Pantone Colors over the Years

Who isn’t familiar with Pantones Color of the Year? But do you still remember last years colour? The one from 5 years ago, 20 years ago?
Personally, I tend to remember the ones that reflect my favorite colors, like Ultra Violet (2018) or Rose Quartz (2016), as well as the more controversial ones like for example Marsala (2015).

I thought it would be interesting to compile all the colors from the last 20 years, and by organising them in different ways, see if any kind of pattern or bigger trend emerges.


pastel vs bright

One thing that is easily visible, is the dominance of bright colours, compared to pastels.
In use there can be declinations of each colour of course, but in terms of the actual, named colours there are very few pastels.


warm vs cold

In terms of warm and cold tones, the colours are pretty balanced. One thing that is interesting in this graphic, is the fact that the chosen colours tend to be complex ones. Primary and secondary colours feature sparingly.


2000-2009 vs 2010-2019

At a first glance, the two groups look very different. But when one takes a closer look, there are several similarities. The first four colours of each decade for example, echo each other clearly. And the colour for 2020 is a blue as well. So might we expect something between an old rose and a blush for next year?


So, what is your prediction for the Color of the year 2021?

Learn and Grow as a Crafter

When I started knitting about 4-5 years ago, I struggled to progress with the craft. I wanted to learn everything and make beautiful projects, like the ones I saw all over the internet, but my reality wasn’t always able to keep up.
With lots of people having taken up new craft during lockdown, I thought it might be interesting, to share how I managed to turn knitting into a habit. As well as grow as a maker and person in the process.

Consistency: practice your craft on a regular basis on your own and/or with friends.

While I knit daily on my own, I also started a weekly Knit-Night with some friends. For about a year, it was just 2-4 of us, meeting at a coffee shop and knitting together for an hour or two. By now it has grown to 5-8 people, who come together to craft and talk weekly.

Inspiration & Community: interact with and get inspired by fellow crafters

Practising a craft is way more fun, when you get a regular dose of inspiration. When you see, what others are working on and what different techniques and materials there are, when you see all the things there are to explore and try.
Instagram, Blogs and Pinterest are goods ones to look around for Inspiration. And I’m sure there are specific sites, as well as meet-up for your chosen craft.
For Knitters, there is an online platform called Raverly as well as a whole selection on Fibre and Yarn Festivals and Fairs all over the World.

Learning: never stop learning new (and old) techniques and ways of doing things

In every craft, there are many different techniques, that have evolved and been built upon over the years. So, don’t stop at the basics. With every technique you learn, you multiply the options you have.
What works best for me, is a mix of Books, Online Classes and in person Workshops, mixed with experimenting on my own. But you probably know best, how you learn and grow.

So, what craft or skill, do you plan to master next?

Evaluating Natural Dyes

Interested in natural dying? Not all (natural) dyes are created equal. There are reasons, why over the centuries, some dyes have been favoured over others.

Traditionally the quality of dyes is judged along the following criteria:

Colour Fastness to rubbing:

the blue hands or legs you get from a new pair of Jeans? That’s the Indigo rubbing off the fabric. If you rub a dyed fabric between your fingers for a while, you will discover quickly, if the dye comes off or not.

Colour Fastness to washing:

that T-shirt, that comes you of the first wash and looks way paler than before? The dye wasn’t resistant to water. Turmeric is one example of a fugitive dye. When in doubt about the water resistance of a dye, rely on airing and wash as little as possible.

Colour Fastness to light:

the sofa cushion that is much lighter on one side than the other? The colour has faded over time, due to exposure to light. Light fastness isn’t that important in clothing, but definitely in furnishing and outdoor textiles, as they are exposed to the sun for long periods of time. To test how well a dye resists to light, put a swatch of dyed fabric near a window, and cover half of it with some cardboard. Leave it for a few weeks / months, then take off the cardboard and compare the two halves of the fabric.

If those are the qualities you’re looking for, in your natural dyes, traditional dye plants like the following, are the way to go:

  • indigo (blue)
  • madder (red)
  • walnut (brown)
  • dyers’ weed (yellow)
  • logwood (blue / purple)

In “Plants are Magic – Vol. 1 – Well BeingRebecca Desnos puts forward a completely different philosophy concerning natural dyes, worth considering:

“When the colour fades, we could simply implement the Indian practice of re-dipping cloth to add a new layer of healing colour. In fact, perhaps all fibres should be regularly “recharged” with new plant dye to maintain their therapeutic value, whether or not the colour still appears strong.”

Whatever your take on natural dying, and the qualities you’re looking for, natural dyes are definitively worth exploring.

#patternaday

Since I’ve started the Surface Design Class on Domestika I mentioned in my last post, I’m obsessed. It is so addictive to play around with shapes and colors and turn them into repeatable patterns.

So I decided to do one new pattern every day, at least until the end of the month. The idea is to try all kinds of fifferent techniques and arrangements. Really treat it as an experiment, nothing has to come out of it. Just one new pattern each day.

If you are interested, you can follow along on the “Pattern a Day” page right here on the blog.

Crafting with Spanish and South American Artists

Most of you probably know Blueprint / Craftsy, where you can learn all kinds of crafts and order materials. But have you heard of Domestika yet? It is a similar learning platform for crafts, with classes hosted mainly by Spanish and South American Artist.

I really like the fact, that it introduces different crafts, as well as new to me artists. All this with lots of colours and textures. There is definitively a different vibe to it, compared wit Blueprint. And it reminds me of my time spent in South America at the beginning of the year.
While the Audio is in Spanish, they do offer subtitles in English and several other languages. Though the translations aren’t always the best.
The 3 weeks of Spanish School in Cusco Peru definitely come in handy😉

The classes I’m inspired by right now are:

Have you learned any new craft during this slowed down period?

Three Books on Visual Skills

I don’t know why, but I tend to read books in groups of three. This can be in form of a book series, but also just three books by the same author or with a similar subject / theme. Especially when it comes to non-fiction, it helps me to better understand a subject, see it from different angles and make connections between ideas.

Inspired by a visit to Fondation Beyeler in Basel yesterday, I’ve taken the three following books from my shelf to read and ponder over the next few weeks.

  • “What are you looking at – 150 years of Modern Art in the blink of an eye” by Will Gompertz
  • “Visual Intelligence – Sharpen Your Perception, Change Your Life” by Amy E. Herman
  • “Aesthetic Intelligence – How to Boost It and Use It in Business and Beyond” by Pauline Brown

(Yarn) Festival Essentials

With it being prime festival season, and my visit to Rhinebeck coming up, I wanted to take the time, to write down a little guide for when it comes to attending yarn festivals. As a reminder to myself, an introduction for first timers and as a suggestion for everyone else.

Essentials to bring along to your next Yarn Festival Visit:

  • Your proudest knits
    proudly wear your favorite makes and be prepared to talk about them to everyone who asks about them. And don’t forget to ask others about what they are wearing or what they are buying
  •  A shopping list
    You won’t need to have a list of the exact skeins of yarn you want to buy, but having some patterns and colors in mind, definitively helps. It is also a good idea to know, how you react when overwhelmed. Do you freeze and don’t buy anything, or do you go into a spending frenzy?
  • A big bag
    to be able to carry around all your new goodies
  • Snacks / Energy bar
    Don’t forget to eat, and make sure you have some emergency snacks with you. Being well rested and well fed, makes it less likely to get overwhelmed and allows to still have energy left in the evening for knitting with all your new friends
  • Vacuum pack bags
    to be sure everything fit into your luggage on the way back home. Really, knitting festivals should offer vacuum packing at the exit, that would be amazing service 😉

There you go! I hope that helps and makes your next yarn festival an amazing experience.

Why I knit

Having grown up with a mum, who does a lot of fibre arts, especially sewing, I was always aware, of how clothes are made. And I had the possibility to choose the patterns and fabrics I wanted to feature in my wardrobe. So, one of the reasons I knit, is to have bespoke sweaters and cardigans, that correspond exactly to what I have in mind and go perfectly with the other items in my wardrobe. 

About three years ago, when I got seriously into knitting, I mainly chose yarn for its colour (haven’t we all been there?). And while colour is still crucial to me now, I’m also more and more aware of the importance of origin, fibre content and durability of the yarns I knit with. The simple act of making something slowly, by hand, with materials I know the origin of, is in such a stark contrast with the methods of the (fast) fashion industry today. So, my knitting is a sign of protest against consumerism and the throw-away society.

Me knitting, is such a good conversation starter as well. People tend to be curious about what I’m making and eager to tell me stories about their connection to knitting. There seems to be a deeply rooted link between us humans and the traditions and craft of knitting. Everyone has some kind of connection to it. Be it a souvenir of scratchy socks as a child, a mum, grandma or girlfriend that is/was knitting, a news piece about knitting getting back in fashion, or of course them being fellow knitters themselves.

The best thing about yarn festivals, is that all you have to do is ask the person in front of you about what they’re wearing, and you made a new friend. I love the knitting community!

For about a year now, I also knit as therapy. I use knitting to decompress, to deal with problems, to stay in the present moment, to help me think. The fact of touching yarn and moving my hands, seems to help me get out of a rut and move forward. When I start a knitting project, new ideas come into my mind and they slowly mature, in sync with the knitting, growing and taking shape. And even after the project is finished, the ideas linger and come to the forefront, whenever I wear that specific garment.

By now I simply can’t imagine my life without Knitting. Quite on the contrary, I feel like I don’t have enough time to dedicate to my knitting and learning about it.

So, you’re going on a year long holiday?

Well, I suppose it depends on your definition of holiday, though personally I prefer to call it a trip or a sabbatical. While I won’t go to work and won’t have a permanent address, I will not spend my days in bed or on the beach either (at least not for most of the time;).

I have set myself several goals for this year:

–          Search out learning opportunities connected to the fibre arts in the different places I visit, and document my experiences in photo, video and text.

–          Develop a good base in a new to me language (Spanish) and learn some basic Japanese to be able to get around the country

–          Write and publish a series of knitting patterns, inspired by the places I visit, people I meet and skills I learn

Knowing myself, these goals will probably be adapted and changed as the year progresses. The idea of a trip like this, is after all to step out of daily life, to grow and develop personally as well as in my crafting and creativity. I definitively don’t want to waste this huge opportunity to be able to set my own schedule and priorities and be able to explore whatever craft or topic picks my interest, and just see where it’ll lead me.

I’m going on a Trip :)

Not long to go now. In a little over a month I will step onto a plane that will take me once around the world. To visit friends, learn new, mainly textile related skills and off course buy some yarn.

The trip will take me from Québec to the US, through South America, all around New Zealand and Japan, to Capetown and Iceland. Everywhere I go, I aim to get in contact with local Fibre Artists and Crafters to learn from them and get to know more about their (fibre-) culture. And then little by little integrating these different skills and aesthetics into my own crafting and thereby into my wardrobe and home.

The idea for this trip has been at the back of my mind for a while. Partly inspired by curiosity to learn as much as possible about the textile and fibre crafts I enjoy. And partly by the feeling, that the online fibre arts community can feel a lot like an echo chamber, where everyone is using the same yarns to knit the same patterns and watching the same podcasts. So, this trip is my way to step outside my comfort zone, to widen my fibre horizon, connect with artists and artisans all over the world and bring you along with me.

This blog, as well as my Instagram and a video journal on YouTube, will serve as a log of what I experience and learn on the trip, the things I create, the people I meet, the books I read and the Questions I ask myself. In the hope that you can learn and be inspired alongside me.

US-Road Trip Part III: I want to move to Denver

A town with a lively start-up culture, invested in sustainability, Rocky Mountains National Park at its door step. That’s all good and well, but really, I want to move to Denver to have Fancy Tiger Crafts as my local yarn store.

Of all the yarn stores I had the opportunity to visit on this trip, this was the one I felt most at home in. It’s the kind of store I can see myself dropping in to get inspiration for a project, were I can see myself taking a class, where I can see myself spending an afternoon knitting. A place to meet likeminded people and work on a handmade wardrobe together.

Living in a place where yarn stores are far and wide apart and knitting and making is only just slowly getting back into people’s lives, Fancy Tiger Crafts felt like heaven.
I knit alone and with friends, go out of my way to visit yarn stores, attend fiber festivals, watch and read all kinds of fiber and making related things, but it just isn’t the same. There isn’t this one place I can go, whenever I feel like it. It always takes organizing and planning to be able to immerse myself in the knitting community.

US-Road Trip Part I: A bag full of yarn

US-Road Trip Part II: Sustainability, Yarn and Meow Wolf

Confessions of a Sock Knitter

Having finished a few pairs of languishing socks these last few weeks, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on knitting socks and how I learned to knit them in the first place.

I have to admit, that when I first encountered sock knitters, I was a bit perplexed. It wasn’t something that I could see myself doing. Not something I absolutely wanted to try. Fast forward two years, and while I’m still not wanting to try out all the different sock yarns and patterns, I also have no idea, how I managed to survive all those winters without woolen socks.
Knitting socks for use and practical reasons, I’m not particularly interested in patterned or lace socks. I want them to fit me and to survive the test of time. As I tend to walk a lot, I’m pretty hard on my socks and want them to be able to cope with that.

For the first pair of socks I ever knit, I used a 100% merino yarn and 3mm needles – I didn’t know any better. And while I still have those socks, I only wear them around the house or as bed socks, as they pill like crazy and have grown considerably in size.
Nowadays, I only use yarn with nylon in it, and have gone down quite a few needle sizes. I currently use 1.5mm needles for my socks. Which gives me a gauge of about 36sts x 52rows over 10cm. Saving the nice, hand dyed yarns for shawls and other, less used knits, I tend to stick to commercial, hard wearing sock yarn for my socks.

Up to now, I knit all my socks from the toe up and use the heel flap and gusset construction I learned from the “Essentail Skills for Sock Knitting” craftsy class with Ann Budd. At some point I gave the “Fish Lips Kiss Heel” a go, but having a pretty high arch on my foot, a gusset construction just fits better.
When knitting socks for someone other than myself, I like to go with a ribbed sock. This leaves a bit of play in terms of sizing / fit, as I can’t necessarily have the person try it on all the time. This is really how I knit my own socks, just knit and try them on as I go along, taking some notes on a card, to end up with two identical socks.

US-Road Trip Part II: Sustainability, Yarn and Meow Wolf

Santa Fe (NM), was one of the few stops on our trip, where I had visited before. And I was really looking forward to it. We then of course arrived for the one week-end in June, where they had a lot of rain and thunder storms. Not that I mind that kind of weather, but I didn’t expect it in New Mexico in summer. It did help to cool temperatures a little though, and as amongst other things I had planned a yarn shop visit, this was fine by me.

While I enjoyed a visit to the historic town center, with its galleries and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, it was just really touristy. I preferred by far the region more to the south where we were staying. There was a lot of artsy, creative stuff going on.

Hyperclash is a shop for women’s clothing, with a focus on sustainability and ecology. The clothes and accessories are made from reclaimed and repurposed materials. There were a lot of linen dresses, silk blouses, silk scarfs… And the owner is amazing. She was so lovely and knew the origins and makers behind every item in the shop.
The boutique is surrounded by other small, independent shops. Sadly, they weren’t open anymore, by the time we finally exited Hyperclash. The glimpses through the windows were really enticing though.

Now for the Yarn 🙂 Having done some research beforehand, I knew that I wanted to stop at “Yarn and Coffee” and I was not disappointed. Another small, but very well curated shop. The organization of the shop was logical to my mind, and so I found my marks quickly. The yarns were separated by weights, as well as by fiber content. There was a special wall for summer yarns, with all the linen, cotton and silk beauties. And while there were some big brand names, I know from home, there was also a lot of American and local wool. After a lot of deliberation, I ended up with a sweaters quantity of Plymouth Yarn and my mum with some hand-painted silk yarn for a summer blouse. And as the name implies, the non-yarny people in our party, were able to have a cup of coffee in the meantime 😉

If there is one place I would recommend visiting, besides the Yarn shop of course, it is Meow Wolf Santa Fe! I’ve never seen anything quite like it. It is a kind of interactive art experience, a playground for kids and adults alike, but also a haunted house with a mystery to solve, and a labyrinth of inspiration, creativity and surprises. Really, you have to see it to get it! And even then, you could go back time and time again and always discover new things. Not that this comes as a surprise, when you know that the people behind it are a group of local artists and a certain George R.R. Martin.

One thing I have on my list for next time, is to go watch a performance at the outdoor opera house. This time there was nothing on, the days we were in Santa Fe and the weather wasn’t ideal anyway. But I love the idea.

See you soon for the next part of the journey

XX Tina

US Road Trip Part I: A bag full of yarn

US-Road Trip Part III: I want to move to Denver