Last Updated on January 22, 2021 by wendigratz
A lot of patterns going around at the moment feature stripes: two or three colors that go together perfectly.
You could follow the colors suggested in the pattern sample, but you want to try something a little different. But how in the world do you pick a colors that go together? Color theory. That’s how!
Picture the yarns on a color wheel
Most yarn lines contain a wide range of colors. Here’s a look at the color palette for Cotton Candy from Be Sweet:
Whoa! Overwhelming, right?
But don’t fret. To get started with selecting a pair of colors, imagine them organized around a color wheel:
It’s not all of the yarns, of course! I just picked a representative for each color wedge!
Most yarn companies design their colors of yarn with compatibility in mind. This is good news! It means that most yarns from a single line are of similar tone and will work together nicely… it’s just up to you to pick your fave color combo!
Color Theory 101
Fortunately, there’s a name for the art of picking colors that go together: color theory. Oodles of brilliant artists and designers agree on some fundamental color groupings. Phew! That means we can use what they’ve figured out to help us pick our color pairings!
There are three color schemes that, if followed, will create knock-your-socks-off color combos: analogous, complementary and split complementary. For help picking an awesome pair (or trio) of colors, stick with one of these schemes, and you can’t go wrong!
Analogous colors are the ones that are next to each other on the color wheel.
This scheme can work with any number of colors – pick two that are next to each other, or three or four!
For a color pair with a real ‘punch’, go with complementary colors – colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel.
I love using complementary colors. The difference in colors really highlights the striping/pattern in your knitting/crochet.
A complementary color scheme gives you two colors… so if you want three, you’ll want to use the Split Complementary scheme. Here’s how this one works: start with one color. Zip across the color wheel to its complementary color, and select the two colors on each side of it.
Are you ready to hop into color?
See? It’s not so bad. The color wheel is your friend!
By using one of these color schemes, you’ll be able to put together a beautiful color combo! (I know I’ve started eyeing the blue + pink + orange one!)
Thanks so much to Be Sweet for permitting use of the photo of their lovely yarn to use as examples!
Try one of our fun crochet patterns! Get the Merrick Monster pattern here.