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Permanent Resident

New Zealand
2969 Posts

Posted - 08/18/2005 :  3:29:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit KathyR's Homepage Send KathyR a Private Message
I read a long time ago that when choosing yarn colours you place the balls together in a small basket and put it somewhere you will be able to see it often through the day. Look at the yarns often and take out any that don't seem right for the effect you are wanting. If, after a week or so, you are happy with the colours and haven't replaced any for a while then you have a combination which should work for you!

I also came across a book on watercolour quilting a few years ago. I can't remember who wrote it but I know she has written several quilting books. The author's method of choosing a range (palette) of colours, I thought, was very good too. She always has a light colour and a deep-dark colour in the palette which are relative to the other colours in her chosen range. Think sunlight and shadows.


Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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New Pal

47 Posts

Posted - 08/18/2005 :  4:28:24 PM  Show Profile Send knittymom a Private Message
Hi all,

There's a really good show on the Home and Garden network call "Get Color". The show's context is decor but many of the same color theories apply to any material. The host uses a color wheel made up of little boxes and she chooses items the match the theme the home owners have picked. For example: One home owner wanted their family room to remind them of vacations at the beach so she used mussel shells for purple, ocean glass for blue, yellow terry towel for yellow etc. My daugter Megan (6) and I watch it together and try to second guess to homeowners.

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New Pal

2 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2005 :  1:16:59 PM  Show Profile Send a Private Message
The best advice I ever received about color was to look at how nature puts color together. If you look closely at a flower or tree, you will see what I mean. Who else would put together purple, red, and green and have it look sooooo good?
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Warming Up

74 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2005 :  03:31:33 AM  Show Profile Send useratl a Private Message
You guys are so great!

I am SO going through this right now. I never thought I was any good at colors, but I did a cape, picked my own colors, and ended up loving it. I did a nature type scheme of a range greens & browns. Because I also crochet, and did a huge flock of little flowers last spring, I've begun looking through flower planting guides and stuff for inspiration. Or maybe I'm just better at this than I think I am!

Thanks for all the great ideas. I have a color wheel, but I'm having a hard time understanding how best to use it.

I think the following site may also offer a great color resource for pattern creation. I use it for web type stuff, but it allows you to look at colors next to each other and stuff. Just click on something in the small box to the left to begin . . .
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Permanent Resident

3262 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2005 :  5:46:25 PM  Show Profile Send WendyB a Private Message
Nature is good to work from. Very good. Maybe you have some photos of flower gardens or landscapes you could work from.

I have the book Color Play: Easy Steps to Imaginative Color in Quilts by Joen Wolfrom that's quite nice for choosing colors.


skaters kick butt
knitters rock
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Permanent Resident

6412 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2005 :  9:28:57 PM  Show Profile Send SerMom a Private Message
I have Deb Menz's book, and enjoyed looking at it, but I find that I can't do colours 'scientifically'. I'm also pretty sure that paint chips, coloured pencils, etc., can't really tell you how the yarn will work.

I really think that if you want to play with colour, the best thing to do is swatch. It's the only way to truly know.

I made a shawl once, using mostly red/orange mohair. I though surely black would work with that. Absolutely not! It sucked all the life out of it. Who'da thunk?

Take a look at some of the wild combinations I've come up with here and here.

It's a feature, not a bug.

Fran's Site:

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Chatty Knitter

101 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2005 :  08:08:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit sweetgeorgia's Homepage Send sweetgeorgia a Private Message
For fair isle, one of the easiest ways would be to get a skein of each colour you might want to work with and then knit multiple swatches with different colour combinations. Of course, this is a little more expensive since you have to buy more skeins than you might use, but it would be good for a serious project. Or, take a look at that new box of Palette yarns from Knit Picks -- only $44 US for a ball of each colour. It's not exactly "fair isle" yarn, but will work for your finer gauge, multi-colour projects.
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New Pal

2 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2005 :  11:03:42 AM  Show Profile Send crazy-co-knitter a Private Message

IMHO, good color combinations need contrast. The contrast can be in hue, saturation, or value.

Hue is basically what color it is. Your color wheel can help here. Red-green, blue-orange, and yellow-purple are the three "main" opposing colors.

Saturation is how strong the color is. Light red versus deep red.

Value is how dark or light a color is. How much white versus black there is in the color. A lot of people like to use a 'ruby beholder' to judge this kind of thing.

I like the 'gut instinct' way of choosing color, myself, but find in retrospect that I've chosen colors that follow the contrast rule. There's usually contrast in one or more of the characteristics of color.
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