Julia Farwell-Clay

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Choosing Colors for my Eddy Vest

 

I’m just beginning to knit away at a vest version in the Eddy series, having decided I’d like to have a piece I can wear inside and that pops over dresses and tops. I looked at the clothes I might wear with it and the yarn I like colors I like, and came up with 9 colors from Berroco’s Ultra Alpaca.

If you think that’s a walk in the park, this is the Ultra Alpaca range of 64 different colors that I could choose from:

 65 colors . . .

65 colors . . .

And this is what I narrowed it down to:

  From left to right: UltraWool Kohlrabi, UltraAlpaca Dijon, Peridot, Nickel, Moonshadow, Light Grey, Sweet Nectar Mix, Candy Floss Mix, Tea Rose.

From left to right: UltraWool Kohlrabi, UltraAlpaca Dijon, Peridot, Nickel, Moonshadow, Light Grey, Sweet Nectar Mix, Candy Floss Mix, Tea Rose.

As I’ve said elsewhere: 7 colors seems to me to be the minimum you can use if you’re doing the “intarsia” shell thing, but 9 makes the “randomizing” somewhat easier since you have to keep the balance going between how often you use each color. You don’t want them touching each other, or happening too close together for that matter. They have to be spaced out, and it’s not hard if you have enough things to choose from. I offer a color coded map in the Eddy Shawl, and a “key” in the Eddy Cowl pattern. If you ever find yourself tempted by those patterns, there’s guidance built in, and completely optional.

So once I collected all the colors, I cast on and worked a few rows of shells.

Eddy Bright.jpg

Pretty enough, but the whole thing gave me pause. Something was wrong and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. The someone on Instagram said – by way of a compliment – that they looked like Easter Egg Colors.

And there it was. Exactly why I didn’t like it. It was way too evocative of chicks and bunnies. Not that I have anything against chicks and bunnies, mind you: I just don’t want to be emblazoned with their Royal Standard in September. As much as I love the idea of Grellow (yellow + grey for these of you in the back), I decided the Dijon shells were the outliers – just a little too “high in tone” as they say – and looked for a softer substitute. I dug through the stash in case I had something perfect, and came up with a little bit of Barley in the Ultra Alpaca.

  Barley instead of Dijon . . .

Barley instead of Dijon . . .

Then I did a brave thing: I cut out the yellow shells one by one, and knit Barley in their place, grafting the final row to the held stitches. You’d never know I hadn’t knit them that way in the first place.

eddysoft.jpg

I’ve done this before, and recommend it as an alternative to ripping out all of those shells. It’s not that scary, really. And I really prefer the resulting palette. It’s more sophisticated to my eye with just that one color changed out. Funny, right? ha. ha.

I’ll post a step by step in a day or two because I know we’ll all sleep better once I’ve shown you how it’s done. I’ve been saving one of the shells to change out so I can take photos in natural light. And you thought Christmas was all there was to look forward to.

Later, I’ll tink out the cast on edge and knit a different color in its place. Or I might leave it, I’m not sure.





 
Julia Farwell-Clay