I’m an equal-opportunity crafter. I’ll give any color a chance on my needles and hooks. I pretty much love them all. I have fondness for the soft baby-cradle shades and the deep-down-moody hues and everything in between.
Hey Jenn. Do you like this turquoise/ecru/charcoal/ruby/burnt mustard/pistachio/plum?
Yes. Yes I do.
Here is another thing about me: I don’t much care how colors look on my body. I have too many other things to worry about like: Will this color show off the pattern? and How will this color photograph? and Can I stand to knit up 800 yds of this shade?
I Design in Colors That I Shouldn’t Wear
Take the green I used in my Old Vine stole. I love that color. Its shows off the lace pattern in my design very well. Its a nice match for the motif. I enjoyed looking this color the whole time I worked it up and last but not least, it looks great on camera. Not all colors do and if I’m selling patterns from pictures I gotta pick the ones that do.
But… I look terrible in greens. Green is not my friend. I have too much yellow going on in my face and hair to be wearing greens. Green makes me look older. All that is true but I really don’t much care.
The-Big-Hat-Project (its in progress!)
Here is another example of me causally blowing off what I look like in my own knitting. I’m making hats in every size of yarn. I have the super bulky (#6 weight), the chunky (#5 weight), worsted (#4 weight), and sport (#3 weight) all done. I just have to make the fingering (#2 weight) out of that ball there on the end. The plan is to publish one pattern that will make a basic slouchy hat out of any yarn. Any ball of yarn + this pattern = one slouchy hat.
The-Big-Hat-Project is coming along and
I’ll be publishing it here as a freebie you can find the free pattern for it right here. I think the pattern will be very useful and I think knitters will like it. As far as the colors that I’ve picked to show off each size, well, I’ve been getting some raised eyebrows on that. I look good in the pinkish-red and the blue. There is that at least. I don’t look good those colors that make up the the variegated super chunky hat and I get all washed out in that gray sport weight hat. As for the fingering weight-future-hat, we’ll just have to see how it looks when its done. But no matter how it turns out I’ll wear it. I’ll wear them all. I’m more into how a color looks to me then how it looks on me. But then I knit and crochet constantly and write on a yarn blog six days a week and my priorities might me a little skewed.
What If You’re Civilized And Actually Care About How You Look in Public?
If you want to know which colors will look good on you, check out this quiz from Seventeen magazine. Yes I just linked something from a trashy teen magazine and I’m
only a little bit ashamed of that not ashamed of that at all. Teens are obsessed with appearances and no one knows what makes a woman look good like your average teenage girl. So you can trust them. On this one topic. But if you venture into their other quizzes (like Why You Don’t Have A Boyfriend? Or Which Disney Princess Are You?) then you are on your own my fiend. Yes they have those quizzes. I couldn’t make that up if I tried.
Once you have let a teenage girl (or a stylist professional) figure out your colors, you’ll have a list of colors to wear and colors to avoid. You’ll be on the stay-with-warm-tones team or the cool-shades-are-for-you team. That’s great. But let me add this: color intensity also plays a big part in which colors you can pull off and which you can’t.
|Color Booklet & Color Wheel – $19.99
Choose color fearlessly with this booklet and 5 color wheel. You will be able to successfully choose from three to nine coordinating colors….
By color intensity I mean how much of a particular hue you have in that color. You may not look good in a full on red but you may look okay in a less intense red. Check out this palette of colors shown in four different intensities.
You can change the intensity of a hue in different ways and this is one of the techniques that dyers of yarn use to give us so many color choices. The intensity of a color changes if you add white (or in the yarn dying world use a lower saturation), if you add grey, or if you add black. Some examples of the same hue at different intensities:
I find that changing the color intensity can be very useful especially when I’m trying to combine two or more colors. In the next example I have blue and orange at different intensities. They are complimentary colors. They energize each other and all that energy can be a little overwhelming. I like to combine a full intensity blue with a lower intensity orange or the full orange with a washed out blue. Those two in the middle would be my choice of the best combination.
One more example and then I’ll go away. I’m a little worried that I’m sounding too much like a teacher.
Here are the three primary colors: yellow, red and blue. I wouldn’t like to work with the set on the left. They are too much, too over-powering and just too kiddie-like for me. But the set on the right is more pleasing to my eye even though they are the same hues. The blue has been washed out with some white. The red has been mixed with gray. I added a smidgen of black to the yellow. That set would make a yarn I would buy and work up and wear… even if it made me look like I had a three day hang over.
"There is no failure. Only feedback." - Robert Allen
24 Comments on "The Tyranny of Color and How to Pick One"
Love the green!
yeah, lol. Me too.
Oh, thank you! I’m a color idiot…I love color, but getting them to play nice with me is something else entirely. Can’t wait for your pattern…a small group of us are knitting hats, etc for folks wiped out in one of the Alaska fires, so fingering weight isn’t the yarn of choice…we need these hats DONE!????
That hat project sounds like a wonderful charity. Care to share the name/link? Maybe others will want to pitch in.
And I’m working on it!
Love learning about how colors work together! also, your front page seems to be broken… Or were you messing with something?
Well I have an email telling me my site was down for 3 minutes. But its wasn’t me. I didn’t do anything!
Cake? Or Death?
“Um. I’ll have cake please.”
I guess at least one person here can tell what I’ve been watching. 🙂
Well we’re all out of cake. We didn’t there’d be such a rush!
Another Eddie fan! ha!
PS. I may have something for you later on today….
I don’t pick colors. I like them all and I mix them all up. My home proves it.
That’s is the way to do it. Exactly. Throw as many colors are you can in there and call it eclectic. Then everyone will think you have style.
Wow. So you are the move and shaker on this. I’ll be passing this on to my weekly group!
Not really a mover or shaker, just someone who knows what it feels like to have the weather turn bitter before I had the time to knit new hats, mitts, etc. anyone who would like to help, thank you in advance!