Colours and combinations

The last few weeks’ knitting:

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Jorid Linvik’s Lucky Horse mittens and Julehjerte (Christmas Hearts) frame my own glow-in-the dark design. On which note I wanted to write a bit more — not about design or its mysterious and mathematical processes, but on colour combinations.

I’m the kind of person who, left unchecked, would personify the Latin phrase “Braccae illae virides cum subucula rosea et tunica Caledonia — quam eleganter concinnatur!” (those green pants go so well with that pink shirt and plaid jacket). For this reason I don’t knit a lot of colourwork projects and in order to make failsafe combinations,  I generally either ask my dad or use this colour calculator.

Odd-Even recently speculated that my inability to match colours might bear some relation to prosopagnosia, also known as face-blindness. Having done some tests (admittedly on the internet), the results of which I interpreted in conjunction with lived experience, I think I am about 15%-20% worse than an average person at recognising faces. Once, when Odd-Even asked me to describe someone, I replied — completely unironically — that the man in question was a person-shaped person. And there are many times when I have looked at yarn and thought, as I contemplated a purchase, “This is a non-colour.”

These ‘non-colours’ are usually pale browns, beige, taupe, wheat, and brown-grey. Intellectually I know their names but practically they appear to me as a kind of blank. In the same way, Odd-Even can ask me to analyze faces of a random person, but absent that person having some particularly memorable feature I can’t put my observations together to form a coherent face in my memory.

Anyway, that was a long way of saying, dear reader, the blue and green mittens were not supposed to glow like they’d been knitted on radioactive needles. The Ask Dad and colour calculator options weren’t available at Heimen Husfliden, and I was just so desperate to start knitting that I studiously ignored the little voice in the back of my head saying that magenta might really be a better choice than lime. Don’t get me wrong — I love these mittens and they were made specifically for me (rather than as a proof-of-principle to be gifted to whoever is willing to take them, which are the raison d’être and fate of most of my FOs) but certainly less recklessness ought to inform any future Buy Now! impulses.

And one last photo — the inspiration for my colour choices, but executed here by the master Anna Zilboorg with a balance that I didn’t quite achieve. From her book Magnificent Mittens:

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