Saturday, September 27, 2008

They Call It Mellow Yellow

All bad references to Donovan aside, this post is about my second favorite color: yellow. My favorite color, for those who don't know me is red. Bright fire engine red. Hot tomato red. Red red red.

But then there is yellow. Sunshine yellow. Cheery happy bright yellow. Like daffodils, butter, sunflowers, great fields of mustard that bloom in the spring. Yellow stands out on cloudy days. It is warm and inviting. During a January 2002 trip to Finland, I noticed both in Northern Lapland and in Helsinki in the south, that yellow is a common color for buildings. In the dark, snowy and grey, cold days, the yellow color pops and is warm and inviting to look at.

I have long been intrigued by yellow as a color to knit with. Indeed, it was Kaffe Fassett's Yellow Star Jacket on the cover of 'Glorious Knits' that I saw in the mid '80's that stirred me to take up needles and knit. That jacket was the second project I ever made and I remember what a hassle it was to find yellow yarn at the time. Even now, it remains a rather hard color to find. You look at most shade cards and often all colors are there in some form or another EXCEPT yellow. I really want to know why that is.

Take Rowan's Kidsilk Haze, for example. This yarn has a fairly extensive color range, but there is a real paucity of yellow. In fact, the only yellow shade was the elusive #578 'swish', which Rowan inexplicably discontinued almost at the same time as Knitting Daily published for free the Modern Quilt Wrap by Mags Kandis. I started poking about looking at other yellow yarn options and they are mighty thin on the ground, let me tell you!

I wanted some yellow yarn because I saw a pair of beaded wristlets in the book 'Decorative Knitting ' by Luise Roberts and Kate Haxell. The original wristlets pictured were lavender, but in my mind, I saw them bright yellow with dark blue trim and blue beads. Kidsilk didn't come in that color, so I looked at other yarns. K1C2 douceur et soie had a pale butter yellow, but I wanted more punch. Habu textiles had some good yellows in a silk/mohair, but I had a hard time finding anyone who sold them. Madil has 'kid seta', but that looked more like a highlighter pen than anything else. Then today, I found at Jannette's Rare Yarns that Rowan made a yellow shade of Kidsilk Haze called 'daffodil' that it never released for general sale. All I can say is why not?? It is a perfect yellow--warm and inviting.

I am not a dyer, so maybe there is some difficulty with yellow pigment. I am seriously curious here. Is yellow just not popular? I mean I love it. I have a few yellow garments in my closet that I wear from time to time and they always garner positive comment. I have, however, noticed that yellow clothes are often hard to find, too. very weird.

Call this post an open call to yarn manufacturers and indeed also to clothing designers to bring out the yellow!! It looks good on many skin tones, and makes both wearer and viewer happy because it is warm and positive without being aggressive. So really--more mellow yellow please!

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