As you can see, I have begun the colorwork. It doesn’t look like anything yet, of course, but I hope that it soon will. Specifically, it is supposed to look like this:

LikeWowMom attempted to help me get the graph to be just black and white, but apparently KnitPro just doesn’t do plain black and white. It is more complex than that.

In general, I am in favor of complexity. It can, however, make things difficult. As when, yesterday, I went to buy the background fabric for the Windblown Squares quilt. (I was also going to get the fabric for the Celtic Knot quilt, out of guilt at moving on to another and leaving it in UFO state. But that is another story.) There I was, roaming up and down the bolts of Kona Cotton, holding little bits of the fabrics I had bought in Liberty. But since I always prefer complicated colors, and had been drawn to this collection of fabrics because it offered not just complicated colors, but a complicated group of complicated colors, I faced a problem. Because, while I was thinking that I would get a burgundy and a sage green, and use one for the top and one for the backing, I did not hold in my hand a bunch of swatches in burgundy, pink, yellow, and green. No, I held swatches in russet, terra cotta, apricot, butter, and sage. And a mental recollection of the fabrics and woods in the room which this quilt will occupy — which include not only the aforementioned russet, apricot, and sage, but also moss, olive, biscuit, and rose. Not to mention the bricks.

So I walked up and down, holding my swatches up to fabrics that turned out to have just a bit too much blue, or not quite enough. The available shades of burgundy and sage green clashed pretty badly with the shades in my fabrics. The swatches looked best, in fact, against a sort of khaki. But once they were on that color, they turned all Southwest desert-y, and gave up all their cottage-y sweetness. The nice lady at the shop and I stood and gazed at the combination, and finally she suggested I look elsewhere.

So I will. The interaction reminded me of an epistemological discussion that took place among the Jewels of Knowledge. Namely, can we all perceive all the same colors? It has been proven that the majority of men claim not to be able to distinguish among colors like apricot, rose, and terracotta. Obviously, those who work with color can do so, and it is suspected that the rest of them can see the difference, but cannot bring themselves to use all those color words. It is not considered manly, in English, to have control of a lot of color words.

On the other hand, there is a school of thought that claims that people literally cannot distinguish among colors that they cannot name. So men — and women, for that matter — who refuse to use terms like “cerise” and “fuschia” cannot be expected to see the difference.

I will be going to my local quilt shop. The owner is a man, as it happens. The last time I was there I was with #1 daughter, who has a lot of color skill. We were talking about her difficulties in decorating, because her husband strongly dislikes pink, which is for my daughter a basic neutral. Me too. The quilt shop owner said we should tell my son-in-law, as a message from “an old married man,” that he might as well give up. He would never gain control over the household colors. The quilt shop man, being one who has color skills, and probably also knows all the color words, ought to have a lot of control over the household colors, I would have thought. Well, I hope that he will be able to help me with my color dilemma, at least.

As for the graph, I think I may take a felt-tip pen to it, blacking in all the squares that seem as though they ought to be black, and letting all the others be white. So far, I have been following the graph as best I can, with the original image nearby to check it against. It seems to work pretty well. I should be able to tell for sure in a few more inches.

Pokey, by the way, has not yet swatched for her T-shirt. She is using the end of the semester as her excuse.