Sunday, February 11, 2007

Review and a Q.

First, the review.

"Color Works" by Deb Menz. It's a color theory book geared toward crafters. The crafts in question (with examples - it would apply to anything, of course) are spinning, knitting, weaving, embroidery, beading, 'surface design' (fabric painting), machine embroidery, pieced quilting, and paper collage. For each point discussed, there is an example for each of these nine crafts. There are over forty pages of examples, most of them with nine small swatches representing each craft and the area of color theory it's showing. In that respect, this book is impressive as hell. One of my major pet peeves is books discussing color theory with no pictures; I'm perfectly happy with this book. In addition to the example swatches, there are loads of color charts, graphs, and wheels in the text itself. If she talks about a value range, then by golly there's a picture of what she's talking about.

Otherwise, this book is pretty basic. If you've already studied color theory in school, or read a couple books on the subject, this one contains nothing new (other than the impressive array of craft swatches). But if you're any kind of crafter and have never studied color theory, then I think this would be the ideal book. You know, one of those "If you only buy one book on this subject..." situations.

In addition, the book comes with color wheels, value finders, a host of other little tools, and a handy pocket in the back cover to tuck them all into. Very clever. And it's spiral-bound, which is nice. These two things, plus the massive amount of color printing, would account for the cost. In fact, now that I've seen the book, how it's bound and printed, I'm amazed it's as inexpensive as it is. I'd have put the price at least 10$ higher if I were guessing what it cost.

If you read my last Knitty article, there is more detail on the stick-it-in-a-copier trick that I discuss. It goes into a lot more detail on value, how it works, and better, how to make it work the way you want it to. (And incidentally, I KNOW nothing about my article was original, thank you. The point was to teach it to people who've never studied color theory. So you can quit complaining, if you have been. You know who you are.)

Ahem. Anyway. If you've been looking for a book on color theory, don't paint and don't intend to start, and don't know what to buy, buy this book. However, much though I hate color theory books geared toward painters, I have to admit that since I started dyeing yarn, what I learned about mixing paint has come in handy. If you're looking for something to help with dyeing, maybe this book and "Color" by Betty Edwards. Just sayin'.

Now the question. I'm working on the Knitty Project. It will have intarsia shapes knit in. Does anyone have a particular suggestion for the shape chosen? Is there a certain popular shape? I'm leaning toward diamonds because they're easy to knit and kind of interlock, but I feel like I should do circles 'cause they're The Baby's favorite shape. (If you put a bunch of different toys in front of her, she goes for the circles, balls, and cylinders, every time. She also likes yellow.)

And a Toblerone Rose answer to a question: Swapna wanted to know what, exactly, it was. It's two Toblerone bars (in their original packaging, no less) with an outer cardboard wrap with a rose printed on it. Nothing fancy, just silly. Here in the US we're gearing up for Valentine's Day on February 14th, where sweethearts give each other gifts, usually candy and flowers.


Catie said...

I loved your article in Knitty about colour theory. I would never have thought of photocopying swatches and yarn and stuff. It was a good starting point for someone (like me) who knows basic colour stuff (like complementary colours etc) but has never thought about putting it all together.

Anonymous said...

Dude, we are triangle fans here in this household. Purple or green, though the thought of yellow circles are intriguing.


Bells said...

I thought valentines day was universal?? It's all hearts an flowers down under too.

I thought your colour article was a great introduction and simply inspiration to go elsewhere! Didn't for a minute assume you were the first person ever to write the stuff. LOL!

amy said...

Lurker here. Stars. We dig stars. I knit my 2 yo a sweater with a star, my first foray into intarsia, because he likes them so much, and now I'm thinking a baby blanket with a star would have been nice.

Liked the color theory article. I actually have an art minor, and I can remember going through all that in intro to design, and I think I sort of internalized it because I just don't think about it anymore, although I haven't ventured into ambitious color work in my knitting yet.

I love the dyed yarns.

Amy Lane said...

Okay--I'm so about the hearts--hearts are my all time favorite intarsia shape--especially w/2 girls... (although with the older one hitting middle-school goth? I'm also looking for a good skull & crossbones motif--fun times!) And I already told you that your article rocked. The whiners need to blow their ass-tastic crap-fest out their ears, may they digest in peace. (I'm so done with people who have nothing better to do than rip down other people's hardwork and creativity--there's a special world of gray scale hell for those people who have nothing better to do than criticize and no balls of their own to create.)

Anyway, hearts. Definitely hearts. (Hearts are a good one because they're irregular.)

Swapna said...

Thanks for the explanation! In recent years urban middle-class India is going gaga over Valentine's Day as well, spending millions of rupees on gifts and things.
I just thought maybe the roses would be chocolate-covered rose petals or something! Although I prefer straight-up chocolate :)

Brewgal said...

The Greek Key would be an interesting intarsia design, as would egg-and-dart O^O^O. You see the latter on crown molding.

debsnm said...

Diamonds are always good - they can be morphed into argyles, boxes, almost anything - even circles.