This month is all about Color. Between Socktoberfest with all the beautiful hand-dyed yarns and our annual Noro event, I am in color heaven. Color is a powerful force. It is what first attracts us, evoking an involuntary emotional response. We see the color, and there is a sudden slight intake of breath. Our pulse quickens. Our eyes dilate, and our blood pressure rises a bit. It's like love - or lust anyway. The first words out of our mouth are "I love this color--what can I make with it?"
It's different for everyone - we all seem to be kind of hardwired to prefer a particular color or set of colors, and our preference may have little to do with what flatters our skin, matches our home, or works in our wardrobe. Little children approach color unabashedly, filling the page gleefully with broad strokes of their favorite colors. As we grow up, we lose this carefree approach to color, focusing instead on practicality. We opt for neutrals that work with everything and darker tones that don't show dirt. I'm the worst, myself. Ask me how many pairs of black pants I have in my closet, and how many cream colored sweaters I have knit. Yawn
But this time of year, I abandon myself to Noro. The colors are fantastic, each more exciting than the last. Crazy combinations that shouldn't make sense, are perfect in Noro. Here's the thing though. There is always that one color. In every skein of Noro there's a color that you hate. I know. You want to cut it out completely, but don't. Please. Resist the temptation. You need them. Here's why.
Noro colors so fun because they have an incredibly high chroma, or saturation of color. It's high chroma colors that evoke that visceral response in us.Howver, as much as we love them, we can't live on a steady diet of high chroma. It's exhausting. Our eyes need a rest, and it is the color you hate that provides the rest you require. Those drab tones make the brilliant colors pop and allow you to enjoy them more fully without tiring your eyes. Mother Nature knows this, and it's why the world balances earth and sky--field and flower.
I don't know if Mr. Noro has studied color theory, or whether he is just a student of the World of Nature, as his labels suggest. Either way, the colors work just as they are. The next time you look at a skein of Noro and your eyes fall immediately to the color you dislike, remember that this color you hate is often the transition between two complementary colors that you love. Like purple and green - you can't mix purple and green without getting that icky drab color. That's the transition color, and it is part of why Noro colors work so well. Their blending is organic, moving through the steps needed to get from one color to the next. You can't skip those parts. You just can't; don't try. Trust me. Come take a look with fresh eyes, though.
I invite you to come and see Noro yarns worked up at a glorious large scale in a dozen afghans from their new book. It's a fabulous party with food and games and prizes! Join us!
I look forward to seeing you at the Noro event, or just in the shop and around the table. You are always welcome here. ~Ellen