Knit Neutrality

Pantone recently announced the 2018 Color of the Year: Ultra Violet. It’s a vibrant shade of purple, with blue undertones. Think Purple Rain. While I frequently find myself gravitating to purple in yarns -- such as the asymmetrical scarf I designed/knit as part of the shawl shapes workshop I attended last fall, or Dyeabolical’s Nehi to a Grasshopper sock yarn I snagged on Black Friday – they skew more towards a darker purple than the brightness of Ultra Violet. The so-called Color of the Year doesn’t really speak to me, as much as I’d love to be on-trend.   

Periodically, I scroll through my photos on my shop’s Instagram account. Whenever I do, one thing immediately jumps out at me: the prevalence of grey yarn. A certain amount of that is driven by what customers order, to be sure. My made-to-order listing for Azel Pullovers (designed by Heidi May of The Velvet Acorn) features a cover photo of the sweater made in a medium-dark grey. I have made Azels in a dozen colors over the last year and a half, but I’d say easily 85% of the 100+ I’ve knit have been in this same grey color.   

It’s not just Azel Pullovers. I recently finished a Vista Wrap (designed by Adventure Du Jour Designs) made out of Valley Yarns Northfield and Southampton yarns in a grey palette. The socks I’m currently knitting my husband are made from a variegated grey yarn (Timber Wolf, by Dyeabolical Yarns). The cardigan I knit my bestie for Christmas is charcoal grey baby alpaca yarn from The Rare Creature. Even the hat I knit myself a couple of weeks ago features silver-grey snowflakes.    

As if it weren’t Fifty Shades of Grey around here enough already, the yarn I’m using to knit the Abayomi duster coat just arrived. After weeks of agonizing as to what color to knit, I finally got ahold of a color card for the Berroco Quechua yarn used in the pattern, and chose…Eden. Which is an oatmeal-grey color. Originally, I had thought I’d knit it in Palace, which looked like a deep red on my iPad screen. The sample on the color card was more of a rusty brown. Pretty, but not what I had in mind. There is a nice slate-y blue called River, but it wouldn’t look great with jeans, which is what I practically live in. In the end, Eden is going to go with everything. It’s the perfect neutral.   

So, while I’m not embracing the Color of the Year as my own, I take comfort in the fact that my many shades of grey will complement it beautifully.   

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