I’ve never had an all-time favorite color. I went through a shameful lavender and pink phase as a young tween which sharply questioned my tomboyhood. Then I chose all colors at once, or no color at all, in my punk/grunge/post-hippie “alternative” years. These days if asked my preferred color, I usually say greens, or browns, or oranges, or greys since I like nearly all of the varieties of these colors, whereas I’ve established that I’m finicky over others.
But all along, I’ve generally preferred the secondary colors over the primary – maybe it’s the underdog name or their need to be blended to exist.
I’ve been reading Alexander Theroux’s The Primary Colors over the last decade or more. I can only read a few lines, or maybe half of a page, in one sitting. I’ve also misplaced the book in a few moves (including now – I’ve no idea of its whereabouts) and go a few months or years without opening it. I’m occasionally irritated that the book tries to sneak in secondary colors at times, but I also feel relief to see my old friends green and orange when it happens. Unfortunately, I also just read that there’s some controversy with the book due to some bits of plagiarism, yet with the fact-listing style of writing, I can almost accept the author’s excuse of sloppy note-taking, but bad editor, bad publisher! Theroux next wrote a book on the secondary colors, but I don’t have it yet, nor am I sure I want to commit to another decade-long read.
But after reading about yellow, I found myself considering the color more often, and a specific nasty bilious yellow has been tugging on my sleeve lately.
My main thoughts on the color are quite negative – it reminds me of pus, snot, stomach bile, infection, illness, sulfur, poisoned water, smoggy air, insanity, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper, tarnished things, slimy things, pissy snow, stench.
But it also makes me think of wheat fields, green-golden light during magic hour in the late afternoon, summer turning to autumn, gilded things, tarnished things, slimy things, mosses, eyes, and old flannel shirts.
So with my mind in a mildly insane yellowish haze, I whipped up a Honey Cowl out of Dream in Color Classy Strange Harvest (my dye lot is more green) and Cascade 220 Birch Heather (my dye lot is more gold).
This was one of those projects I felt like I had already made, and more than once actually looked for it to wear – especially with my plaid jacket.
But now I actually have it.
I liked the pattern and might make another eventually. However, for the first time ever, I twisted the round when I joined and accidentally turned it into a mobius (maybe it’s not technically, but I don’t know). I left it that way because I don’t have a twisted cowl yet and thought I’d like to play with the different draping possibilities. But it’s a little disconcerting that I’m making a lot of rookie mistakes lately that I never made in the beginning…
But back to yellow. I had this awesome mustardy-saffron merino sweater for a year or two (you can see just a peak on the left).
Before I shrank the hell out of it. And how could I possibly make the mistake of shrinking a sweater? I really don’t know how it happened. And I also don’t know where it is now, but I know I saved it to turn it into something else. The scarf is a Drop Stitch Scarf – I really love it, though I don’t wear it as often these days, but it has a bit of gold in it too.
My favorite yellow project was the shawlette from last winter. I wear it often, and still think about making it bigger.
And people are calling grey and yellow “grellow” these days. I hate color fads, but I like grey and yellow. This is an opportunity to fess up to another UFO – a sweater I cut up, re-sewed and I’m knitting the cuffs and trim in grey. Or rather I started to, didn’t like the gauge, re-started and still didn’t like the gauge, and then put it aside for the last year or so.
Maybe grellow is also green and yellow. This has been a favorite color combination of mine for vintage-inspired kitchens like this one:
(Pic from here).
And influenced my purchase in New Mexico last Spring:
And some spinning from a year ago that I need to finish.
(Also one of my favorite color combos in Fiestaware).
And an early natural dying attempt with saffron, turmeric, coffee, and god knows what else on bulky yarn frogged from a hand-knit thrift store scarf.
I’m still not sure if I can wear yellow though, sometimes I think I can pull it off due to my own semi-sallow complexion, sometimes it gives me a surprise ill-like pallor.
I remember my beloved high school teacher discussing The Yellow Wallpaper and vehemently denouncing the color as sickly and maddening; at the time she was wearing a beautiful buttery colored pair of paints and coordinating sweater. When someone pointed this out, she was mildly shocked to discover it was true that even she liked some of the yellow family members.
Such is the sneaky dual nature of yellow – I’ll continue to let it tease me a bit.