In today’s post, Alison Ellen talks about where she finds inspiration for her subtle colour combinations, drawing on her visual environment to create the palettes which make her garments so distinctive.
I’m always looking around me at colours in landscape and garden for ideas; for combinations and textures that can be translated into knitted garments. Dyeing my own yarn is like painting, as I can mix and achieve the colours I want, building up a range of closely related variations, for example a palette of greens as represented by all the different shades of green in plants from grey-green through bright fresh grass to softer olive greens.
I’m also looking at local building materials as a source of colour ideas, with my eyes opened by family members involved in geology, building conservation and vernacular architecture.
In the area of Bury Court and Farnham, the local bricks are a soft warm orangey terracotta, often mixed with Chalk stone (clunch) in chalky whites and greys; a lovely combination. I used to work with printed textiles and natural dyes, and am aware that iron can make beautiful dyes on cloth, or in clay and brick, amazing stains in rust or dark metallic blacks.
With all this in mind, I’m patterning yarn by dyeing in a range of clay, chalk and mud colours with strong rusts, and tie-dyed flecks and patches, with colours bleeding into each other. These will be lovely to knit into textured patterns.
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