Jenn’s Recs – Sherwin-Williams Chip It!™


Need help picking out colors?

pink rose run through the Chip It! app

The very best app for knitter’s and crocheters (and weavers and hand dyeres, and all other crafting types that would hang out here) is the Sherwin-Williams Chip It!™. Its free, its easy to use, and just because its marketed for interior decorating doesn’t mean we can’t snag it for our yarn-y purposes.

A few words about color theory…

The first person to teach me color theory was my sixth grade art teacher. She was a wonderful soul and had that charming quirkiness that all wonderful souls need to survive in American public schools. When the unit on color theory came up I was so happy because I couldn’t draw or paint or sculpt. But I could memorize all the color theory rules and vocabulary! Easy A.

Now that I’m all grown up I don’t really use those color theory rules much. I have books on the subject in my bookcases, but that’s only because I have a book-buying addiction. I pick colors by looking around me with a photographer’s eye and visually pulling out color combinations that I like. Or I did… until I found Chip It!™. Now I let the app do it for me.

The Chip It!™ app takes two kinds of digital pictures for analysis; (1) the kind you have stored on your computer/mobile and (2) the kind you find on the web. Yep, it will process any image you find through google images. You just need the URL. All of the pictures in this post (except for one!) I took myself. Feel free to use them, but if you re-post please give credit.

Mother nature doesn’t make color mistakes

If you need help picking colors, and spring is totally the time to take a chance on a new color palette, go to mother nature. She knows what she is doing.

The human eye evolved in a natural environment, not an urban one. The colors that go together in nature are the ones that you will like, that people you make things for will like.

You know what two colors you find everywhere in nature? Blue and green. All those shades of green in a field of grass and all those blues in the sky… they form the natural backdrop in 90% of all nature photography. If you are looking for a “new”neutral, try blue or green. Or both.

bush against a blue sky

Stone barrier in grass

Now, it’s talk bugs. Some are blase and boring, but some are really wild. Bugs can help you put together color combinations that you wouldn’t have thought of. Take the caterpillar form of the Cecropia moth.

Cecropia Moth caterpillar

Rookwood Jade, Stop, Kingdom Gold, and St. Barts would make an outstanding baby blanket, don’t you think?

Cactus flowers go all in when it comes to color. These are plants that conserve water and their flowers tend to be smaller and few and of short duration. So they have evolved color schemes that are irresistible to the passing pollinator (and me!)

cactus flower in full bloom

Forward Fuschia, Obstinate Orange, and Hibiscus are just screaming to be your next shawl.

All of these pictures are from looking small. What can I say, I like the micro-photography. But you can get good results by looking at the big stuff. I’m talking really big stuff.


It pretty sure there is a stranded colorwork sweater in the colors of Jupiter.

Chip It!™ is the cheaters’ way to pick the colors for your next protect. Its also a great way to suck up hours and hours of your free time. Want more help losing some free time? Of course you do! That’s what the internet is for. So get your Chip It!™ window open and then pull up pictures of:

  • underwater coral reefs
  • the northern lights
  • any painting by Claude Monet (I know its not mother nature but he was a master with color. You can trust Monet. He won’t steer you wrong.)

So what do you think? is this better than having polls on Thursday?

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"There is no failure. Only feedback." - Robert Allen

16 Comments on "Jenn’s Recs – Sherwin-Williams Chip It!™"

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Great post! I needed this.  


Sooooo how do you go from paint chip to yarn color?


I also like and the sites for generating palettes. A phone app would hopefully render even more nicely on mobile devices. I just drag my phone or tablet to the yarn shop or my existing stash, and you could probably hold the phone next to the shopping site to approximate the colors as well.

Midnight Knitter

OK, this is totally cool. I’m always trying to remember colors that I like together and sometimes I take a picture. Now I know what to do with the pictures!! Fair Isle mitts, here I come!


Oh my gosh what a fantastic idea, thanks!