Is Pattern just a Tool?

Is pattern just a tool, a delivery system tool? A tool to deliver color.

For me, it is the colors in Fair Isle sweaters that ring my bell. When I first noticed them, just like many, it was the eye-opening Starmore. I knew I was in trouble as I crossed the threshold [more ways than one] at the Tomato Factory in Lambertville, NJ. While selecting different colors for a pattern and I got the first three easy. Then I was up to 6 with no problem. But when I was up to my 19th color, I was a little flummoxed. Or do I mean entranced? The blends, oh, those blends….

So here I am, stuck in the back yard on my carder. I am fighting those raindrops over the last few days and I am trying to finish the orange blend. For the last set, I am hoping I have enough left over for an Alpaca Legs mix. I have some light cadmium red that would go great. Looks like matching socks to me.

Something about this mix is just taking forever to spin. It is so light. I spin and spin and spin and only have 3 bobbins. Plying takes a long time too. I get a huge bobbin of 3 ply sport – fingering weight yarn. All excited I weight several batches. How can all that yarn weigh just 5 oz? The merino is very light and spongy but tightly plied. Now I will have to pull out my yardage counter and see just how big this is.

Gee, the merino has been fun, even if it is a sinkhole of time. Gotta be just me, I think. Logy with the heat and humidity? Playing with 4-way blends reminds me of the nights when I used to sit down with some Jamieson & Smith heathers and try to figure the percentage by taking apart a 3 in piece of yarn. All could be lost with a quick pass of a cat’s tail. I was mesmerized by the colors and just wanted to get a blend that was similar. I hoped for the relative percentage and base colors. I didn’t chart them all, but I do have about 20 of them. Sometimes, in carding the leftover superwash, I unwittingly match a color on my color card that I have admired. I would have to dig in the garage to come up with my list of all of them now, but I do have a couple that I use regularly. Do you all have a favorite Shetland color blend? I mean can you pick one, just one on the charts?

Mind you, all this work, this hair-brained scheme, was due to my love of the yarn. So when I try to make a blend like it now, it is as an homage more than an exact copy. Kind of like listening to a song you used to listen to in your youth. A remembrance, a quote to a past joy. I love making my own blends too. You are looking at one now.

Which brings us right back to pattern as a delivery tool for color. Pattern soothes our eyes and brain. Fine pattern, like the dots on your TV can deliver data, images, movement. But on sweater scale, is pattern a delivery system for the joyful Shetland colors. Wasn’t your enchantment of Fair Isle sweaters due to the soft and gentle blending of a bazillion shades so close you have to really search for the transition? Would you like the sweaters as much if they were bright primary colors? Or rich and complex blends of two, three, four, five, maybe more colors.

So many places for your eyes to rest.
Get some colors at Elemental Affects.

1 comment:

Marcy said...

Yes, I think it is, too.

Could Jeanne be having any more fun, there? :D