Last spring, we painted the inside of our entire house. We thought we were going to be moving but eventually decided to stay put, but since we were painting for some mythical buyers, we wanted to go neutral and stay on-trend.
Well, the trend, as you probably know, is gray. Gray walls, gray flooring, and gray furniture based on my recent trip to Ikea. Now, I have nothing against gray, but I love color. You may have noticed. 🙂 But I dutifully looked at every shade of gray at Sherwin Williams, intending to choose one to paint over our cheerful albeit worn yellow walls. I narrowed down the plethora of gray paint options to four and painted large patches of each on the walls, but I just couldn’t do it. It’s not that I dislike gray honestly–it’s just that it didn’t work with this ranch house in this desert landscape.
Just didn’t work.
We ended up switching to beige, and then I narrowed down the beiges to about four different ones that I painted samples of on the walls. The guys at Sherwin Williams and I knew each other by name. We ended up going with something called Kilim Beige and adding an almost-neutral blue-gray-green color called Contented in a few rooms. I love the Contented color, and the beige is fine, but if I had known we would be staying, I probably wouldn’t have painted most of the house beige.
Now, this isn’t a blog about house painting, so I’ll get to my point. If you are putting all the effort of knitting or crocheting or weaving a project, you should LOVE the colors.
YOU should love the colors. You shouldn’t pick them because they are popular or trendy or what everyone is using. You should choose what you love so you will love to make it and then love to wear it. If it’s something you are making as a gift, you should still love it so you can enjoy the colors as you make it. Of course you should keep the recipient’s tastes in mind as well, but there should be something of you in what you give, and I think color is part of that.
The fact is that what you make out of good quality yarn will far outlast whatever color trends there are right now, so don’t worry about that. It won’t matter in the long run.
Color is such a personal thing. I just gifted our lovely next-door neighbor a skein of handspun yarn as a thank you for taking care of our dog while we were out of town, but I spent a lot of time trying to decide which skein to give her. She had come over recently to check out my yarn and watch me spin, so I had a bit of a chance to see what she liked, but honestly I wasn’t paying that close attention to which skeins made her eyes light up, so I had to choose. I thought about taking over a few skeins and letting her choose, but somehow that didn’t seem as thoughtful. In the end, I chose one I thought she would like either for herself or for her daughters, but it was a risk.
The fact is that color is always a risk–or at least an adventure–but color and softness and joy are worth the risk. You’ll be spending a lot of hours with those colors while you are creating something new and awesome to wear or to give, so don’t even think about whether the colors you choose for your next project are on-trend or safe. There are plenty of times in life when safety and prudence are of paramount importance, but this isn’t one of those times.
When it comes to what you make from yarn, just choose with wild abandon the colors and texture that bring you joy. After all, that’s what fiber arts are all about.