Peg left a very perceptive comment to my last post about the Mermaid in progress, to which I didn't reply privately as I usually try to do because this very question has loomed large while I have been knitting this jacket. Do I wear Fuschia?
The problem with Falkenberg kits is just that -- the kits are already assembled for the knitter, who needs to identify which two or three colors she is most drawn to. When I knitted my Ballerina coat, I gave myself permission to substitute a medium grey for the sage green that came with the mostly black kit. Of course, that required settling for a slightly different yarn, a fingering-weight shetland from a different manufacturer since one cannot buy the Falkenberg wool in the US, at least as far as I know.
Originally, I was going to embark on a similar substitution with this project, switching a deep red shetland for the two skeins of fuschia furnished in the Mermaid Kit. I even had the yarn on hand, a lovely shade of Harrisville shetland left over from other projects. But then, right before casting on in December, I took a long, hard look at the Fuschia and I changed my mind. I decided that it was more appealing to me than other fuschias, because it leaned a tiny bit more away from blue and towards red than usual. Obsessive, moi?
Also, I had an idea for a simple shawl that was going to work a whole lot better with the red previously earmarked for Mermaid than with any other yarn on hand -- a project finished by now and just waiting for a photo and blog/Ravelry write-up, but that's another story. And finally, I really love the hand and feel of the Falkenberg shetland. It is truly superior, to my taste, warm, lightweight, not exactly soft but not too crisp either, and a pleasure to handle and to wear.
So I went with the fuschia after all. I figured that it was okay to trust the designer's sense of color now and then. That said, if I had waited until this year to buy the kit, it is quite possible that I would have picked another color combination for myself. I can tell that my tastes have been evolving in recent years. I am less fond of strong contrasts (black and red) and more attracted by heathery, tweedy, in-between colorways. I wouldn't mind a mostly grey Mermaid with black or darker-grey accents and fewer stripes, as this is going to be one busy-busy jacket and those gussets sometimes look a tad clownish while hanging from my long circular needle. Oh, well. This will be the jacket to wear when I am feeling Bohemian rather than Parisian, which, truth be told, happens a lot of the time. It will be the nostalgia jacket, the "remember the days when I could wear all manners of wild colors" jacket. Maybe we could all use one of those.
In a different vein, I started something new this past weekend. New, easy, addictive and for a good cause.
The pattern: Cable Pullover, from Louisa Harding's very nice "Modern Classics" book, had been sitting on my shelves and utterly neglected for the past 5 years.
The yarn, Cascade Eco Plus in the Lipstick Red colorway (much nicer than in the above photo), had been bought at around the same time for another project and then forgotten.
Pulling those two out of thin air and seeing how they were made for each other makes me feel happy and virtuous at the same time: I am a knitter, therefore resourceful and able to come up with good projects all on my own and without indulging in yet more patterns and yarns.
As for the good cause, it is the one closest to my heart -- the cause of Afghan schoolgirls who, besides getting a new school, will be given new handmade pullovers or cardigans in time for winter. You can read all about it here . No firm deadline yet, but once I read about this new drive I just could not wait to find the right project and cast on. You'll note that I chose a pattern written for women: I decided to follow the instructions for the smallest size, which should fit a 12-14 year old fine; I will extend the body and arm length by a good inch or two to make the sweater a bit longer-lasting and more versatile.