You’ve found the perfect pattern and want to dive right in and create it!
It’s an easy choice if you pick the same yarn that the pattern designer used. More often, though, you want to get a different color. Where to start, especially if the pattern requires multiple skeins and different colors?
Yarn Artist Magic
Yarn artists are fabulous magicians. Frequently they will use similar colors to create pairings that work together effortlessly. As an example, Oink Pigments “Blackberry Brambles” called to me. Looking at the multicolor skein, I decided to showcase the green it with their “You Make Me Thorny.” I could just as easily highlighted one of the other colors (“Raspberet”, “That’s A Morey”, “Teal Appeal”).
Space Cadet Yarn “Frigia” goes with both “Nine Stones” and “Time Traveler.” Additionally, both “Frigia” and “Longing” coordinate well with “Time Traveler.” My Tea with Two shawl (to be released soon) uses “Frigia” and “Time Traveler” held together with an accent of “Frigia” for the shawl button.
Introducing a Neutral like grey, black, or white gives a totally different effect. My Spiral Nebula Hat and Orbital Cowl both use Space Cadet Yarn Vega in “Tantrum” and “Dark Skies” – the colors really stand out against each other!
Color Wheel Workings
Yarn artists are magicians, but there is some science to color choices – working with a color wheel and using color theory to create their combinations.
First, there are the primary colors: red, blue, yellow
Next, the secondary colors are created by combining 2 of the colors:
Yellow + Red = Orange
Red + Blue = Violet
Blue + Yellow = Green
Many things that seem to “pop” are a combination of a primary with the “opposite” secondary:
Red with Green
Blue with Orange
Yellow with Violet
Another great combination is picking 3 adjacent colors:
Red – Orange – Yellow
Yellow – Green – Blue
Blue – Violet – Red
There is continuum of colors between the primary and the secondary. For example, red transitions to red-violet, then violet, followed by blue-violet, and ending with blue. Many yarn artists use this progression when creating monochromatic gradient yarns in either mini skein sets or a continuously changing skein/cake. There is an almost infinite variety of colors within the progression.
Depending on the number of changes desired, and the overall effect of the piece, the color can be started and stopped at any point. Sweet Paprika Designs Crescendo Mini Skein sets use an amazingly subtle and vibrant transition between the skeins. They look unique in the package, but when combined, the transition is almost invisible.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MARGO BAUMAN
Artistic crafts have always been a huge part of Margo’s life. As a young child, she learned to crochet from her Grandmother. She has also spent time doing embroidery, needlepoint, sewing, craft painting, candle making, braiding, card making, origami, photography, and book folding.
While she spent some time working on crochet projects while growing up and in college while studying Engineering, she didn’t devote much time to it until the 2000s. Since then, she has crocheted MILES of yarn. She has won a considerable number of awards for her exceptional crochet work.
Margo (aka flyingflower on Ravelry) started writing crochet patterns in 2015. Her very first pattern was a Crochet Awards (aka the Flamies) Judges Nominee.
She is a member of New View Fiber Works – Home of the Fuzzy Farmers (a women’s cooperative of fiber enthusiasts in Southern Maryland), and the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA).
Margo was also part of the national juried Artists in Action 2020 at Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Art Center in Solomons, MD, utilizing their studio space to create new artwork, network with other artists, and share the creative process with visitors.
Margo spends most days living the philosophy: Eat. Sleep. Crochet. Repeat.