If Josef Albers crocheted

Today I found myself faced with the following conundrum:

Of the projects that I have identified as being in most need of my attention, none are what could be called portable.

There are elements of the Big Rug that could be done while traveling about and running errands, but the part that I have most avoided is making squares from the yarn I reclaimed from my first Big Rug attempt. This requires that I split and trim the yarn at the end of one length, split and trim the yarn at the beginning of another length, twist the altered ends together, and then place over a piece of foam and pierce with a felting needle until they are joined.

The Great Granny Square I am working on, at 33 rounds and counting, is beginning to grow into its name. Despite the fact it is in dire need of having the ends woven in, it too is not longer easily portable,

The next project on my to-do docket is a purse made of African flower crochet hexagons. Yesterday, while cleaning up the room that is headquarters to my yarn empire, I found two completed hexagons, two hexagons that need one more round, and four hexagons that need two more rounds. If all I needed to do were to finish them in some way that pleased me, it would be an eminently portable project, but the project is to the point that I choose each round of each hexagon based on what is already there, so in order for me to choose which colors to use, I need the entire project spread out before me, and a full panoply of colors to choose from.

So when I found myself needing to travel across town to get my son to his trumpet lesson, I grabbed my copy of Josef Albers’ Interaction of Colors. I figure that while I am devoting myself (for the foreseeable) to projects that have eluded me in some way, I might as well add Mr. Alber’s tome on color to the list of things I need to tackle, to see if I can come to some kind of understanding of what it is I want to do with color, and after reading chapter IV, about the relativity of color, I found myself thinking “If Josef Albers crocheted…,” and I adapted a color exercise and made it into a crochet project.

I pulled a 4.5 mm hook from my collection of Etimo hooks, and grabbed the one color of Red Heart Super Saver that I had in my bag (cherry red), and made two, two-round granny squares. By the time the trumpet lesson was over, I had gotten this far in my quest to answer the question “if Josef Albers crocheted…”:

Two cherry red two-round granny squares born of the thought experiment "If Josef Albers crocheted"
Two cherry red two-round granny squares born of the thought experiment “If Josef Albers crocheted”

When I got home, I had just enough time to start the day’s second load of laundry and grab an assortment of yarns that would allow me to being the second part of this project (surrounding the Cherry Red with two different colors in an attempt to alter the appearance of the cherry red) while I went off on yet another errand.

As I was throwing yarns in my bag before I headed out, I decided to make sure I had Red Heart Super Saver colors blue and pumpkin. Since blue and orange are complementary colors, my hope was that they would act in complementary ways on the cherry red and that the centers of the resulting squares would appear to be two distinct reds.

I don’t know that I succeeded at this endeavor, but here is the result:

The predominantly blue square on top of the predominantly orange square
My first two completed color study squares

The one thing that I did notice was that the square with the outer orange rounds appeared to be much larger. However, when I stacked them on top of the other:

color study crochet squares
The predominantly blue square on top of the predominantly orange square

I found the difference was negligible.

In some regards, this addition of a color study feels as though I am just adding one more thing to an already challenging list, but maybe, just maybe, I will learn something from my “If Josef Albers crocheted” color studies that I can then use in one of the projects I am attempting to complete.

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