Monday, October 31, 2011

Predjudice and Favoritism on the Color Wheel

When I teach Color Theory, I don't teach students what colors look best on them. I figure that by the time we're young adults we've all gotten plenty of feedback about which colors "really bring out" our eyes and which ones make us look pale and sick. Perhaps some of you were even assigned a color "season" through the Color Me Beautiful program. (Wow, I just looked that up and found that it is still going strong. Who knew? I remember when my aunt got her "colors done." She was a Winter. She told me I was an Autumn).

I argue that everyone can wear every color, in moderation, mixed with other colors. I wear all of them. However, if yellow is my Superman of colors, purple is my Bizarro. When organizing my stash, I found this partially finished Wool Peddler's Shawl, in purple (here modeled as a cat blanket because I feel such apathy about putting it on):

I almost ripped it, but it measures nearly six feet across the top, so I worked a few rows of garter stitch and bound off. But I'll never wear it. It's destined to be overdyed. What is it about this blackberry color? What IS it?


I have more of the purple yarn, which is Lorna's Laces Fisherman, a 100% soft wool (merino?), worsted weight, in blackberry (you can see the colors here; this blackberry is more muted than the color in the photo). It's a great yarn, very soft and far more durable than Shepherd Worsted. I don't know why more shops don't carry it. In any case, I'm obviously not going to knit another project from this yarn.

Like purple? Want the yarn? Just leave a comment telling me your least favorite color and how it makes you feel. I'll start: Purple. Lethargic. I'll pick a comment at random at the end of the week!

47 comments:

Arlette said...

I loathe, loathe, loathe pink. My pink-haired boyfriend's got me thawing toward it when it's in my environment, but I can't stand wearing it.

I like RED!

jenna said...

i think i'm on the same page as you, color-wise: love them all, and especially orange as an accent, but hate purple. soooooo much. i'm glad someone else agrees. anyway, i think all the color combos you put on yourself are fantastic.

Joyatee said...

Brown makes me feel drab. (Purple, however, makes me feel majestic!)

hannah said...

That shawl would look awesome if your hair was dyed acid yellow. Just saying.

My least favorite colors are salmon, putty, and dusty rose.

Aleda said...

See, now I love purple, but orange just makes me cringe. It just seems...icky.

Victoria said...

Well now I really like purple, especially ones like that. What I hate, REALLY really hate, is orange. Just the sight of it, and even the thought fills me with disgust and rage. The idea of WEARING orange... ugh. Just ugh. I would turn my life around, just to make sure I don't come into more contact with it than I have to. For instance, I will check team colors for any place I may live in the future. If one is orange, I would seriously consider not moving there, even if everything else is perfect about the place.

I have to go calm down now, all this thinking about orange has made me upset.

loribird said...

Color-prejudice/favoritism is an interesting topic. I saw your shawl and thought, "Wow! I love that color!" and then read the you hate it...
While I do like all colors, purple a comfort color for me, in clothing and decoration. The same goes for red and most shades of blue; I just feel "myself" around those colors.
Yellowy-green is a color I *want* to like, and I do appreciate it in small doses (usually mixed in with other colors in a print or stripes) but I don't like wearing it much.
Fun to see everyone elses' comments!

Smallest Friend said...

My least favorite color is orange. I'll wear any color but orange. i can't even describe it... It's just icky to me.

Audry said...

Orange makes me look ill. But blue works great for me. Kind of funny that they are complimentary colors.

I suppose that is the same with your yellow vs purple feelings. They are complimentary as well.

Marguerite said...

I think we are opposite. I Love to wear purple. It makes me glow. But yellow makes me feel sickly, like a zombie. Also, pastel pinks make me feel old. I have a sister who gives me pink shirts every year for Christmas. I'm not sure she's aware of the pattern. Oh! And I have a habit of knitting green sweaters. At least once a year a green sweater is born.

Jamie said...

Gray is my least favorite color. Well, I guess shade but whatever. It makes be feel dull and lifeless. In my opinion it lacks personality unlike black or white which can be a perfect accent. My favorite color (judging from all my WIPs and stash is purple. Blue is a close second.

Nicole said...

You might not like this, but I think yellow makes me look ill. I won't even wear gold jewelry. I like jewel tones, especially greens and purples.

alligator said...

pastels bore me. I never knit them except for this week I am knitting a pastel blue shawl for my Grandma because I know she'll like it. It's surprised me what a chore it is to work on even though I enjoy the pattern! I just don't like the color.

I like most all other colors as long as they are not too flat looking.

Pyewacket said...

For some reason I have never liked blue. I don't know why, but I never have.

acp said...

I can't say that there are any colors that I hate. There are some shades and tints that make me wince. Bubble gum pink is not my favorite. On the other hand I love the old fashion "ashes of roses" pink.

acp said...

Bubble gum pink is not in my top 100 colors.

stebo79 said...

There is no color I "hate", but I just look sick next to yellow. So your purple yarn would find a loving home at my place :-)

Greets, Steffi

torirot said...

I love colours, and especially purple! And yellow, and orange, and red, and green, and....

But you asked about the colour I like the least. That must be mint (pastel).

Barbie said...

Beige and tan. They're really common for office decor and just put me to sleep. And if I'm wearing them? I look so washed out people ask me if I'm sick.

Alyson said...

I just did this but blogger is being silly, so forgive if it's twice.

PINK! because I have a 2 year old daughter and WHY DO ALL THE CLOTHES HAVE TO BE PINK??? Ugh.

My colors change all the time but I do find myself buying purple yarn all the time, I don't know why. So this stuff will feel right at home in my house. And I can maybe make something to dress my child in NOT PINK!

wordlily said...

Beige. It makes me feel invisible and/or ill.

Blithe Spirit said...

I love bright colours and not a fan of pastels. Hospital green would be my least favourite.

cameron said...

Kelly green makes me feel anxious, but I really like most greens. What is it about that darn kelly? To fake Irish-y, I think.

rach said...

ecru makes me really, really unhappy. I'm with you on lots of colors in moderation (I tend to gravitate towards gray for my general wardrobe and accessorize with color), but ecru just...I can't put any color with it and make it look right. I lived in a house with walls that color and beige carpet for two years. Needless to say, I did not get my deposit back.

Nina said...

I've been thinking about this a lot recently -- basically any shade of blue between teal and navy, and ice blue (easy to confuse with those palest grays and greens) does not work. They bores me. Maybe ennui is what I'm feeling ...

Dusty rose inspires the same sort of listlessness, while blue-reds make me feel anxious. Can't explain it!

(This thought process inspired by some stash-knitting of yarn that I bought because I loved the name -- Beach Plum -- and the picture -- turquoisey blues and purples -- and I cannot wait to finish them as socks because, well, see above!)

Your cats are pretty adorable in that blanket, however.

(And I am fine with not being included in the drawing ... though I love purple, I'm feeling blasè toward your beautifully knitted piece, which something powerful about color!)

Robin Allen said...

Bright yellow. Blech. Makes me look like I'm about to flatline.

Purple, though, is one of my favorites. My couch is deep purple and my living room floor is painted eggplant.

lulubelle said...

I'm sorry, Green, but you just don't do it for me. Really, it's me, not you. I don't mind a fling here and there, but anything long term...sorry.

Bonnie said...

Yellow makes me feel like I have a liver disorder. :( But, I don't! :)

astoriaAnn said...

I have black hair, green eyes, and yellow (sallow) skin. I can wear anything purple, blue, turquoise, and blue reds. Purple is just flattering to me, it makes my eyes pop and looks good with my dark hair. Anything with much yellow in it at all looks very bad. I love orange but can't wear it much. Unless its a blue-orange -- I know that doesn't seem possible but there are some cool oranges you know. Pink makes me miserable, it makes me think of pepto-bismal and barbies. Ugh.

StaceyKnitsIt said...

Pink makes me feel icky.
Autumn colors are for me.
You should over dye your shawl and wear it! :)
If I win your yarn, I will most likely happily over dye it.

n said...

Pale, middle-of the road yellow makes me feel nauseous. I'm all for more saturated yellows that lean toward orange or green, though.

KathyL said...

Tan, beige, cream, off-white - ick! My favs are blue, black, green, and gray. Purple - not so much, but I can gift whatever I make with it :)

Thea said...

That pale-ish, sickly shade of blue/green that waiting rooms used to be painted before mauve became popular. Ick!!! Makes me feel sick to my stomach. BTW... can't stand mauve either.

polly said...

I HATE, loathe with a passion, BEIGE. I love orange, purple (often together), yellow, red, blue, green (wore various shades together), but absolutely hate that neutral beige.

b said...

fluoro yellow makes me feel antsy

Karen said...

No doubt about it... a bright red. I so often try to leave the house with it on in the morning. Sometimes I even make it to my car. Sometimes I make it to the end of the road. And then the inevitable u-turn. Sigh.

Olga said...

black. I jus hates it. Maybe cuz it reminds me of my heart...

D said...

Tan. It's just sad. And it makes my skin look the same color.

Favorites: green and yellow, preferably together. it feels like springtime, even on gray, dreary winter days.

craftivore said...

Moby Dick quiz on Penguin USA on facebook, how much do you know? https://apps.facebook.com/penguinusa/Quizzes/Take/1782

I'm pretty omnivorous in colors, it all depends on what you pair them with. I've never been a wearer of green but have been inching into it with some more neutral ones, like a drab or army green. Don't think I would ever look good in a bright kelly, eek.

Mary Kay said...

I feel ill in Orange and look as queasy as I feel. Not a happy combination with my coloring.

meppybn said...

Ahh-hmmm, I very much like that blackberry :) :) Though I think colour likes/dislikes are definitely related to personalities and I can see how that colour would not be a fave of yours :) :) Lethargic???? Soothing and restful to me :) :) In fact, I just bought the yarn to knit Tempest in two shades of, well perhaps it's a bit more burgundy that what you showed but looking good!!! Wearing orange would be my personal ick but know it looks great on others :)

Sally said...

Blue. Makes me feel cold. I hate that most default screen interfaces are blue. The first thing I do is customize to something warm, something from the bodily fluids pallette. Just started reading your blog. This if fun!

green butterfly said...

Ann, Your cats look lovely in purple!
Jennifer

Anne said...

Yellow - sick. Beige - blah. I love me some deep jewel tones! Even in the summertime. I'm not a pastel person.

meg said...

Actually don't want the yarn because Purple is my least favorite! I am totally with you. My faves: grey, yellow, amber, mustard, teal, rust.

randipants said...

I hate burgundy. It feels like my childhood.

On the other hand, I love purple so much I end up buying it by accident sometimes.

Christina said...

Yellow: sickly. I try to wear it, it's so bright, but I take it off every time. Same with orange and I love orange. But purple makes me look fantastic. Which is why I am knitting a purple sweater right now after blocking out my last purple (and grey) sweater.