Back in the day, I didn’t know I had a color problem. I went about my way, choosing colors at will. And then, one day in the late 1990s, it happened. I was minding my own business on the subway when an older man came up to me. He dramatically looked over my outfit (a bright summer dress with a cardigan in what I thought was a coordinating color) and said, “Oww!! My eyes are burning! The colors!”
I’m not sure why this random comment from someone who I now realize was a bit “off” had such a great impact on me, but I immediately began asking friends and family members about my color sense. It turns out that quite a few of them felt that I often combined colors in unusual ways. I guess I was at a self-esteem low point then, because I pretty soon ditched the colors and began wearing the New Yorker uniform of black with very small amounts of color added in. This fear of colors continued for quite a while. It was only through my exploration of quilting in the mid-2000s that I began to feel more confident about color again.
These days, I’m not too worried about what other people think about my color combinations. Bright colors are definitely part of my cultural experience as a Caribbean-American, and I don’t shy away from them anymore.
And then, this came into my life.
I participated in a birthday yarn swap earlier in the year, and I received this skein of yarn. I must say that it pushed my exploration of colors pretty much to the limit. In the past, I probably would have buried a skein of yarn like this under a mountain of solids, dreading the moment when I would have to figure out what yarns I could match it to. But these days, I’m more experimental so I dived right into the challenge.
In the past few weeks, I have made 22 charity squares, most of them incorporating at least some of this yarn. I have paired it with dull colors, bright colors, and combinations of colors. I’m glad my swap partner reminded me once again how fun color exploration can be!