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.
Untitled
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: Saddle Shoulder Striped Tee

I’m giddy.
Striped saddle shoulder sweater
I love this top so much. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE IT. I finished my Saddle Shoulder Striped Tee and am already wearing it. So let’s get into the details on this project.

Here’s my initial inspiration sweater photo compared to what I actually made:
Comparing sweaters
I wanted the following:

  • A short sleeve tee for summer made using saddle shoulder construction.
  • I didn’t want a lot of ease and for it to be a fairly fitted crew neck (not too tight) so I can wear it with an a line or full skirt.
  • COLOR! You guys know me and know how much I love color and so I picked a bunch of Berroco Pima 100 in varying colors I liked and just went with it. I was surprised at how close I was to some of the colors in the original sweater.

In the end I think this was a great finished object. It’s not perfect (few knits are) but I think I did a solid job on this one without really knowing how this was going to all come together. Also the yarn worked up well and wasn’t hard on my hands like some other cotton yarns.
Striped saddle shoulder sweater
For another saddle shoulder style sweater I would run a pattern like an open chevron lace on the saddle so I could carry it all the way down the arm of the sweater. That’s what makes it such a useful design technique. And in regards to how you construct it, thank my friend and reader Lavon for realizing it’s a lot like turning a heel on a sock.
Striped saddle shoulder sweater
The saddle stitches are live and you pick up the stitches around the armhole. Add in some short row shaping for the sleeve cap and then you’ve got a sleeve to work with! It’s not a difficult technique at all. And I’d say the fit is more in line with a raglan style and not as close under the arm as a seamed sweater would be.
Striped saddle shoulder sweater
So I’ve started off my summer staples knitting with a bang. I can’t wait to knock out more tops for myself and I’ve still got yarn leftover from this project so you may see these colors in a striped tank too! So what plans do you have for summer knitting? What projects are topping your list?

Stitching Status: Finding My Fade

I got bit by the bug, the art of peer pressure, I wanted to be one of the cool kids…I’m making a Find Your Fade shawl.
Finding my fade
I know, I am not typically a shawl knitter. I do not enjoy knitting things on a needle smaller than a 5 but this shawl has got me. Mind you I’m finishing a test knit sweater and working on things for others but the pattern is easy to memorize so when I need a break or something mindless I’ve been pulling out my fade.
Finding my fade
I think once I started seeing the #FindYourFadeShawl popping up on Instagram and all the gorgeous color combos I knew I had to jump in. The pattern has gauge listed with size 4’s but I actually got my gauge on a size 6 needle, so it doesn’t make it so bad. It’s a super soothing knit.
Finding my fade
I added my third of seven colors during the finale of How to Get Away with Murder last night and I’m so excited to add the next color. Building the fade of color is what makes it such a fun knit. You want to get to your next color. So far I’ve added Madelinetosh in Edison Bulb, Hedgehog Fibres in Genie (middle) and Fly (bottom). My next color is a multicolored grey and then I get into blues and deep pinks!! This may take me a bit of time just because it’s not my main project but it sure does make me excited to work on. So is anyone else finding their fade?! Share your project pages in the comments if you are, I want to see!