One of the hardest thing that a crocheter comes across is picking out colors for projects. Especially in blankets. Most follow what is recommended in the pattern including the weight. But most start to question “Can I use my own scheme and what would go with what?” All I can say is don’t fret. Many off the wall color schemes can be stunning.
But how do you choose? Well I need to take you back, way back, like when we were learning the colors of crayons and then hitting middle school art classes where they teach the 3 color stages, Primary, secondary and tertiary colors. Your warm and cool colors. Yeah remember those lessons? See-it’s like riding a bike.
I basically go by cool and warm colors for my selections. Oh once in a while I’ll go off the wall but then that’s when the neutral colors come to play. Warm colors are red, orange, yellow. The cool colors are blue, purple, greens. Neutrals are black, white, grey and browns. It makes it easier to pick and then you can go from there. And don’t be afraid to break up the colors. A lighter blue can help pop a dark blue or getting a neutral color to help break the colors up to make them pop.
Many have huge stashes to pick and that can be overwhelming but we also place our yarn by color and weight. But most of us don’t have that luxury, so what do you do? Well I can recommend, don’t always go by the internet colors. Different lighting can make the same yarn color look different. Oh you might like Caron Simply Soft Purple but you notice that Iris in the store is a better pick. Or that bone and maize come awfully close and you chose bone for your project online but going into a store, the maize would have been perfect! It also goes with different catalog colors. Mary Maxim could have the same color as the Red Heart catalog but the print and photographer’s light makes them look like 2 different shades.
Now I’m not knocking off saying don’t use them. Use that only for a preliminary ideal palette. What you should do is go into the store and play. Yes–play. Like the kids do at Toys R Us. But be very mindful of your surroundings. You don’t want to block another crafter in the aisle and she gets mad.
When I go to Joann’s or Micheal’s I either squeeze near an empty space with a selection. Well with my Micheal’s, I squeeze lol. With my Joann’s, there is a good open space to where I can be out of the way and sit and look. I do have my polite rules though. I say excuse me when I’m reaching or apologize for manipulating a yarn area. I let the other crafter go before me because 10 to 1 she knows what to go for. And I’m mindful where I place my cart or basket. Oh I get the looks from the employees when I have 10 yarn skeins out and saying nah and placing it out of my sight. And I know they are thinking “Oh great, we have to put all these back cause she left them there.” Sorry employees, my mama raised me better and that is my ultimate rule in searching. PLEASE put the skeins back in their rightful place. Think about it. Would you want someone to go through your stash and mess up the way you organize your materials? Nope. You would me mad for days lol.
So look at what you have in the stores. Keep current catalogs. Be mindful of season changes. Yes season changes. Because the color you love might be gone when the season changes.
Also you might feel that the your color scheme could be all wrong when you start. I know that feeling with the current project I’m working on. However, the further you work, the better it looks. Don’t doubt yourself.
I do have some links to help with color combos and schemes:
Red Heart has a catalog for yarn. I usually get it with an order from Herrschners. But on Red Heart’s website they have a color maker for hats. So it can give you an ideas.
Also if you have extra small yarn stashes, like the ones you really can’t make anything out of them, make little swatches. You can get the little string gift tags and write the brand, color, dye lot and weight on it. You can “file” them in a smaller tote carrier. Oh don’t worry if the brand discontinue the color. That swatch can be turn into a scrap blanket. A 3×3 or 4×4 swatch can make up a pretty cool scrap blanket. A young child could use it as a security blanket or your furbaby could curl up on it and leave your current project alone…well maybe. In my case, one cat says “look at me, oh my cuteness!”
So play. Don’t doubt yourself. Remember your color scheme also is your personal touch.