate from one to the next. Between sections, we were to group colors by dark, medium and light to get sufficient contrast. This was harder than it sounds. Here's the blurry picture of my finished swatch from class, and below it is the postcard I used. Since I've been doing freeform, I've been able to blend colors together so freely, since the pieces aren't joined until you're ready. In this style of knitting, there was a bit more planning involved. I found it to be more restrictive, but that wasn't necessarily bad, just different. I really like the smooth nature of stockinette stitch knitting, and I want to do a project with the ideas I had during the class. More about that later.
Before lunch, he pinned all of the swatches in progress to the wall with their postcards so we could do an early analysis of the color work. He instructed us to step away often from the knitting to see it from a distance. All the better to see how the colors interact.
You can see in the picture that he spoke briefly about each one, praising what was going well, and At the end of the day, he pinned up the finished swatches and did an overview of each one. The last time I did this workshop, my swatch was rather pathetic (and no, I don't think I still have it) and his comments were encouraging, but I didn't feel very good about the project. This time, Success! Maybe I'm a student of repetition?
Lastly, the Sockina socks are almost ready to wear. Soon! Soon!