Color Crochet Lace and the Lure of Neutrals
The other day I was introduced to Mary Jane Hall’s book Colorful Crochet Lace. I’m not sure how I hadn’t found this lovely little title before, but I immediately began flagging the patterns that I knew I wanted to make. After bookmarking my top 3 favorites, I noticed something similar about them. Out of all the beautifully colored projects in the book, I managed to pick the only ones worked up in neutrals.
It’s true that I am guilty of playing it safe when it comes to color. Every wall in my house is painted some variant of white, cream, or gray. The wildest yarn color I’ve ever bought is rust orange (truth be told I was forcing myself to try color when I bought it, and I haven’t even made anything with it yet.) So at this point it should really be no surprise that the projects I picked from the book match my neutral-colored life. What you really might be wondering is why there are even neutrals in Colorful Crochet Lace?
By definition, neutral means to be unsaturated, or lacking in color, so like many I wouldn’t think warm beige garments belonged in a book with the word “colorful’ in the name. Yet neutral colors are in fact, colors. Neutrals range anywhere from the more traditional whites, grays, browns, and blacks, to even various shades of other ‘non-neutral’ colors (think of blue jeans going with everything). So really a better description for neutral would be something like “a hue that appears to be without color” or “a hue that doesn’t compete with other colors.”
So in truth, those neutrals I liked from Colorful Crochet Lace belonged in the book’s palette just as much as any of the other colors.
Neutral colors are great because they are so widely versatile compared to bolder colors. Complimenting toned garments can be the blank canvas to highlight a brightly colored accessory. Or like these projects from Colorful Crochet Lace, a neutral garment can be the highlight of your outfit.
Take, for example, the Café au Lait T-Shirt. Its sandy color steals the show when paired with darker neutral tones like black. Warm undertones in the tee really brighten up the whole outfit.
Similarly the bold lace of the Dominique Dress Overlay stands out in beige. Paired over a complimentary dark neutral, the lighter colored overlay becomes the dominant hue.
My favorite is the cream-colored Au Naturel Cropped Top. It’s paired over a deep blue tank and a blue skirt patterned with red and cream flowers. All the parts of this outfit complement each other. Navy blue (itself a neutral) creates a rich background, while the top draws out the cream flowers in the skirt, while the red flowers recede.
I love the fact that Mary Jane Hall included neutral colors in Colorful Crochet Lace. Lovers of neutral garments are after all, lovers of color too!
Are you a lover of neutrals like me, or do you gravitate toward bright colors? Grab a copy of Colorful Crochet Lace and tell me which projects you like best!