Lately, color seems to be a topic that is much abuzz. Several crafty blogs I visit have talked about color as a main topic lately and I seem to be in the same mode!
Despite what my typically drab wardrobe may belie, color has always been a part of my life, just in other avenues (such as toy collections, yarn crafts, knickknacks, and home decor). But, even though I appreciated it, there were still nuances of color that I felt awkward around, like I was sitting next to someone named Color whom I greatly admired and wanted to say a million things to, but we had nothing in common so instead we just sat there in uncomfortable silence.
Self-portrait of Neighbor Jillian and Color, sitting awkwardly next to each other.
I really liked Color, but I also wanted it to like me back so that I could be good at mixing it up in fun ways that “just work.” I thought that combining colors in a pleasing way was an innate talent only some people were gifted with and that was that. It never occurred to me that, like most things in life, even if you can’t do it innately, you can learn—a conclusion I came to shortly after I began working at Spud & Chloë World Headquarters. Here, I am surrounded by relentlessly creative people for hours every day. It is impossible not to be inspired by their verve and emboldened by their experimentation, encouragement, and guidance. Where once I had no mentor, I now have many.
So, for the past year, I have embraced Color wholeheartedly where crafting is concerned, and we have been forging our friendship with a vengeance! First, through the Patchwork Market Tote, then through brightly colored socks (here and here). And, when I saw Cat’s Pajamas…
The adorable Cat’s Pajamas!
…the opportunity to really challenge myself by choosing bright, unrealistic colors was undeniable. Fortunately, the Spud & Chloë Sweater palette leaves lots of room for experimentation!
Meet Tabitha Taloola Lulubelle, or Tabby for short. What fun and funkalicious colors!
And then because that wasn’t enough (go big or go home, right?)…
I may have gone a little overboard.
…I made ol’ Patch here as a friend for Tabby.
The basic color challenges to overcome with this pattern were the same for both cats, despite how different they look: 1) choose colors that are funky but still pleasing and 2) determine the color order (MC vs. CC for Tabby and stripe sequence for Patch). Although I had decided on Grape Jelly #7516 as the MC and Jelly Bean #7513 as the CC, I entertained the notion of doing Tabitha’s face in Jelly Bean instead of Grape Jelly, even though the pattern calls for MC for the face color. It was plainly obvious after finishing the Bag Body, however, that the darker color for the face would balance everything out better. While some people (like Cousin Katie!) have gut instincts that tell them things like that from the get-go, I am still learning through doing. And, for Patch’s stripe sequence, though it may look like I randomly threw the colors together, he is actually the result of half a dozen back-and-forths until I finally felt I’d nailed it with both the color choices and their sequence.
What is extra fun about this pattern is that the colorplay doesn’t end when the knitting is done because you must still give your cat a face. You can sit it on your lap, look into its eyes (figuratively), and see who your cat is going to be. Tabby ”felt” like a girl, and she wanted a girlie face with eyelashes and bright eyes that contrasted with her “fur,” whereas Patch loudly noted that he is a boy thankyouverymuch who wanted a more understated face since the rest of him is so crazy. Well, okay, then. Their wish was my command!
So much fun designing their faces!
There you have it. Patch and Tabitha: Lessons In Color.
And, do you know what I’ve learned through all this practice lately, and most especially with Tabitha and Patch? There is no wrong way to do color. Yes, one combination might appeal more to one person than another person, but what matters most in the end is what you like. Color is one of those puzzle pieces of life that shows us that no one person is the same as another person, and that’s what makes the world go ’round. That is the beauty of color—the beauty of every creative activity, really. Just go for it with confidence, a desire to learn, and an open mind, and see where Color leads you!
Yay! An official portrait of Neighbor Jillian and Color who are now friends! No more awkwardness!
What will your Cat’s Pajamas look like? Leave a comment to let us know!
Pattern: Cat’s Pajamas
Designer: Alison Stewart-Guinee
Size: Bag height, from base to neck: 11”
• Bag circumference at widest point: 20”
• Bag base diameter: 5½”
• Head height: 5”
• Head width: 6”
Needle: Size 5 (3.75mm) 16″ circular needle, or size needed to obtain gauge
• Size 5 (3.75mm) double pointed needles, or size needed to obtain gauge
Yarn: Spud & Chloë Sweater, Tabby shown in Grape Jelly #7516 and Jelly Bean #7513
• Patch shown in Ice Cream #7500, Watermelon #7512, Billiard #7527, Firefly #7505, Moonlight #7507, Cedar #7515, Grass #7502, Pollen #7508, Jelly Bean #7513, Beluga #7521, Lake #7504, and Life Jacket #7528
Pattern available at the Spud & Chloë Pattern Store
Skip the zippered pocket: Under the Bag Body section, for rows 55 – 62, continue to k all rnds in the Stripe Pattern (rather than doing the BO and p). Finish rnds 63 – 96 as directed, but begin stuffing the body with polyfill at rnd 84, making sure that the final result is just a bit of squishiness without making the cat rotund (the cat body was designed to be floppy, not stiff, so its size is too exaggerated to be conducive to tons of stuffing). Cinch the top of the body closed, then make the head as directed. At rnd 30, begin to add polyfill, making sure the head is plumper and more structured than the body. Skip the “Stuffing the Head” section completely, and finish the rest of the cat as directed!
How to do Patch’s stripes: Arrange twelve colors (A – L) of Spud & Chloë Sweater in an order you like. This will become the color sequence and works out to an even four repeats of the colors for the body. For the Bag Body section, CO with Color A and complete rnds 1 and 2 with Color A, rnds 3 and 4 with Color B, rnds 5 and 6 with Color C, etc., until rnds 23 and 24 have been worked with Color L; rep color sequence for rnds 25 – 48, rnds 49 – 72, and rnds 73 – 96. For the head, reuse the color sequence to make the cat even more colorful, either by matching the color sequence of the head to the body by starting the head with Color I at rnd 90 (this is how Patch was made) or simply start over with Color A. When done with the Bag Body and the Head, choose a different two-color pairing for each of the legs, arms, and ears (reusing each of the twelve colors once more), then select a final color pairing for the tail.
See where Color leads you!