Thursday, 13 January 2011

Accessory Overload

One of the dangers of being an obsessive knitter is that you end up with an awful lot of accessories. Though it is debateable whether one can have too many accessories. After all, scarfs, hats, gloves and mittens don't really take up that much time, wool or storage space, and the nature of accessories is that they should accessorize - i.e., match, or at least complement, your coats. Ergo, the more coats you have, the more accessories you need. I need a lot of accessories.

I don't like to be too matchy when it comes to my accessories, but I like to have an overall colour theme - or at least an avoidance of clashing colours. In my accessory collection this comes down to the general themes of blue/green/brown for spring/summer and reds and pinks for fall/winter. If I stick within this colour frame, everything goes together and I can mix and match gloves, scarves and hats. But if I go outside my comfort zone, I end up needing to fill out the accessory set. After all, what are you going to do with, say, a pair of mittens with no hat and scarf to match?

This is the situation I find myself in after completing my major Christmas project, a pair of stranded colour work mittens using the Forest Mushroom pattern in the most recent Twist Collective online knitting magazine. I've been wanting to do a pair of mittens like this for a while, to practice the technique before starting a fair isle cardigan. But whatever possessed me to chose these colours? Destashing, of course - I had the yarn lying around from a rejected project, and I decided I might as well free up some room in my overflowing yarn box.

The mittens turned out fabulous and they have been given the very appropriate name of Licorice Allsorts (I like to name my projects, it makes them seem more artsy). But even I have to admit the colours are just weird - candyfloss pink and a pinky purple, which the yarn company called violet. I don't really agree with this name - violet to my mind has deeper blue tones, whereas this purple is a mix of red and blue. I can't decide what to call it (colours need specific names, just like projects).

But regardless of what colour they are, they don't go with anything else I own. I'm wearing them anyway, because they are very cozy. The advantage of stranded colour work is that you end up with an extra layer of yarn at the back of the knitting, so even though the yarn is delicate enough to work intricate designs, your finished product is relatively thick. Which is no doubt why this technique is so popular in Scandinavia.

Eventually I'll probably have to knit myself a pink scarf, but for now I'm contemplating a beret to use up the yarn left over from the mittens. For a while there I thought I would write my own hat pattern based on the mitten design, but realised I would never get around to it. I'm tending toward Neep Heid, by Kate Davies. Which will no doubt look even crazier than the mittens, but hey, at least they'll match!