And the last of the fresh batts for the week, plus a few answered questions.

First, new batts have hit the eBay Store And some murky colours are even included this time.

Oh, and if you head on over there to buy something, let me know you arrived via my blog and you’ll get free shipping plus a little extra surprise.

On the subject of colour, June asked a little while ago:

You talk sometimes about colors you don’t like, but you rarely mention the colors you prefer. I glanced at your store and saw nearly all bright colors (and dare I say – pastels?), but the CR yarn you show above is quite dark and broody. Will the real AF please stand? 😀

Mmmmm, so I’m busted! Well, I guess I’ve had enough coffee today to try standing.

Here’s the deal: there are colours I like, and appreciate in the abstract, and sometimes these even include really really bright colours. There are combinations that I like, as well, and will use repeatedly; things that I reflexively gravitate towards, and things that I like for specific purposes but not others. And there is the list of colours, and combinations of colours, that I’ll wear. That’s a much, much shorter list. Lastly, there is a list of colours I have historically refused to use, wear, or anything, and which have specifically turned me off; this is the shortest list of all.

Part of my colour sense comes from Chinchero; specific weaving patterns are done in specific sorts of colour combinations traditionally, and everyone accepts that variations on these are less traditional. If something’s going to be a real Loraypu pattern, for instance, and it’s going to have a central different-colour stripe, then the outer two colours should be white and red; the inner two can be yellow and purple, or orange and green. If it’s only two colours, then you can shake it up more; and yes, you can do different things, but it’s not traditional, and there could be… implications. And it’s a bad idea to use contrasting colours that have similar values in those patterns, regardless of what colours they are. Strong contrast in terms of everything but texture — very important.

For a small ch’oro pattern, you can use bright aniline pink and grass green; but you really shouldn’t use that combination for things other than a small ch’oro pattern. Yes, they do in some other places, but that’s their problem and it’s certainly not something that my roots would really agree with, and it’s radical. A pink and green Loraypu is right out.

This list goes on and on and on, and very much defines my senses of what’s really “right” in certain contexts where colour contrasts happens. Although my sense of these things is shaped very much by Chinchero, that’s far from the only influence. Having a cultural colour sense from someplace that wasn’t the US made my US social life a challenge when it came to clothes, particularly when we’re talking the middle school years, which of course are a challenge for anybody. Prior to that, my big colour problem was one that set in and became really, really strongly entrenched for other reasons. You see, I’m a girl.

Yes, I know, that’s obvious. But I was a total tomboy. People in the US would do crazy things like give me pink stuff, and dresses that were pink, and dolls, and all sorts of things, and so in short order I learned about the “pink is for girls” thing and grew to detest all things pink. Which was not helped, of course, by the fact that my little sister loved pink. My US girlhood at times felt like a constant struggle against the injustice of being given a totally non-functional pink hammer when I wanted to pound nails in something. Perhaps if the 1970s and 1980s had featured any pink things which weren’t crap, and my little sister hadn’t liked pink, and everything… but such was not to be the case. I used to fly into a rage at the suggestion that I’d look good in pink.

Eventually, I came to terms with fuchsia and and really super-saturated dark pinks. But hot pink, petal pink, no way. No pink. Pink was evil. Everybody in Peru thought my pink aversion was very funny, as nobody there had any such issue; but they did notice that gringos in general didn’t tend to go for things that were pink in most cases.

I still viscerally react to pink in a negative way. I only started a campaign to make myself open my mind to pink in early 2006.

So, what do I wear? Well, honestly, I wear jeans all the time, except for when I’m wearing cutoffs or jean shorts. Perhaps 5-10 times a year I’ll wear not-jeans. Jeans, you see, have the right pocket configuration for the stuff I wish to carry. Not-jeans often lack pockets altogether, and therefore, might as well be a pink frilly tutu, even if they’re not. So yeah, I wear jeans. And t-shirts. Preferably dark colours for the t-shirts, but I’ll wear bright green, because green is my favourite colour. Last year, I bought a sky blue top, and wore it numerous times over the summer. But for the most part, what I can be found wearing is jeans, with a top that’s short-sleeved or 3/4 sleeved (because my arms are shorter than off-the-rack clothes that fit my bust and shoulders), and is either black, grey, navy blue, burgundy, brown, or deep forest green; occasionally, white, lighter blue, or fuchsia.

Therefore, if I’m going to make myself a wearable item, I tend to try to fit it in the core colour range of things I know I wear with comfort.

But in the abstract, in the sense of “This isn’t a thing that I’m going to wear,” I love bright colours, and surprising contrasts and vaguely disturbing secondary and tertiary colours. I like complex colours that involve multiple other colours that you don’t expect; I love to carefully darken a blue with pink, or warm up a brown with some orange, then throw in a frostier purple or lavender. With colour blends, when I am shooting for specific colours, I know what to do with the palette I’ve got to get the results I want, and sometimes, I like to not quite blend them fully, for the… shock value, or something, of being clear about the colour components.

Well… I think that’s about all I’ve got for now.

6 thoughts on “And the last of the fresh batts for the week, plus a few answered questions.

  1. You know, Abby, I think you’d look good in pink. :o)

    [quickly runs away]

    Very intersting. Do the colors have meaning in Chinchero weaving?

  2. Funny, I avoided pink entirely until just a few years ago, for the same reasons as you. Now I can do medium rose, but in extreme moderation… I find myself drawn to it when dyeing fiber though, and enjoy touches of it in my knitting.
    Very interesting to read the Chinchero coloration “rules” – color is so culture-biased, in such a subtle but noticible way; even my kids can point out color combinations that “look” South American, or African, or “Beachy”, but cannot explain why…

  3. About ten years ago, when I was getting a place of my own and leaving the convenient access of my dad’s tool trove, I requested a tool set for Christmas. Dad dutifully went to the hardware store, where he and Mom found a lovely display of a starter tool set containing a cute little tack hammer, a pair of needle-nosed pliers, a dainty interchangeable-bit screwdriver with three different bits, and a small box full of picture-hanging hardware. All of it was pink, including the carrying case.

    “Ladies’ Tool Kit,” said the display.

    My father sniffed. “Not *my* ladies,” he said, and moved on.

  4. LOL – you may not remember, but I bought a few pink batts from you in ’05, right after I moved to MN.

    I like really bright colors when they’re only things to see (and not usually things to wear). My job mandates business formal in the dress code, so on the rare occasion that I wear a brightly colored top, it’s immediately toned down by the black suit that I throw on over it. However, I think a little black dress is the perfect backdrop for a flaming bright lacey shawl.

  5. I can’t wait till I’m grown up (spinning wise) and can spin up some of your lucious stuff!!!!! I was somewhat girly, but didn’t like and still won’t wear pink. Pretty much the colors I wear are the same as you with the exception of some corals. I did color analysis many moons ago (86) and found that most (definitely not all!!!) people are drawn to the colors that are best for them.

  6. I’m here in Peru now, and yes, everything girl seems to be pink. But you know, I noticed while working at Dillard’s in Cheyenne, that everything girlie is pink, there, too. I have never been a pink girl and, for reasons that I won’t mention here, I wore only earth tones for decades. About 5 years ago, I bought my first RED t-shirt. That was my breaking away out of my earth tone era. These days I do wear a little pink and you can find me wearing actual multi-colored skirts that include pink in the design. I’ve gotten more daring as I age.

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