We live in Penang, a Tropical Island located in South East Asia. The Tropics is not a colour shy environment and suits the topic "Colour Lovers" like a glove. I am participating in the wonderful Blogweek hosted by Eskimimi and will be posting something surrounding a specific topic daily over the next 7 days. I hope you will enjoy this journey with me and welcome to my blog! I am looking forward to meeting a whole new group of bloggers, to be reading their entries and to be sharing their blogging, knitting and crocheting journeys. For me this week is all about the different perspectives as put forward by hookers and knitters from all over the world!
The colours I choose for numerous crochet projects are invariably influenced by my immediate surrounds, current colour trends, my own personal likes and dislikes, the personality and preferences of the person I am hooking for and lastly - but in my case most importantly - by the choice of colours actually available in Penang. If I was spoilt for yarn choice, I would also add texture into this mixed bag of influences. However, there is only one shop on the Island selling yarn; the shop furthermore stocks only one type of yarn namely a soft acrylic produced in Japan. In these parts of the world Amigurumi dominates the crochet scene and acrylics are most suitable to making these Japanese anthropomorphic creatures.
We live in the middle of Malaysian tropical rainforest where the trees are dense and plants such as ferns, creepers, palm-like cycads and pitcher plants grow in abundance. Shafts of light penetrating the forest canopy create a spectacular stained glass effect on the wings of butterflies as they flit around. The jungle is full of surprises and I am always keen to explore an environment that rocks the plant kingdom. In tropical rainforests the atmosphere ranges from moody and quiet just before a rainstorm to noisy when birds squawk, trees rustle, insects crawl and monkeys babble in the aftermath of a downpour. It is warm and humid all year round with frequent downpours. Colours in tropical rainforests are not shy; it is vivid and vibrant, brilliant and flamboyant.
Granny Square Handbag for The Tween
The colours I chose for this bag was influenced by Chinese Shophouse Exteriors and Interiors, tones of the Penang Ocean and current colourblocking trends in fashion and design
The vivid colours I hook various projects in, instantly connect the eye with the splendour of the tropical forest. Living and hooking in Penang is not a subdued affair but an uninhibited multi-sensory experience. The experience is also contradictory as my senses are always on high alert which leaves me feeling energized but at the same time the heat and humidity leaves me feeling slightly lethargic. The burst of colour under my fingers however always propels me to a level of pure joy. Then there are the smells too - odours of spice, fruit and fermentation, earth, organic matter and rain permeate the senses. I would love the opportunity to select yarns in colours reflecting these smells.
Selection of colours for a project is a multi-sensory experience; it is about embracing the richness of the social lives and worlds of both crochet artist and the person the item is crafted for. This is the reason why I am not taking to the trusty Internet, press the buttons and order numerous skeins of fabulous yarns. I cannot feel those yarns, I cannot see them, I cannot smell them, I cannot react to them, I cannot experience them. Mind you I won’t say “no” to being surprised with some lushness wrapped in a parcel to be collected from the post office of course :-)
It is clear that I hook in Colour for Others, in Mono for Me. My wardrobe is all about texture and tones, greys and stones, silvers and charcoals as is reflected in the last picture of this posting. I rarely hook in these colours though as it simply requires a luxurious yarn, not the cheap acrylics available in Penang.
The colours of the bag also reflects the personality of The Tween. She is right on trend with her acid clock necklace and owl jewelry
My work tells stories, they are visual narratives. The beads from which I made the handles of the bag was purchased at a market in the wonderful town HoiAn, Vietnam a few years ago. Great was my surprise when I stumbled upon the very same beads at a market in Bangkok last year. These destinations are significant to us since we straddled living in Penang and Hanoi, Vietnam for a year and then Bangkok, Thailand and Penang recently. We carry bits and pieces of all these places in our hearts and it is wonderful being able to reflect the experiences in something such as a handbag. I promptly bought a few bracelets from the stall owner in Bangkok who herself is a hooker! This is her busy crocheting a beany: