I love color — so when I saw a house with a polychrome tile roof — I had to stop.
We had just left my sister's new apartment in Rye, N.Y., to find a place within walking distance to have lunch. It was my first time in Rye, and I was eager to discover its character. Our stomachs were growling, so my sister was annoyed when I paused in front of the house, my eyes fixed on its colorful roof.
“What are you doing?” she asked as I fumbled for my camera.
“I’m just taking a couple photos,” I said.
"Of, this house? It's a dump,” came her reply. My sister works in fashion where everything is picture-perfect.
To be sure, this place wasn't runway material. The paint was peeling freely on this rundown bungalow. It seemed abandoned. But I was drawn to the colorful roof. I’d never seen anything like it.
The little house reminded me of the old Italian two-story homes in Middletown’s North End — quaint, weathered places on small plots all painted the pastel colors of gelato — pistachio, peach, toasted almond and that chalky pink.
Here in downtown Rye, the tiles were haphazardly interspersed with rusty and brick-red ones, evergreen and charcoal. Somehow it worked to my eye. A roof done with that much care showed someone once cared deeply about this bungalo.
It wasn’t until I arrived back in Middletown a day later and downloaded my photos onto my computer that something clicked.
I was drawn to these colors because I had recently discovered — and admittedly become somewhat obsessed with — hand-painted fine-gauge Koigu Wool Designs Painter's Paletter Premium Merino yarns that expertly combine such a diverse palette so seamlessly that the resulting knitted item — slippers in my case — looked as natural as … well, nature.
First off, I knitted a pair of ballet slippers from a July 2011 Creative Knitting Magazine article in a harvest orange-brown.
Once finished, I placed them carefully in a ziplock bag. Too afraid to soil them by … wearing them on my feet.
Next project? Churchmouse Classics Turkish Bed Socks. They are museum-worthy. Really, it’s not just me.
But what color to choose?
I hesitated in buying the green-based yarn you see here. It’s kind of … clownish or tropical fishy, I thought, as I clicked through the Kollage offerings online.
Live a little, I thought. Think of it as … makeup. Then it didn’t seem so harsh.
We all know a lipstick or eye shadow in the tube or pot may very well go on as a translucent wash.
So, back to the Spanish-inspired ceramic tile roof. Which KPPPM yarn do you think would perfectly match it? I’m thinking of knitting a close-fitting cap hat this time — the Smocking Beret pattern from "Luxe Knits: The Accessories" by Laura Zukaite.
She's Lithuanian, much like me — and my sister. Seems fitting, doesn't it?