I'm in the planning stages of my next sweater. I'm going to be knitting an R&R Hoodie for myself!!! I hope that you're all as excited as I am about that because it means that I'm one step closer to having the R&R Hoodie pattern available in all sizes. Now if I could only choose a colour. As you can see from the photo above, I am heavily favouring the idea of a grey sweater. My initial thought was Chris Grey, because I just loved the little Chris Grey version that my mom knit for my cousin's baby. It's such a great sweatshirt colour. But then I decided that I've knit a lot with that shade (lovely though it is) and I should try one of our many other greys. Next on my list was Graphite because it's the perfect mid-tone grey and I really want to own a sweater in it. But... then I thought maybe Slate instead because if mid-tone grey is nice, isn't mid-tone grey with a hint of blue even nicer? I've been thinking about this for days people. Weeks even! I often get emails from customers asking for my help with colour choices and well, I get it. I agonize over my colour options just as much as you do!
Where am I now? I'm 90% certain that I'm going to go with Charcoal. Didn't see that one coming did you!? Here's the thing. Remember my Charcoal mood board? Well, I can't stop thinking about that cool chic up there with the black hoodie under her black jacket. The truth is I don't really wear a lot of hoodies, so if I'm going to be adding one to my wardrobe it has to be one that I know I'll wear and I'm pretty confident I'll rock the look above like it's my job. The hoodie has a built in casual and sporty vibe and though I am certainly casual, I'm not really sporty in my wardrobe choices. But I do like to think of myself as a little bit rock n' roll, and a black hoodie definitely fits into that style.
Funnily enough, when I had just about made up my mind for sure about the Charcoal I spotted this batch of Iris on the drying racks and started doubting everything! That's the thing about colour, it's so magnetic! Even though I already own one very nice sweater in Iris I want to knit with this batch of yarn so bad! I am inexplicably drawn to it and it makes my heart skip a beat in a way that this batch of Charcoal just doesn't. However, I know that when the knitting is done the Charcoal sweater will get a ton of wear and will become an instant favourite. But I'll be damned if my colour-loving heart isn't making a very strong argument for the fun colours of Iris! Would I regret an Iris hoodie? No. Would I enjoy every single moment of fondling those gorgeous, colourful skeins while I was knitting? Yes. But I'm still sticking with the Charcoal. Because at the end of the day that's the hoodie I want.
I think that as knitters, since the making of the garment is potentially as important as the wearing of the garment, one could make a very strong argument for knitting with colours that you love, regardless of how that particular colour will fit into your wardrobe. However, one could make an even stronger argument about the fact that it's crazy to spend hours, weeks, months working on a sweater that you won't wear that much when it's done because it doesn't fit into your look. The sweater we want to knit vs. the sweater we want to wear. Finding that yarn/pattern combo is a struggle that every knitter faces. I'm going to take a good look at my sweater wardrobe and consider what I loved to knit vs. what I love to wear and see if there is a big discrepancy. Follow up post to come!
What's your approach to choosing a sweater colour? Do you follow your heart or is it a critical thinking process every time? Up until now, I'd say I've been more of an impulse decision maker. I knit what I want to when I want to and to be honest that system has worked quite well for me so far mainly because I think that if you knit pieces that you love you will end up with a wardrobe that you love, right? I'm drawn to blues and greys and tend to knit with those shades a lot and I also tend to buy wardrobe basics in those colours. I know that if I knit a turquoise sweater I'll have a complementary top to wear under it, no problem. If you stick to what you love, you'll love what you've got.
That's my theory at least. I'm looking forward to having a real sit down with my sweaters and sharing the results of my critical analysis of what I loved to make vs. what I actually wear the most and wether or not that even really matters.
Julie started chatting about building a knitted wardrobe a few weeks back and I'm looking forward to reading more about her take on it and Karen over at Fringe Association is the master of making plans for having a well thought out and perfectly planned handmade wardrobe.
Oh, and in case you think it's a crime to let those gorgeous skeins of Iris sit idly on the shelves, I've decided that though I might not need an Iris hoodie, I could definitely use a pair of mitts in Iris. I think that's what they call having your cake and eating it too!