"Woolly" is a good theme for January, that time of year when I want to feel warm and cosy, to be distracted by colour and pattern, to feel the comfort of a work in progress and the satisfaction of completing a project. When I think of all things woolly I think of yarn, not sheep, and thinking about yarn in terms of colour is a bit like looking at a colour chart.
But lately my colour choices have been strongly influenced by winter.
I've had an idea for a cushion simmering away in the back of my mind since Christmas. We were driving down to my parents' house on one of the few sunny days we had in December and it was one of those perfectly clear, very cold wintry afternoons. As the sun set the sky changed from deep blue to a pale grey-blue, and then was filled with the most utterly gorgeous icy tones of rosy pink, peachy-orange and a smokey lilac. I watched the horizon and thought how lucky I was to see it and how much I adore winter skies, in particular the dark brown and grey silhouettes of trees against a sunset. The shorter days of winter mean that we are able to enjoy the sunrises and sunsets - this is surely our reward for the gloom and reduced hours of daylight. And, since then, I look at my local winter landscape in a more creative way, in terms of yarn brands and colour charts, crochet hooks and cushions.
The decisions about which colours to use made themselves really. Dark brown and grey provide the anchor tones, dominant and stark as the trees against the sky.
Paler grey and blue for the ever-changing weather, reminding me that there are as many grey-skied days as there are blue ones in this country, and they are no less beautiful.
Shade of muted lilac and peach add warmth, and the raspberry pink colour is for the really dramatic, fiery sunsets and sunrises we see at this time of year, and also rather helpfully goes beautifully with the brown and grey.
These are harmonious colours which compliment each other and I think it's no accident that the colours which appear together in nature work so well together in other forms. I used some money I was given for Christmas to buy this yarn. At £5 a ball it's not cheap but it's become a favourite as the range of colours is excellent, it's soft to the touch and doesn't pill - actually it wears beautifully I think. (I have a lot left over and am planning a ripple-stitch striped cowl - think Missoni.)
I've shared my progress with you over the last few weeks and it's been satisfying turning those little rounds into bigger ones, then into squares.
Thirty two squares in total, sixteen on each side. And here they are, in a finished cushion.
The pattern came from my head, a combination of two or three patterns I'd seen here and there, and some experiments on my part, all pulled together.
I used three delicate mother of pearl buttons to fasten one edge together. The frosty, fragile feel of mother of pearl felt right for this cushion.
Instead of sewing the two sides together, I used grey yarn to double crochet a sort of border, crocheting them together as I went.
I really like it. The colours and pattern work for me and it felt good to celebrate winter with this project throughout January. While I'm not a very matchy-matchy decorator, I like the way the cushion picks out our grey walls and the splashes of pink we have around the room.
Tell me - what colours appeal to you when you choose yarn? Are you often drawn to the same tones and shades, or does it vary from time to time?
What is The Colour Collaborative? All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.
Edited to add:
These are the colours I used for the cushion, all by Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino:
340011 - Dark Brown
340049 - Taupe/Pale Grey
340054 - Rose
340100 - White
340204 - Baby Blue
340600 - Pale Pink
340607 - Pale Lilac
I bought these from my local yarn store about one month ago. I can't see all these colours on the Debbie Bliss website, but it looks as though they are still available online from a variety of different places.