I don't know how I got to be so cautious about color combinations. It goes way back: I remember worrying in junior high about whether my clothes were too bright. I was going to make a Fox Paws to use up a bunch of fingering weight leftovers in similar colors. I started off following the recommended color sequence exactly, with a rich brown, a peacock blue, an ice blue, a pale celery green, and a fabulous poison green. See?
You might notice that over there on the right things get a little more varied. You can't really tell from a cursory look at the Fox Paws projects, but they are a lot of knitting. A lot. Like, when I finish this scarf I will be able to swathe myself in it and head outside without getting arrested for indecent exposure. (Although it's likely I would garner some funny looks.) It was clear that I wouldn't have enough of my five leftover colors to do all 15 repeats.
I decided that I'd make it a little longer than called for, 17 repeats instead of 15. In the middle seven pattern repeats, I'd do two in which I subbed a pale yellow leftover yarn for the pale green, and then three in which I used a deep yellow leftover yarn, and then two more pale yellow before I went back to the original scheme. Doesn't that sound pretty?
Except, alas, I ran out of pale yellow yarn. Now it goes deep yellow-pale yellow-pale green in a lickety-split way instead of a gradual fashion, and it pushes ALL of my caution-caution-color-clashing buttons. I am worried that the deep yellow is going to be capital-C Conspicuous, and that the paler brown doesn't quite work, and that the new Palette colors I bought to pad out the leftovers* aren't as saturated as the originals.
*One of these days I really will make a leftovers project that doesn't require me to buy more yarn.
Here's the pale green-pale yellow-deep yellow transition I had planned, which I was not able to mirror due to a yarn shortage:
My daughter has been watching me nibble away at this slowly, while scrunching up my face at regular intervals. "Mom," she said tonight, "I know you don't like the way the gold yarn looks with the light brown yarn. But I think it looks like a walk in the woods, with the sun shining and a river flowing nearby. I love to look at those colors."
Take that, imaginary Pigment Police.
Fox Paws is pretty high on the pain-in-the-butt scale. Those rows in which you branch out to form the paws are a nuisance, and then the dramatic decreases are a further nuisance. I am not sure I have enough of my 5 original colors left to do the last 4 repeats, which is annoying. I will not be sorry in the least to bind this scarf off, and I cannot imagine wanting to make another one.
But it does remind me of a walk in the woods, with the sun shining. Don't you think?