Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Foundational Aesthetics: Color

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As I've found out since I embraced my inner design nerd, my biggest visual driving force is color.

I've always found it hard to categorize my design sense, mostly because it's so eclectic. I love clean lines, and I also love interesting textures; I love colors and colorblocking and contemporary & classic prints; I love elements of vintage style, and I love fresh interpretations of sartorial tropes.

I hate to use such a dull word as "interesting" to describe it, but I think that might be the best one. I like things which contain interest: in color pairing or pattern; in texture or construction. But there is also a balance struck between interest and the negative space around it: it's not merely the detail that is compelling, but the foundation which allows it to be so.

No matter the overall design, color is the final and most important piece of that puzzle. When I conceptualize a garment, its color is built into its DNA: where simplification or retooling of a design element has become a natural part of my process, color choice is much more inflexible. Just as restrictive design specifications can actually encourage creativity, I find that color restrictions allow me to fully explore a design by setting visual and conceptual boundaries and letting my ideas bounce around within them.


Now, if that isn't a justification for a large and lovely multicolored yarn stash, I don't know what is.


Monday, October 27, 2014

FO: Pip!

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Although I finished Pip well before my Oregon Flock & Fiber trip - and actually wore it all that weekend! - I didn't have a chance to get proper photos taken until a week or so ago. I was super drawn to the Braeburn colorway for this design, but I was a little concerned about how it would fit into my wardrobe, since usually, I am all about blacks & cool greys, saturated tones, and specific shades of pink.

I shouldn't have worried - this color is perfect. It's a lovely shade of not-quite-orange, not-quite-red, not-quite-yellowy-green that coordinates perfectly with lots of earthy shades, and even contrasts beautifully with the color of my glasses. Which is a major factor when it comes to wearability for me, because

a) I am way too lazy to put contacts in on a daily basis


b) I like my glasses the most.

So I've been wearing this hat a lot. And working steadily away on writing up the pattern! (Stay tuned.)


(Monsieur Squishy has a lot to say about the subject, obvs.)

Details on Ravelry here.

Happy Monday!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Open Post: Creativity & Process Blog Hop

A while back, I got tagged by Ariel of Stariel Knits to be part of a blog hop. Life intervened - weddings! fiber festivals! tailoring! oh my! - so I am abysmally late in posting my response.

I don't participate in these kinds of memes very often, but I really like how thought-provoking this one is. Thinking about creativity and process is a big part of my daily life, and I love engaging with others on the topic.

In that vein, I've tagged Kat of The Wayward Knitter, and I'd also like to hear what you think! If one or more of these questions resonates with you, please share your thoughts in the comments.

Here are the questions:

1) What am I working on?
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
3) Why do I write/create what I do?
4) How does my writing/creative process work?

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1) What am I working on?

My primary construction project is my tailored jacket for school. I'm also writing the pattern for Pip, and working on a short story with a fragmented narrative and a noir feel to it.

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2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Both my design and written work are driven by narrative and thoughtful simplicity. I try not to use two words where one will do. I like to use textures and patterns that evoke certain feelings about an object without straying too far into the literal, appropriative, or derivative.

Hitting upon beauty - whether in a well-turned phrase, or an unexpected color combination - is an intuitive and visceral experience for me; on the other hand, I like to understand the source and context of things I find meaningful. I think both are often expressed in my work.

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3) Why do I write/create what I do?

Because I have to. Indirectly, the creative process is a big part of my emotional self-care. I'm an introvert with a frustratingly high sensory input, and absorbing the emotion of everyday life can be really overwhelming for me. When I'm making or writing things, it allows me to interact with the world in a way that processes and releases that input.

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4) How does my writing/creative process work?

I always start with an image. It may be a particular moment in time, or a detail of a garment, or a combination of color and texture. Sometimes the image is clear; sometimes it's a feeling without focus that I have to work to define and expand upon. Usually I go through a few drafts, streamlining the details as I go.

Editing is probably both my least and most favorite part of the process: it allows me to focus on what I really want to express, but it can really hurt to kill your darlings. This is one place that my perfectionism can be an asset, though - if I love something, but I can tell it obviously doesn't work, I throw it away.


Thanks for reading, and happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

FO: Mother of Pearl Mitts

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Unlike every other project I ever work on, this one was really quick: pattern and yarn picked out, knit, ends woven in, and photographed - all in about a week! High five, self. High five.

Details on Ravelry here.