I’m inspired by many things. My family, flowers, trees, podcasts, television, movies, ect. But by far the greatest inspiration is music! Last year I created the Mixtape collection, 5 special colorways inspired by some of my favorite songs. But those are not the only song inspired colorways that I have! So I thought I would share the story behind my song inspired colorways and also share a playlist of these amazing songs so that you can listen for yourself! I highly recommend this playlist for drives with the windows open!
You can find the playlist on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6nHlELknbLjrn5xF5tAAPp?si=1lFiM4I1SnKE4nMSIKB_OQ
Some of these stories are personal and there is talk of depression and miscarriage.
Song: Sweet Disposition by the Temper Trap
I fell in love with this song while watching the movie 500 days of summer. I know, I know. But 15 year old me really loved it and all of it’s quirky rom com (kind of ) ness. There’s something about this song that makes me feel like I’m driving with all of the windows down and out of the front window all I see is a city on the horizon in a pink haze right before sunset. And that’s where this colorway was born. I tried to recreate that exact feeling on a skein of yarn. It’s one of my oldest colorways, and most popular colorways. I think it’s a forever favorite.
Song: Rattle by Penny & Sparrow
I don’t even know where to start with this one. I heard this song for the first time at a bar in Columbus Ohio. My friend from college, Kayla really wanted to see this band and she thought I would be the one who would dig their chill and sad music. She was right. So we took a 3 hour road trip north to watch them play. My husband (then boyfriend) asked Kayla if he could surprise me and show up and he did. We stood in the back of this dark and dingy bar while 2 hipster dudes with one guitar sang. I can remember hearing them sing for the first time in this moment. I felt like my world stopped and that I was the only one in the room with them. It sounds a little woo woo but their music resinated with me in a way that no other music had. Then they decided to play a new song, Rattle. It’s about battling that inner monologue of not being good enough. Not feeling like you’re worthy of love. It hit me HARD. I don’t know why but it was exactly what I was feeling. I was in the middle of a pretty long and horrible depressive episode and the song just felt so personal. I wasn’t dyeing yarn at that moment in my life, but about 2.5 years after that moment in the bar with these two guys and one guitar singing, I knew I had to translate it into a yarn I could have forever. The dark grey and deep mauve tones felt like the perfect representation of that time in my life and also the comfort that this song brought to me. I was knitting a sweater in this colorway when I miscarried by son, James, and it was the perfect project to work on while I was in those early and hard days of grieving.
Song: Ophelia by The Lumineers
This song is a jam. There’s no way to deny that. The simplistic piano and stomping brings a joy into my heart when listening to this song. Even though this song is about fame and not really knowing if you’re going to okay, it makes me feel happy. It’s one of my go to songs while I’m dyeing yarn, or cleaning the house, or just hanging out with my daughter during the day. I wanted to capture the warmth and joy of this song so I tweaked a colorway I dyed long ago “January Wedding” (also a song reference, also just a reference to my own wedding) and made the pink a little lighter and used a different green to speckle. I’d like to think that I captured the warm feeling this song gives me, and I hope it makes you feel that way too.
No Trail to Follow
Song: The Night We Met by Lord Huron
Fun fact, even though this colorway is inspired by this song, I totally got the lyrics wrong when I named it and just decided to go with the flow and own my mistake. The lyric this colorway refers to is “I’ve been searching for a trail to follow again”. So there ya go. BUT this song. I heard it for the first time shortly after I miscarried. And again, it was one of those songs that really connected with where I was in my life. (And yeah, we can make anything fit any situation, but it’s a song I had on repeat while I cried). I felt lost. I felt like I didn’t know who I was anymore. I had already started picturing myself as a mom and thinking of all of the things James would be, and then one morning it was all gone and there was nothing I could do about it. I felt like I lost all control of my life and my body (and honestly I still do, yay therapy!). I always love a good mint. And I was dyeing my pillow mint colorway and it was more on the green side than usual so I decided to try to create something new. I added dark grey speckles, and it was perfect. It felt like exactly what I was looking for. I still have plans to knit something with this colorway, but I’m still not sure what it’s going to be.
Song: Smitten Pt.2 by Penny and Sparrow
On a crisp day in September of 2017 I drove to the mall to go grab some new lush products. I’m kind of obsessed with all things Lush and they had just launched their jelly face masks. It was still 10 days until I started my new job as a behavioral therapist and I had the day off from Starbucks. I was still in a weird place after the miscarriage (it took me months to even function like my “normal” self again), and I went to turn on music for my quick 15 minute drive and saw that my favorite band had released their new album Wendigo (if you haven’t heard it, go listen to it. It’s amazing). I had all of the windows down, and iced coffee in my cup holder, a flannel on, my hair in a high pony tail, really living my best fall life. Then this song came on. It was a waltz, which I really enjoy, so I was just driving and then the song stopped. But it wasn’t over! It started again and I felt my heart drop into my stomach. I can’t explain it but it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard. I wanted to encompass that in a colorway so I did. I used grungier versions of my pinks and blues and mints and added some dark speckles. I love this colorway so much and can’t wait to knit Eliza a sweater out of it for the fall and winter!
Song: Palm Lines by Lowland Hum
I fell in love with this song on accident. When Doug and I went to go see Penny and Sparrow( are you surprised?) in October of 2017 we didn’t realize there was an opening act. I was a bit cranky and wasn’t really excited to sit through a band I didn’t want to see, but we stayed in our seats and listened. It was a husband and wife duo. I rolled my eyes and looked at Doug but as soon as I was about to tell him I was going to go to the bathroom really quick she started singing. Her voice is soft and a beautiful mid-range. I couldn’t stop smiling. They were just looking at each other on stage and singing to each other. It was such a beautiful thing to witness and made me feel thankful that I had my person sitting next to me also experiencing them. They sang the song Palm Lines and I quickly added it to my driving playlist on Spotify. I was aiming to create a darker, more muted version of my go to pink, My Jam, and I did that (Cheeks) but when I tried to duplicate it I didn’t add enough dye to the water. When I pulled it out of the steaming pot of water I was a little frustrated. But I rinsed and washed it and just stared at it. It was perfect. It was a barely there pink of my dreams. All I could think of was combining it with the same color in mohair and make the perfect fuzzy sweater. I’ve had a sweaters quantity of Palm Lines in both Single and Halo since I died it on accident and I still haven’t decided on the perfect sweater. But Andrea Mowry (again, are you surprised) just came out with her Daydreamer sweater and I think it will be the perfect match.
Below My Feet
Song: Below My Feet by Mumford and Sons
Mumford and Sons really stole my heart in college when I was watching them on some award show with The Avett Brothers doing a tribute to Bob Dylan. Their music is always my go to when I don’t feel grounded. When I need to close my eyes and let myself breathe. It’s also perfect for when I’m angry at the world, so of course I had them on repeat after the miscarriage. Below My Feet is a song I would normally skip over, or listen and not pay too much attention to it. But it’s a song that I listened to a lot during this time. The chorus alone made me feel all of the sadness I was afraid to feel: “Keep the earth below my feet. For all my sweat, my blood runs weak. Let me learn from where I have been. Keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn”. It’s a song that helped me acknowledge my loss of control while also feeling the hope of better days to come. This song makes me feel the exact opposite of what Ophelia makes me feel, so I decided to create the opposite color way a meadowy green base, with flashes of blush, and for a stark contrast, dark green speckles. That dark olive green dye is so fun because it always breaks on the yarn and you’ll see flashes of hot pink and blue within the green!
For now, those are my only colorways inspired by songs. But there are quite a few songs that I would love to translate into yarn, and you’ll find those on the playlist but I’d also like to list some of them here:
River by Leon Bridges
Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding (this my favorite song of all time)
Into the Mystic by Van Morrison
and many, many more.