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An ode to yellow

Wednesday, 20 July, 2011

“Oh great,” I thought. “Yellow walls.”

It was November 2008, and I had just moved into the house I bought with my now ex-husband. Our house was too big for the two of us, and because of this I was getting a real luxury: my own craft room, where I could have a comfy chair, bookcases of knitting magazines, stitch dictionaries, and patterns and, of course, all my yarn, displayed however I wanted.

I had only been in the house once before we moved in due to a fall busy with traveling, and didn’t remember the walls in what was now my craft room being pale yellow, a color I despised. Painting it would have to wait, as there were other things that needed to get done around the house and then, the next month, it snowed over 100” in a couple weeks. We had no snow blower. I think you can imagine how fun that was.

The longer I put it off, the more I began to appreciate the yellow walls. The room had windows that faced east and south, and in the morning the sunlight combined with the color gave the room a faint, comforting glow. I dropped my plans to repaint.

Last year the room became my safe haven during the final, crumbling days of my marriage, and the three months I lived in the house after we decided to split up. I moved to Houston and left behind the craft room, but took with me a new love of the color yellow.

About a month ago I showed you pictures of a cardigan I had started knitting out of a yellow MadelineTosh yarn. It’s finished now, save for blocking and weaving in ends. Before I cast on I was a bit skeptical as to whether I would really wear it – you know I love my neutrals – but after thousands of stitches I’m anxious to add it to my wardrobe (but realistic that it’s going to be awhile – sweater weather is about two months long here).

The shade I used for my Taos cardigan is called Candlewick and it might be the perfect yellow. Not too bright but sort of mustardy with a slight hints of orange and green. I love this color so much I’m going to use it again for what I think might be my next project.

For those of you not familiar with the term, grey + yellow = grellow, a color combination that has gotten quite popular over the last couple years. I know I am behind the times, but since my love of yellow is new I have only just hopped aboard the grellow love train. And love it I do.

Look at these colors together! I never would have thought of it myself, but grey and yellow are so complimentary. They make me excited to knit, to play with color, to make something new and to experiment. I’ve been knitting for over six years, and one technique I’ve yet to try is stranded colorwork. Grellow is going to change that for me, in the form of a hat.

My relationship with yellow is a new one, and like any new love affair it is exciting and time consuming. I apologize in advance if you see a lot of yellow around here in the next few months, it’s just I’ve met this new color and it’s so wonderful and unlike any color I’ve ever met before and I can really see myself spending the rest of my life with it…

This blog post is part of a trio of blog posts on the color yellow being published today by myself and two amazingly talented crafters. I urge you to check out Completely Cauchy and Med Pinner and read their odes to yellow too!

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Wednesday, 20 July, 2011 7:35 am

    A great ode. Thank you for sharing. I hope you’ve emerged stronger after the divorce that you had to go through.

  2. Wednesday, 20 July, 2011 7:35 am

    What a nice, personal blog post this was. I didn’t know any of this (and it is strange that because I know your shawl and your vest and your Twitter comments, I somehow mentally think I know you; I am glad there is so much to you).
    And being Norwegian – I did not know the term grellow either. But I should, I love gray. But am still not on the Totally Yellow bandwagon …

  3. Wednesday, 20 July, 2011 8:03 am

    That yellow really is a beautiful one. I didn’t always love yellow, but sometime in the last few years, I’ve really come to embrace it. Your ode to it is lovely!

  4. Wednesday, 20 July, 2011 8:28 am

    Gorgeous cardi!

  5. Wednesday, 20 July, 2011 8:48 am

    oh, i love the glow of the yellow walls! i’d love to have a room in that color. although it is cheerful, i also find the tone soothing.

    and that madtosh! sheesh. now i have to go make myself a yellow sweater.

  6. Wednesday, 20 July, 2011 9:33 am

    Glad the yellow room got you through so much. The sweater is gorgeous – and grey/yellow is just a stand out. Wonderful post.

  7. Wednesday, 20 July, 2011 12:13 pm

    I love that cardi. Candlewick is a wonderful yellow.

  8. Thursday, 21 July, 2011 2:59 am

    Grellow! I thought it would be greeny-yellow. Kind of bike-jacket green. But I guess not.

    Glad things are looking sunny and looking up for you!

  9. Linda permalink
    Thursday, 21 July, 2011 8:36 am

    Love your sweater and yellow walls are my favorite – like sunshine all the time!

  10. QueenEileen permalink
    Thursday, 21 July, 2011 10:43 am

    Are you going to make the pattern for the cardi available? Love it!

  11. Friday, 22 July, 2011 6:25 am

    i once had a yellow room in an apt with an ex. it was one room that was always cheerful. not one single argument ever happened or ended up in that room…and it was a Bright Yellow. i hope to have another yellow room one day:) i’m glad you found a new love in yellow and grellow:) and i Love the Cardi!!!

  12. Friday, 22 July, 2011 9:41 pm

    Yellow is a really beautiful color! I lived 7 years in an apartment with a living room painted bright yellow. I remember when I visited the apartment I thought, this will have to be repainted. But after I moved, I really loved it and I would paint my living room yellow just anythime. I still have some yellow in my house but lighter. And although I no longer really notice it, I have a feeling your post will have a certain effect on me 😉 Hope you have a wonderful weekend! So funny to see a snow picture these days of high heats!!!

  13. Thursday, 4 August, 2011 6:21 am

    First of all, welcome to Houston! As a quilter and a pretty new knitter, Houston is the best place to be for all things to do with FIBER! Hope you’ll join one of the knitting chapters (KANG – Knit at Night Guild) that meet during the day or night around town.

    Anyway, I too, recently discovered the power of Yellow. Had not heard the term Grellow. Love it!

    Thanks for sharing.
    Cypress, TX (NW Houston)

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