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Dear Kay,

Back from LA. You know how you have that tender reunion with the projects you could not take with you?

Escalator Scarf, I’m back! Did you miss me half as much as I missed you?

This is my first project for our Erikalong, the knitalong wherein we all knit Erika Knight’s designs from Field Guide No. 20: Atlas. (Plenty of time to join us—we’re at it through the end of May, and then forever, as usual.)

Absence makes the heart think about the color pink. I generally veer away from pink as fast as possible. It can skew my general pallor toward a truly consumptive vibe. I have fervently believed this for decades.

But then I started this scarf, in a shade of our Atlas yarn we call Tutu. I went with Tutu because of my ongoing project to try colors I typically don’t use.

What I noticed while I was in LA is that LA loves pink. There’s pink all over the place: buildings, restaurants, athleisure, pots containing succulents, sunset skies, electric cars. The longer I was there, the more I started to Think Maybe Pink. It looks so fresh, so right for springtime.

My pink thinking extended so far that one day I bought a pale pink cashmere sweater. It’s a cloud. When I tried it on, I felt like a slightly different person. Then I found a gigantic linen tiered dress, also a washed-out pink. I didn’t look like something was wrong with me; I looked just fine. This was when LA had hit 99 degrees for three days straight, so I was exceptionally pink myself, now that I think about it.

So: pink. I like it for this Escalator Scarf because it will be a definite perk-up with my winter jackets. The proportion of pink here is just right. And the cables look juicy and dimensional in this color of Atlas.

What’s the color you avoid? We all have them, and sometimes we decide against a color for really specific and maybe irrational reasons.

For me, pink has turned a corner. I heartily encourage you to try a color you have avoided. Yes, it could be a disaster. On the other hand, it could be kind of great.




  • I tend to avoid orange, which is practically heresy here in Tennessee. 🙂

  • Pink was on my ‘too-girlie’ list for years. One spring I was struck by flowers in the garden center with soft pink flowers and gray-green leaves. Still do not wear much pink but have learned to appreciate it. My husband and I married in the late 70’s. The colors for our linens were yellow, orange and lime green.

  • Well. I think it has to do with the undertone. Any color I chose needs to have a blue undertone, TuTu is too yellow ( a color I have always avoided), but I look great in bluey pinks, for example. And navy is my black, altho I will wear black on a rare occasion.

    • I agree. I think the undertone is key to every color.

  • Long hating the blue and pink baby labeling,
    I have avoided pink for a lifetime! Born in 1951 and a “tomboy,” I was always pinked up to try to make me a “normal” girl. Now, you’ve thrown down the gauntlet… Atlas Tutu…hmm. Maybe knitting with some pink won’t kill me! Smile.

    • my feeling exact, but what to do if it is a great color for an older (1947) adult.

  • The only color I avoid is tan, which has always seemed to me only to exist to be boring. It’s the sad neutral!

    • I can understand that sentiment but I’ve always liked tan and pure white together. So crisp. Like a smile.

    • I avoid tan by itself, because that’s my skin tone. Tan with other colors can be great!! Some shades of light green aren’t good either.

      • My exact reaction. I don’t wear tan, I am tan.

  • My mother dressed my baby self in pink waaaay too much, but I recently knitted a bed cape for her in pink and everyone commented how good my WIP would look on me.

  • I love pink and think Tutu is beautiful. Unfortunately pink looks dreadful on me, but fortunately a dear friend loves pink. She may be the recipient of yet another something made in pink!

  • Tan and beige do nothing for me. And since “becoming my authentic self” and going gray those colors are really bad. I love pink though with my gray hair color. I wear it a lot now!

  • Just say no to yellow!! I can tolerate a little; flowers, small accents of yellow on my motorcycle, small accents on some home interior items. I just CAN NOT wear it. I am also not a fan of browns for tops and sweaters, pants and skits are ok in browns. I LOVE pink!

  • I don’t do pink unless you can convince me that, really, it’s almost orange.

    • Yes! Exactly! Haha! No pink for me…ever! shudder….

  • Certain shades of yellow make me look like I have jaundice – I like yellow, but I restrict it to my socks. And I don’t like white – a creamy shade is nice but flat white, no thanks.

  • After a long Pink Period in my 30s, pink is again a staple for me. I’m so glad there’s Tutu for me to play with!

  • Orange yarn never attracts me. The only thing I knit with orange is decorative stuffed pumpkins!

  • Neon colors and drab colors are not my favorites. Pink is fine as long as it’s not florescent or drab.

  • I LOVE pink! I LOVE color! A Dark olive green? Not so much!

  • Green. Makes me look sick!

  • As thr only boy after 4 girls my poor brother had to wear a pale pink snowsuit. At 12 I was far too embarrassed to correct people when they said “isn’t she pretty”. I have avoided that sugary pink ever since. I do wear magenta however.

  • I avoid beige in all its forms (tan, sand, taupe even) It’s not a colour so much as a lack of imagination.

    • Agree. Anything in those shades is verboten and I don’t believe anyone can change that. I’ll go with a good dark brown (very occasionally) but brown and any other color that is muted, muddy, or such is off the table. I’m a jewel tone person and will use pretty much any color in that range including a bright but not neon pink. In the Atlas line, I’d use barn red, merlot, navy, mallard, wintergreen. I’m using Lapis now and love it and will use Skyline. The others in my list are maybes and those not on the my list are never. Can you tell blue is my go to?

    • 100% agree. And it’s sad.

  • Oddly, I don’t love prints.

  • I often notice myself being “anti-neutral” when I’m picking a palette for a knitting project. The color-colors are what grab me, so that’s where I start, and it can be hard to get a neutral at just the right level of light/dark and with all the right overtones/undertones to do it.

    Default for a dark neutral is always a shade of blue.

    • Me too. Although I can do dark gray. I like color so much that the neutrals stand out and look off.

      • I’ll do grey as long as it’s clear grey, not green, brown or yellow grey.

  • My mother wore beautiful bright colors, especially as she grew older – turquoise, coral, pink, bright navy and reds – she knew the impact of color on her outlook daily. I always feel great when I wear pink, and think of her!

    • Your mother and I agree n color choices except coral which I would substitute with a good Orange on the red side.

  • Red is my nemesis.

  • My stash has lots of pink yarn … made my wedding gown from blush pink satin.

    From the movie “Funny Face” – ‘Think Pink’

  • To all who steer away from tan or beige: Have you noticed how lovely those colors are when incorporated in Fair Isle or Shetland patterns?

    • Totally True. Yoked colorwork sweater with oatmeal colorway as main color–I’m fine with that.

    • Totally true. i see oatmeal as the main color in yoked colorwork sweaters all the time. Looks lovely.

  • I avoid pink too, but this scarf might make me rethink pink! (Also, I just bought a bright purple dress … another color I don’t ever wear.) All the colors this year, let’s go!

  • Orange for me, too! Just…not. But I have a daughter (and a pumpkin pattern) that look great in orange so I have learned to love it. On the other hand I have spent my entire life convinced that there is a shade of pink for everybody from pastel to bright to coral (for those warm-toned people). As a child of the 50’s I was heavily influenced by Audrey Hepburn who wore sophisticated shades of pink. So glad you have come in from the dark side, Ann. I love the scarf. And if I ever make the Spectra sweater it will be because of yours (but would probably include some shade of pink-even though I also love green).

  • Tutu isn’t the pink for me, but a saturated fuchsia or what is popularly called “shocking” pink? Sign me up.

    • I agree completely?

      • Whoa! That was meant to conclude with an exclamation mark, not a question mark! “I agree completely!”!!!

  • I thought you would send a photo of your gorgeous self in the pink cashmere cloud and the pink linen dress? Please?

    • Seconded!

      • Thirded!!

        • Fourthed?

  • I’m a firm believer that the color green belongs on plants and money, but not on me. Even greenish shades of teal or khaki make me look like an extra from “The Walking Dead.” I’m not exaggerating — a funeral director once told me that green made me look like the victim of a bad embalming job!

    • Agree about khaki and would add lime and olive greens. Give me an emerald green anytime.

  • Just held up a yellow silk scarf I used to wear occasionally when I didn’t want anyone to ask me to take on more work & looked in the mirror – it definitely still makes me look ill! Orange hunting hat? Check! So I’m going to continue avoiding large blocks of orange & yellow in my knitting unless I’m looking for subconscious pity from onlookers.

  • The only colors I tend to avoid in knitting are black and very dark grays/blues/so on. Not because I don’t like how they look, it’s just that I struggle to see the darn stitches while I’m knitting!

  • I am a confirmed pinkaholic since forever, the brighter the better, as anyone who knows me will attest. Brown, beige any ash toned colors I avoid not even giving them a chance!

  • it is funny, I always associate it with babies in the USA. and little girls. I know for sure that it is a color that matches my old complexion. And I have pink yarn in my stash. And every time I think, let me make this nice sweater, and the next month the idea is gone again. Perhaps this will give me the push I need.

  • Green. Because I grew up in the 70s & absolutely HATED the “avocado green” that was the rage. & Then every crappy apartment had some shade of ugly green in it.

    • Amen!!

  • I can’t do green, tan or orange. But I love teal and aqua and coral. So I guess whatever color I wear has to have either a blue or a pink/red cast. Tan makes me either look ill or disappear.

  • Yellow, it really does make me look like I have jaundice.

  • Yellow & Orange. With my skin tone they literally make me look sick!

  • I eschew yellow in all its forms.

  • Magenta. Hate it. In the 80s I wore magenta lipstick to look hard and punky, I hoped. Didn’t work, I still attracted guys who saw me as a sweet pushover type. All the yarn we could buy in Malta was English and a bit of French and Italian. The first two always had magenta in their ranges and never a Schiaparelli pink or true red or even better orangey red❤️. And my despised aunt Lina wore magenta lipstick forever.

  • Hmmm. I can’t think of a color that I don’t like (I even appreciate a good beige every so often – its a support color) but I do tend to go on color jags and there are ones that I am definitely always drawn to. I love purple in any way shape or form, often wear red, and black is my primary neutral.

  • I avoided orange until the last election. And, I’ve probably always avoided pink, but turned a new leaf recently, and I’m doing things in gold-orange, several pinks, and even ORANGE orange. SO fun to bust out of old habits! Thanks for the reassurance!

  • LOVE pink – but it has to be a blue pink, never a coral pink. Would not wear yellow, lime green, or orange no matter how much someone/anyone paid me.

  • Nope. Huh uh. Pink, fuchia, red…purple…nope. Not going there! I’m perfectly happy with all the oranges, yellow greens, ochres and golds, and maybe a deep periwinkle. Life’s too short to try to convince myself otherwise!! ;D

  • Pink, steered clear for decades. Leftover baby sweater yarn in stash. Pink socks. Next the orange that was sale item. More socks. Maybe graduate to a visible item for the remainders. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • It used to be yellow for me. Then I bought a grab-bag of clearance cotton yarn from an online shop with the intention of making a skirt. They sent me a bright sunny yellow. I made the skirt, and it’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever made. (Also perfect to wear to summer fiber festivals when it’s too hot for a sweater!) It’s bright and cheery and makes me smile, and I can base so many outfits on it, almost like a neutral. (Then again, I’ve long been of the opinion that rainbow is a neutral, so.)

  • I loooove pink! Every pink there is, though the pinks I wear best are jewel tone/cool tone like a bluey fuschia or cotton candy . The color I avoid most? Orange.

  • I don’t care for gray, especially if it’ll be by my face. However, I knit for several people that love gray, so I do use it.

  • I never knit with greens other than dark greens, and those dark greens are only knitted for other people. Recently, my best friend (who adores every shade of green and is not only NOT a knitter, but allergic to all animal fibers) talked me into a spring green. I LOVED IT! The calm, harmonious vibes radiating from the spring green made even BOBBLES and a sewn bind off a pleasure! I’m forever changed. ❤️

  • I avoid yellow tops bc they tend to make me appear as if I’m not wearing a top, especially in photos or at a distance. I also tend to avoid orange – it screams “look at me!” and when one is trying to sit quietly in the corner, one does not want to wear a screaming color. I’m told orange looks good on me though, and my spouse has talked me into it a few times – so I mix it in and it doesn’t scream so loudly.

  • I’m not a fan of knitting, or wearing, brown. Looks too much like, um, poop.

  • Your pink is pretty, but my skin tone requires warm tones. I always go for peach & coral. My red has to have an orange undertone, not blue/red. I often like green as a neutral (thinking of nature). My best green is sage. For blankets, any shade of green works well. Never, ever black. My best brown is a caramel shade. I will knit any colors for others.

  • I do not care for the color red, so I do not use it for projects for myself, but I will not avoid it completely.

  • Pink is my favorite color, although I avoided it until I was at least 40 — I had been taught that it was too girly and therefore should be avoided. I finally realized that I am a girly girl, but there’s nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t mean that I’m not smart and confident, too. I avoid yellow, although I’m currently knitting a scarf in a yellow that sort of veers to orange, and I kind of love it!

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