Last night I chose two potential patterns for the Brown Sweater. One is a lovely design from Celtic Charted Designs by Co Spinhoven (#122); I found the other on a Latvian mitten pictured in a border of the charming little book Cimdi Duraini (I got this from Schoolhouse Press). Both have qualities I'm looking for: small repeats, no big graphic statement, not flowery, possibly mysterious, pretty even dark/light color distribution.
How I proceed: First, I enter the graph into my computer. When I started out a few years ago, I simply made tables in Word and entered X's. Now I have Stitch Painter, which makes life much much easier! At any rate, I print out a few copies of the graph with space on the right for comments.
I start marking where the colors might go.
In this case, while I was considering the color placement I decided to remove the Acorn and the Russet from the lineup, and Brass became a light color instead of a dark one! It seemed to me that each design needed two pivot points, so Bittersweet has become the other "pop" color. We'll see!
Ask Ms. Feral Knitter
Anne wondered if my mini-hanks were from Two Swans Yarns. Yes, some of my mini-hanks are from the one-time-only offering from Two Swans Yarns--these are no longer available. Karen is offering complete sets of full hanks at a discount, though, and I heartily recommend getting together with other enthusiasts (such a nicer word than obsessive-compulsives, now, isn't it?) to divide up a set into your own mini-hanks! The other hanks are J&S colors that I made myself (20 wraps around Sweaters from Camp, tie the ends together, twist, and label with mailing labels). Once again, the cost of a full set divided up is fairly reasonable.
Anne also noted that the colors I had chosen were on the dark side. Indeed, this is true. I don't want a lot of value contrast in this sweater, more of a mysterious interweaving of shades. Still, there has to be ENOUGH contrast--here's where swatching will tell the tale.
Brigid asked which colors I intended to be the pattern and which the background. I didn't make up my mind until I decided on a chart, and the charts I chose make the answer tricky! Small repetitive abstract/geometric designs that use both colors pretty equally don't always have a dominant "pattern/background" relationship. I guess I'd say that I'm using the dark colors as the pattern.
I'm leaving this afternoon for the Madrona Fiberarts Retreat in Gig Harbor, Washington! I'm so looking forward to this gathering--I'll be rooming with Sheila and Vanessa and taking classes from Deb Menz and Judith MacKenzie McCuin. The classes I'm signed up for are color theory and spinning classes--I'm a bit worried because I'm not all that great a spinner. I don't expect to be pelted with tomatoes and thrown out of the class in disgrace, however! I'll post about it on Monday.
I'm taking my Brown Sweater swatch yarns with me--I hope to have a picture to post next week!