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the Color Grid, folded shut

Gail Callahan's Color Grid

Gail Callahan is perhaps best known as "The Kangaroo Dyer." In addition to selling her colorful skeins on Etsy, she's also been the in-house dyer for WEBS for many years. And in her abundant spare time, she penned one of the best guides there is to hand-dyeing yarn.

Now she gives us her Color Grid, a simple tool to help us combine colors. The Color Grid isn't a treatise on color theory, and it isn't even your traditional color wheel.

Rather, it's a simple glossy leaflet about the same size as your standard take-out menu. It retails for $7.95 and is sold by Gail Callahan and several retailers including WEBS.

the color grid opened up

How it Works
Open up the Color Grid and you'll see three glossy panels of colors and, at far left, a black panel with several open slots. That panel is perforated.

the color grid in use

Fold the panel back and forth a few times at the crease to loosen up the perforation, then tear it off. That panel is now your magic compass for navigating all those squares of color.

Open up the grid so that its widest end sits horizontally. Find the square that matches your yarn, or that matches the main color you most want to use for whatever you're doing. (The cover describes this as for creative projects, home, and garden—this isn't just a knitting tool.)

Whatever that main color is, Callahan calls it your "base color." With the black side of the panel facing you (colors are easier to distinguish against a black background), position the large center hole directly over your base color square.

Look what happened to the circles around that center hole. See the other colors? Callahan calls those your "close relatives," She reassures you that you can use those colors with total confidence that they complement your base color.

Now you have some colors that will work smoothly with one another. But what if you want to add a little pop? She's thought of that too. Below the nine circles you'll find a thin rectangular slit. That opening reveals what she calls your "color spark." The only recommendation she makes is to keep your base and close relatives to a 9:1 ratio with your color spark.

That's all there is to it. Easy, really. If I had to come up with one peeve, it would be that the grid doesn't include my particular favorite shade of fuchsia. Then again, who knows? Maybe Gail is trying to tell me something.

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Source of review product: Gail Callahan
Review date 3/8/2012

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