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How do you choose the colors for a multi color project? Do you go by the pattern suggestions? Spend hours online or strolling the aisles of your local craft/yarn store? or just pick and choose from your stash?

 

What do you use to help make the colors blend? Do you have an eye for color? Do you use a color wheel? What tips do you have?

 

I like to poke around on Design Seeds.. Sometimes I find a pic that fits my mood and then I work with those colors. Other times I have a color or two already picked out, and I use design seeds to help find some other colors that will mix well.

 

I find lately I'm paying more attention to how much of their photo is a certain color if I really like it, and use more of that color yarn instead of buying the same number of skeins in each color. Now I may buy half an afghan in one color and the other half divide into three colors instead of just using four colors in equal amounts... I'm liking the results.

 

Biscuit and Jam's Stripe Generator is another way to play around with colors and see how different amounts work together, too. It's a wonderful tool for knitters and crocheters. It is really useful for using up those oddball skeins of yarn, shows you how they can be easily worked into a pattern instead of just sitting around unused.

 

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Since I have so much yarn, I use what I have. Sometimes I go by the pattern if I like the colors, sometimes use certain colors if it for a gift and I know their preferred colors. Other times, I just let the colors pop out at me. When I use variegated yarns, I like to contrast it with solid colors.

 

I personally don't use a color wheel, I just kind of eyeball the colors and see if it is pleasing. I also take the skeins and put them in a row to see how I like the colors together before starting a project. I've done multicolor afghans using those little leftover balls we all accumulate and for that I lined up the balls so I wouldn't have the same colors next to each other and went from there.

 

LI Roe

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I'm horrible with deciding what colors to put together!  I usually just go with what a pattern calls for or if I see someone else's work and love the colors together, I may go with that.  Thanks for posting the link for Design Seeds...definitely will be using that! 

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I personally don't use a color wheel, I just kind of eyeball the colors and see if it is pleasing. I also take the skeins and put them in a row to see how I like the colors together before starting a project.

 

LI Roe

 

 

I'm horrible with deciding what colors to put together!  I usually just go with what a pattern calls for or if I see someone else's work and love the colors together, I may go with that.  Thanks for posting the link for Design Seeds...definitely will be using that! 

 

Li Roe, I'm jealous! I have no eye for color. When I start combining colors, I lose my confidence, too, unless I can see how the colors will work together... lucky you!!

 

Deb, Design Seeds has given me "permission" to throw in that oddball color that I never would have considered if I hadn't seen it come up on their color chart. Takes me a while, tho, to feel okay with it sometimes, but I always end up loving it when I'm done with the afghan. Have to admit, a few times I had my doubts, but it worked out fine.

Edited by mattenylou
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I don't use a color wheel or any online sites for color. Normally all I do is either go to my stash and start digging through, find one that catches my eye, then see what goes well with it. Or if I'm at a craft store, I wander until something catches my eye, then see what I can find that goes best with that. 

 

Sometimes though, you just need to grab a bunch of bright colors, throw them in a bag, and just randomly reach in and pull something out and add a row/round! 

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Interesting topic!  I usually do things that are just one color, or just one yarn but with long color changes or a subtle mix of colors.  the color changing yarns are the best shortcut to a great color scheme!  lol

 

But when i do want to combine colors, I think i have a pretty good eye, and yet i find the process can be very frustrating.  the most successful color combining i have done is the afhgan in my avatar.  deciding on the colors was really a slow process and i still have skeins of colors that i ended up not using at all.  in the end i think what made it work was adding the purple and the bit of bright green--the oddball color like you said Mattenylou.  I kept putting the colors together and trying them...and had to actually crochet them together to see how they worked.  It took forever but now that it is finished i love it.  

 

What I think is most frustrating for me is that even if I have a good idea for a color scheme, it can be almost impossible to find yarn in those colors that meets the other criteria i have in mind for the project.  Some yarns come in ridiculously limited color ranges!  

 

I have checked out the Knitting Experience: color by S Melville from the library and her discussion of color was helpful.  I think that is where i first learned about color "weight" --the concept that some colors appear heavier than others and your composition needs to balance them.  that idea really made a difference to me.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Power-Glory-Knitting-Experience/dp/1933064021/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1373415102&sr=8-1&keywords=knitting+experience+color

 

i like this http://colorschemedesigner.com because it is so easy to start with a main color and see what works with it.  

again it is often the accent, the oddball color that I would not have thought would combine well but does, that seems to make a scheme really attractive.  

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I must be one of the lucky people that has an eye for colour, it has always been that way. Whenever I redecorate my house/make a patchwork blanket or anything really people always compliment me on my colour blending. 

 

If I'm ever a bit stuck I have a few tactics:

 

- If the project is for a specific person I get an idea of their favourite colour, or even get them to have a look through my materials/yarn and pick out their favourite. Then based on that I add in the ones that look good to the eye alongside it. 

 

 - I do a general Google image search for whatever it is I'm planning to make, eg 'crochet granny square blanket' or 'patchwork cushion' and just browse until something catches my eye colour wise. 

 

- I browse online yarn/material stores and narrow my search by 'mixed' or 'various' colours, so that I get yarn/materials that are multi-coloured and can select one I like, then I choose matching yarns/materials based on the original one chosen. 

 

- This might sound odd, but with yarn in particular I will unwind a few inches of some different colours, lay them haphazardly around and on top of each other making sure that all are visible somewhere, then make myself go slightly cross-eyed!!! This helps me imagine them all blended together, and if one colour is too strong or doesn't fit in with the others it tends to stand out. Of course sometimes if it's a strong or dominating colour that doesn't mean it can't be used, it just means I need to bear this in mind when designing how I'm going to put it together.

 

- I also try to never under-estimate the power of a white or cream in my work. By using it constructively in the design it can really draw the eye to the 'special' colour I want the work to focus on. 

 

Hopefully some of these tricks are helpful (even if the cross-eyed one is a little odd!)  :2spin

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Choosing colors is something I much prefer to do off line and while I am not completely adverse to the occasional quest for the :"perfect color" - life is too short to do that very often.

 

Instead, I will usually start with what is on hand and might work, with some online searching at manufacturer websites to see what is available in that yarn line.

 

There are also are two of the color wheel company tools (really three but one has nothing to do with string) and it is because i use them that we sell them.  They are the Interior Designer    and    Creative Color Wheel  -  with a little practice it is much easier for someone who may need some help to get eye candy combinations and for others to get a jump start of possible choices.

These are pretty much available everywhere that sells any sort of art supplies. 

 

There is also a rather embarrasingly huge collection of paint chip cards from Ace, Home Despot, etc.  Handier to take shopping when one needs to add to the stash.

 

Stripes are always easy if you keep the how to for a fibonacci series handy and of course most weavers are also trained to use sticks about an inch wide to wrap yarns that are "auditioning". 

 

My most scientific is the very large clear bowl on the coffee table. it can sit there for quite a while while colors are added and subtracted until I like the way it looks and start to hook.

Edited by wheat
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I've used a color wheel for my painting for a  very long time, but, when I purchased a  Pick-Point-Match Color Wheel  several years ago at Joann's Quilting Dept., I fell in love with this little jewel.

 It's a small, 5" wheel that fits in my purse, thus, goes everywhere with me. Just point the dominant arrow to a main color then the other arrows display which colors will match. Lay it on the recommended colors of yarn/ fabric and the small open rectangles shows how it matches on the color specter. Go up or down in color values and Voila! You have your colors. Works every time for me.

 

ETA: Forgot to mention that the handy booklet with it explains how to use the wheel and is also in French and Spanish.

Edited by ReniC
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