In praise of the colour grey

by | Mar 3, 2019 | Uncategorized

sand ridges

Grey yarns tend to sit on the shelf like a wall flower at a dance.  More vibrant colours seem to get all the attention.  Those grey yarns have more potential than you may think so don’t leave them on the shelf.

The natural world is filled with shades of grey.  Think of beach sand, stones, and weathered wood or lichens, tree bark and birds.

stones on weather log

Grey is a classic colour that doesn’t become dated.  It is conservative, easy to look at, and combines with other colours to give a contemporary look.  It is commonly used for printed materials, fabric and interior designs.
Grey is neutral and can calm a vibrant colour scheme.  If you colour design seems over powering then try adding some grey to the mix.  The tea towels in the photo are based on M’s & O’s patterns in bright warm colours but the weaver has made good use of grey to balance the strong patterned areas.
tea towels mix of grey and orange to yellow
Grey mixes with many different colours including electric or light blue, lime green, yellows and oranges, gold, rose, aqua and even deep purple.  Check out any site for house paint to find contemporary colour schemes based on grey.

The colour grey appeals to both men and women.  Dark greys, especially when paired with dark colours, have a masculine quality.  Light greys are more feminine when paired with light blue or yellow.

Since grey accessories can be worn with a range of colours, it is a good choice for scarves or shawls and items that are intended to appeal to both men and women.  The motif in the scarf  (pictured below) stands out against a neutral grey background. 
summer & winter scarf
 All greys are not created equal.  Just check out “grey” paint chips the next time your at a paint store.  Achromatic grey is an equal mix of white and black and it has equal amounts of red, green and blue.  It is truly neutral.  But there are chromatic greys that are not a balance of red, green and blue.  Chromatic greys will have a “hint” of colour to them.  These greys can be considered warm (rose tones) or cold (blue/grey or green/grey).  Before selecting a grey check it against your other colours.
twisted threads create random pattern

You can always create your own shades of grey by mixing black and white yarns in your piece.  The photo at the right has a moire pattern due to the way the weft threads have been twisted. 
The photo below shows yardage that would be suitable for a coat or jacket.  Bright buttons or a coloured trim would look great with the neutral textured fabric.
yardage in mixed fibres
silk fusion clutch purse
The silk fusion clutch purse shows a classic combination of grey with gold.  It has a contemporary elegant look to it.

We are busy in the studio these days with workshops and projects.  We are participating in the Brant Festival this year and that has inspired a lot of interest in the colours associated with the Brant goose, black and white of course but also greys, beige and off white.  The geese will arrive in our locale sometime this month. 

Watch for our show and sale Friday April 5th and 6th from 10 am to 4 pm at Qualicum Commons, 744 Primrose St in Qualicum Beach

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