Neutrals aren’t neutral

There is a generally held belief that a neutral color is neutral, but the truth is this: Neutrals aren’t neutral; in fact, each one has it’s own agenda, and I was reminded of this as I tried to choose one to join and bring my multicolor crochet granny squares together into one coherent piece.

I spent Friday finishing up the granny squares. I just had three or four corners yet to crochet, and soon enough they were done:

Ten multicolor crochet granny squares with ends to be woven in and trimmed

With that behind me, all that was left weave in the ends and trim them, which, in the larger scheme of things is a bit tedious, but very straightforward, and soon enough, they were done:

Ten multicolor crochet granny squares ready to be joined into a washable crochet purse

To my joy, I was finally at the point that I would decide on a method of joining and a color in which to do so.

I had (erroneously) thought that it would be simple and straight forward. I had both a join and a color in mind, but when I took hook and “neutral” yarn to my Crochetachella Squares, things didn’t work out as I had expected.

One of the points of the project (aside from having a washable crochet bag) was to evoke both hope of a brighter future as the desert landscape that surrounds the Coachella Valley for which the square is named.

The first task I assigned myself was to choose a join for the squares. I had had a particular join in mind, but I kept changing my mind.

I started out by making a join that I though would be perfect, but it fell a bit short. What you can’t see is that as I worked it that time, the line zigged and zagged in ways that were not entirely attractive:

Then, because I wanted to quell any doubts, I tried using non neutral multiple colors.

I think the result speaks for itself, and what it is saying (quite loudly) is “NO.”

So I went back to the original idea for a join, but this time took care to not take any shortcuts in how I executed the stitches, and it was, to my mind, perfect. Or if not perfect, then perfect enough:

With a join chosen, I then went back to my search for the perfect neutral, and as the photo below shows, neutrals aren’t neutral.

One of the “neutrals” completely overshadows the multicolor crochet that is the main reason I even started on this project, while the other “neutral” is so shy and quiet, it tries to pull the colors toward a gray vortex where they will disappear forever:

So frogged everything and dove into my lone bin of neutrals and got to work. After trying a couple that worked better and a couple that worked worse, I finally landed on Red Heart Super Saver mushroom which (left in the photo below) allowed the colors to pop a bit while at the same time recalling the quiet of a desert landscape:

Evidence that neutrals aren't neutral

While I thought I would finish the purse this weekend, by the time I had spent all those hours deciding on a color and a join, I decided that I really needed to block the granny squares.

With so many hours already into the project, what were a few more?

And I have no doubt that when it comes time to make the straps, I will find that I move forward one excruciatingly slow stitch at a time.