Friday, February 17, 2017

Mixing Colours

One of the books I'm working through in my journal time is The Power of I Am: Two Words That Will Change Your Life Today by Joel Osteen. The author writes that what follows those two simple words - I am - will determine what kind of life you lead.

Working in the salon, there is plenty of opportunity to listen to the statements women make about themselves and about the world around them. I'm genuinely shocked by how negative a huge percentage of those statements are. Perhaps this is because of spending so many years working from home or perhaps it's because it's difficult for women to sit in front of a mirror BUT... whatever the cause... those statements are not positive or self nurturing. And that's not good.

If we think we can, we can and if we think we can't, we can't and if we think we are, we are and if we think we aren't, we aren't and that seems true in all areas of life from learning to do a task to aging well. Most often when I talk about knitting and sewing, I get back some kind of I can't statement and if that person thinks it's so, it is so. How interesting that if they changed the statement to I can sew or I can knit or even something like I'm in the process of learning how to knit or I'm learning how to sew, everything would change and new frontiers would open up.

I am thrilled with how smooth my return to hairstyling has been and, at the same time, aware that in the past I did very little colour work and that this is an area where I need to go back to the basics and learn from scratch. I can make working with colour into a mountain by using I can't statement or I can make it manageable with I am in the process of statements... which is what I'm doing. I'm in the process of learning about colour, about the salon's particular colour brand, and about what happens when different levels and conditions of hair and colour mix. I can do this.

Colour theory is completely familiar. I've used it many different ways. What's different here is that I'm not decorating a room around a theme, co-ordinating an outfit, or adding colour to white fabric. It's more along the lines of over-dying fabric where the outcome is a combination of the previous colour plus the new colour or of bleaching out fabric and seeing what the underlying colour is before applying a new one. And on real people. It's interesting, challenging, but not impossible and I think so many of us would benefit tremendously if our I am statements were positive, self nurturing, and growing.


Right now, I am doing more knitting than sewing. I have a much greater understanding of the journey Carolyn talked about with sewing and losing weight. It's not that I don't want to sew. I do and I am working on refashioning a dress into a sweater-coat however, it just makes sense to be a whole lot closer to my goal weight before I produce a wardrobe... or two... one for work and (a hair-less) one for outside of work... which is something I haven't done in over thirty years... had two wardrobes. Not just one; two.

I just finished knitting the Alpaca Merino Cape designed by Elizabeth Fallone for Estelle Yarns. The gauge - which isn't written on the pattern but I inquired - is 14 stitches equals 4" on 6mm needles. I combined the two grey yarns above and my gauge was 16 stitches equals 4" so I re-did the math to calculate the number of stitches I'd need. Before you say I could never do that - which is what so many people say when I make a comment along mathematical lines - make a more positive I am statement. Yes, you can do it. It works like this...

The pattern calls for 84 stitches and we know that 14 stitches equals 4". Divide 84 stitches by 14 to get 6 groups. Switch that from six groups of 14 stitches to six groups of 16 stitches, or 6 x 16, and that would mean casting on 96 stitches instead. That's it. Now knit.


With the Snowland Cardigan, the pink yarn all by itself created a fabric that was too limp and loose and the colour was perhaps a bit too bright for me so I decided to combine it with another yarn. I tried a few different ones that weren't quite right before using a...

... a thinner yarn with a pinky-peach overtone. The two look fabulous together however, as I got further into the skein, the pink tone turned to a beige one and then to a green-ish one. By that time I was committed so I finished knitting all the pieces and they're ready to block. I'll sew the cardigan together and see what I think. The pink yarn is an acrylic/nylon blend. The second yarn is cotton so I could over-dye the beige and maintain the pink. This is a bit like hair - LOL.


For the dress to sweater-coat refashion, I am working on the sleeves. I've tried two ideas for turning the three-quarter length into full length and neither was what I wanted so now I'm exploring adding a cuff like detail. Once I figure the sleeves out, I can decide about the buttons, any added embellishments, potential painting details, and finish up.

I wore the sparkly grey capelet on Wednesday and it received a lot of compliments. It's easy to knit and easy to wear and adds a little something special to any outfit. Mine is knit from yarn but it could also be sewn from a knit and that could be interesting.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - today I am wearing another size smaller jeans


  1. I teach singing, and the "I can't" is huge. It's not allowed in my studio, but instead I tell them to say "I'll try". Your attitude toward your weight loss has really inspired me. From the very beginning you have said "I need to lose this, so I am" and you constantly talk about when you get closer to your goal...never an "If I can do it this time". That has been me for many years. I started Weight Watchers, inspired by you and also a friend who has lost over 100lb in a year on the program (fortunately I only need to lose about 30!) I really am seeing myself as successful this time. Thank you for the inspiration!

    1. You're welcome for the inspiration. Thanks for sharing. It's encouraging to me to keep going. We can do it. YES YES!

  2. Congratulations on the smaller size jeans! Been there. It's a process. No fast results, just keep plugging away at it. Good for you!

    I have a good friend who used to say, "Can't never did anything." So true. I have gotten a lot of new things tried and pretty successfully completed from the assumption: "Someone did it, so it can't be that hard." This applies to pretty much everything from sewing and knitting pretty much everything to taking 400 level college classes out of sequence. And with as much info as there is on the internet about how to do things, there's really no excuse. When I was a kid it wasn't there, so if our crappy little library didn't have anything, then it was down to experimenting or giving up or sometimes, finding someone who knew to show me.

    That 'can't' attitude is sure prevalent though. I tend to blame the media. They show things getting finished perfectly in 5 minutes, which is never true, so people have unreasonable expectations, and don't realize that 20 experiments, 6 hours and a bunch of photo-shopping went into that 5 minute perfect thing. Totally not helpful. Also, since it is presented as perfect on the first go, then people expect themselves to do it perfectly on the first go too. Again, not helpful.

    Happy creating!

    1. Thanks. Plugging away, slow and steady, seems perfect. I want the weight to stay off.

      As I said, I'm surprised by how prevalent the can't attitude is now that I'm out in public more. Being creative teaches us more about the journey than the product. When I first started working more in that way I found it impacted all areas of my life beyond what I was knitting or sewing and has been tremendously healthy and helpful. It's the theme of another book I'm reading right now - The Creativity Cure.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.