Saturday, July 05, 2008

Color Talk

My sister called me and said that she found two Habu Textiles Kit 36s on closeout in the green/brown/gray colorway (shown above in gray/brown). It was an odd sort of green, but she liked it. Should she buy the second one for me? I had my heart set on red, but the green on my monitor also looked appealing. She bought both and mailed one to me.

When I opened the package, it was after dark and the yarn (by artificial light) didn't resemble green; it looked like baby poop. I was worried. When my sister asked me how I liked it, what would I say? Fortunately, the kit looked much better in morning light in the sewing room. Next to the charcoal wool jersey, the colors absolutely sing.

I am not so sure about this combo. Perhaps it looks better with more color contrast?

I am not convinced that this color is, indeed, green. It looks more like yellow-green than green-yellow. I pulled out Jeanne Allen's Showing Your Colors.

Sure enough, the linen tape yarn is closer to a gold or mustard than green.

The book gives suggestions on how to use the color.
Mustard, much misused and maligned, can be an innovative accent color if treated carefully. Some guidelines: Use it with caution and away from the face; use it in an interesting texture; use a yellow mustard rather than a green, or the mustard will appear dirty.
For good measure, I pulled out Jeanne Allen's follow-on book, Dressing with color. (Both books are out of print, OOP, and available through and They are cheaper on amazon, though.)

It is definitely an interesting color that needs to be treated carefully. However, I am glad that Ann pushed me out of my "safe" color zone. I auditioned the colors against items in my wardrobe. I see many possibilities.

Edward Tufte would have approved of Jeanne Allen's layouts.


  1. Those colors are beautiful. The black makes them pop, the others make them more tranquil.
    I guess I'm one of the few (according to the book) who can wear mustard close to my face, once had a two piece dress with solid mustard top, and mustard/winter white patterned skirt. Always felt like a million bucks wearing that dress :-) You can have some fun with this. Maybe winter white nuno with flecks of the colors, maybe even some gold thread or metallic organza in between. See you got me dreaming !

  2. How funny! I found that top book at the library, and I thought that I should look for a used copy. Now that I see you using it like this, I realize how handy it would be!


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