Tuesday, April 9, 2013

5 Shades of Grey

I haven't read the popular novel series 50 Shades of Grey.  I'm really not interested in doing so.  But, I do like the idea behind it.  Grey is such an interesting color.  One of my favorites, actually.

For a neutral, it has such potential.  It runs the gamut from white to black, but can have hues of green, blue, yellow or red in there to make it more interesting.  When painting or coloring, if a color stands out too much, just add some grey to it and it calms down, and looks more respectable.

Taken all by itself, however, grey is rich.  It's shimmery and ethereal.  It seems ungrounded and yet solid at the same time (think clouds or mountains).

My literary reference when thinking of the color grey goes back to Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier.  The painter is looking at the sky and asks the girl "what color are the clouds."  She responds "Grey."  And he tells her to "look more deeply and tell me what color are the clouds."  She ponders the clouds and realizes that they have blue and green and yellow and black.  Darker shades of the same color.  The clouds, which look simple and "one color" are really deeply textured because of all the different colors reflected back from the surface.

That said, what better accessory than a grey scarf.  It isn't something I would ordinarily think of, but I had just a tiny bit of grey alpaca silk left from the blue and grey scarf I made a few weeks ago.  It certainly wasn't enough to make a single warp or weft but could be combined with another yarn (or 3 or 4) to create something shimmery and wonderful.  The alpaca silk yarn is incredibly light and airy and was an obvious choice to add the chenille that I love working with so much which is even more light and airy than the alpaca silk.  Then I decided to put in some grey cotton and another grey tencel (all shimmery and reflecting back light).  I toyed with the idea of a 5th variegated grey (that goes from silver to black).  Decided against it...then as I was about to start winding the warp I realized it needed it.

Designing the warp was incredibly fun.  I have a deck of tarot cards that I bought in France.  Tarot cards have 5 suits, the typical hearts, spades, clubs and diamonds and then the trump suit which has "major" cards. I decided that the alpaca silk would be the trumps, and assigned the other yarns to different suits.  I wound off however many ends were the number and chose the yarn based on the suit of the card.  When I used up the alpaca silk, I wound off the other edge until I reached another trump and then called it a scarf (rather than a shawl which it had the potential to be."

This picture shows the warp after it was sleyed in the reed.  I think adding the variegated was a very good idea.  It keeps the scarf from being too much of a "cloud."  I love that the shades of grey also have very different textures.  It's going to be a wonderful light-weight snuggly scarf.

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