I get two questions when it comes to my knitting: how do you knit that much and how do you come up with these color combos? It always tickles me that my knitting output and my color selection are the top questions but I’ve been asked so much recently about how I come up with these color combos I thought I’d talk about my inspiration behind some of my picks and share a few ideas I have for the future as part of my slow going Sweater Knitting Series.
First, I should let you know that I’ve been color obsessed since I can remember. My mother dressed me in color and pattern all the time but at an early age I asked to pick out my clothes and had a strong opinion on what I wanted wear. I picked paint colors, wallpaper and carpet for my childhood bedrooms and my parents gave me a lot of creative freedom to pick what I liked regardless of how much they didn’t agree with my choices. I’m thankful they let me express myself. When it comes to picking color combinations it’s really just about what inspires me, what makes me happy and what I think is just fun. My husband (who has mid-range colorblindness) tells me that I clearly see a very vivid world. I agree with him.
So here’s a prime example of inspiration inspiring a color palette. This is a random picture of a sunrise I took one morning when I was walking the dogs. But within this I see a great color combo that is similar to…
My color combo from my Cracked Pepper cardigan! A lot of times I say to myself ‘I really should knit a neutral’ but in the end there’s always a POP of color because I can’t just do a full grey sweater. That isn’t fun to wear. And neon peach surprisingly goes well with lots of other colors. On the color wheel it’s opposite blue so I pair this sweater a lot with varying shades of blue.
Currently I’ve been using the subtle colors and tones in yarns to create a color palette. This all started with wanting to pair the Madelinetosh Neon Peach with Torchere without really mixing in any neutrals. I’ve been thinking of a bold sweater for fall. Both of these initial yarns have ribbons of pink in them so I’ve added in a Lemonade Shop color pink that picks up the pink in the Neon Peach and a Hedgehodge Fibers color Pucker that pulls together the peach and the deeper pinks of Torchere. Now to ground this out I may actually use black for ribbing/bands since there are some black flecks in the lightest pink yarn but other than that it’s a color explosion of pink and orange. That’s how I come up with a color palette. I just see it in the subtle tones and stripes that vary in the color.
For me, the more colors and the brighter they are the more I love it. And that’s what really inspired my Saddle Shoulder Striped tee, it was just a lot of happy color. It’s a lot to some but to me this is perfection. Meanwhile others love how subtle the Cosette tee’s colorblocking looks.
This was just based on what colors in the entire palette of Pima 100 could I blend with the pink and purple I already had in my pile of leftovers. The heathered pink and blue make for great transitional colors to make this color spectrum work. But I also see making this top in a neutral like a pale grey or white and adding in a gorgeous green as the pop color. For me color is happiness. I pull at the little flecks of color in a yarn to find that color combo you wouldn’t expect. I use the underlying color to make contrasting color choices. But honestly, for the most part I just try to make it fun. So how do you go about choosing your colors?
10 Replies to “Sweater Knitting: Picking Colors”
I’m so not a sock knitter but I keep saying I want to be. I may take some sock yarn with me on vacation and see what I come up with.
Love how your hairbands match the outfit on the childhood photo, so cute!
And I think that the Cracked Pepper Cardigan is one of your projects that I love the most, with the great colour combo and the fantastic buttons. Now that I can see what inspired it, I like it even more!
What a great post! And I LOVE the pic of the ‘little’DWJ!!! So cool!
love! love!love your colors always, even if you throw in a neutral shade!! lol
Always love your color choices! Now to the other question. How do you knit (complete!) so many things?
You were an adorable child too!
You are a pro at picking a color scheme. I use Pinterest if I have to knit with more than one color unless it’s a two color-striped beanie and then that’s cake. You are adorable in that pic.
Wow! Great post! When you explain it, I can see it. thank you for sharing that with us.
Lovely colour choices, you certainly know how to put them together. I tend to choose based on the intended recipient/wearer, their preferences and what I have in my stash!
I told my knitting friends this week that you use “rainbow” as a neutral because it goes with everything! I’m going to dip my toes into color with your inspiring blog