Sweater Knitting: Picking Colors

sweaterknitting
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.
Family Photos 1982
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.
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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…
Cracked Pepper Cardigan
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.

Pairings
Left to right: Lemonade Shop Sparkle DK in Girls Gone Wild, Madelinetosh Neon Peach, Hedgehodge Fibers Merino DK in Pucker and Madelinetosh Torchere

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.
Striped saddle shoulder sweater
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.
Cosette final
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? 

FO: For My Birthday

Tomorrow is my 38th birthday. It’s weird to say that number but I’m happy to have another year. I have a great family, friends I think of as family and dogs I consider my family. I’ve got two jobs and positive prospects for a future in higher ed. 38 is going to be pretty good. In the midst of all of my knitting for others and wanting to do something for all the adorable babies in my life I randomly bought yarn I didn’t need (because it was pretty) and selfishly cast on a new sweater for myself last week. So let’s call this glorious two color sweater my birthday gift to myself. Warning, there are a ton of pictures in this post.
Boxy dropped shoulder sweater
I mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to knit something in the same vein as the Joji Locatelli Boxy Worsted sweater and then I found the Seamless Simplicity sweater pattern for free. The pattern said I’d only need 984 yards and I played yarn chicken with the main body color (Poppleton from Neighborhood Fiber Co – a limited edition color) and lost.
Yarn chicken
I made it to 11 out of the 14 1/2 inches I needed from the underarm before I brought in the turquoise accent color. And honestly, I love it!
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Also can we talk about the color? The Poppleton colorway is a base of yellow with flecks of peach, deeper orange, bits of red, blue and turquoise. I pulled out the turquoise shade as an accent but I could’ve gone olive green, green, navy, the possibilities were endless. Since the yarn reads more peach to me I decided to play up a favorite color combo of peach and turquoise. I get asked a lot about my color combos and choices but color and color theory have always been a favorite thing of mine to play with and I’m never afraid of bold combinations. Plus I can pair this top with any neutral in my closet from jeans to a camel skirt to make it a much livelier outfit.
Boxy dropped shoulder sweater
This is a dropped shoulder sweater constructed with a provisional cast-on (which is now becoming my favorite thing) and I’m really knitting a box with sleeves that start lower. Also I do not understand when people say they don’t block their knits. This sweater didn’t really open up and give it’s true drape and shape until it was blocked. It’s a bit shapeless but it’s such a great toss on sweater to throw on with jeans or a pencil skirt and the dropped shoulders give it a bit more depth than just a box with sleeves. I see myself wearing this all fall and winter long. Now I can’t wait for cooler temps.
Boxy dropped shoulder sweater
The fit is just casual enough without making me look like a slob and it’s a perfect piece to add to my wardrobe. I could totally see doing this in a soft heathered gray but as my husband said this weekend, “you just don’t do a lot of gray and I get that.” LOL I like COLOR! And of course as I was photographing myself, I had not one but two little dogs hopping around wanting to get in on the action too.
Boxy dropped shoulder sweater
First my cuddly bean, Jellybean. But don’t worry, Cher was hovering around at my feet so she had to get her own shot too. It’s only fair.
Boxy dropped shoulder sweater
My husband stood behind my tripod to catch their attention so they’d look the right way. LOL And because I want pics with both, I had to hold them both and manage my remote shutter simultaneously.
Boxy dropped shoulder sweater
And now I’ve got a new one to frame for my desk at work! A happy birthday, indeed.