Color Theory: Neutrals + Pop of Color!

You know that I love color.

In fact, one of my most popular blog posts is this one where I talk about putting colors together.

But maybe you’re not into wearing lots of different colors. I have another great color combo for you: a neutral + a pop of color!

How to do it

My philosophy for mixing neutrals and color is to mix warmth, but keep the darkness the same. For example, I mix a warm color with a cool neutral… but keep them about the same lightness.

Here’s a little chart showing some ideas:
mixing neutrals and color from freshstitches

See it in action!

I just finished knitting Dromos (well… actually, I finished knitting it a long time ago, but I just finished weaving in the ends!), and I just love it. It combines a medium brown with a soft blue.

Dromos knit by Freshstitches

Here’s a close up:
close up

Yummy, right? It’s a warm brown mixed with a cool blue, and they’re both similar darkness and a similar muted tone.

And do you remember Phi?

Phi Shawl

A cool grey plus a warm orange… both fairly dark. Delicious!

Dark grey and lime green? Oh, yeah.
Bonus: whenever you use different colors in a project, it’s an opportunity to stash-bust and use up some odd skeins you might have on hand! Stripes are a stash-busters best friend!

Have you done this before? What’s your favorite color combination?

The sad, the bad and the ugly…

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a post about my favorite finished items: pieces that have stood the test of time.

But life isn’t all daisies and roses… I’ve had my share of a few flops. Today, I’m going to share some finished items that turned out to be flops. Most of the flops are completely my fault: I picked an inappropriate yarn, I made changes to the pattern (which didn’t turn out so well) or I rushed ahead without doing a proper gauge swatch. So, I’m not going to link to the patterns… because it’s not really their fault.

Here we go! Weep along with me…

The super-stiff wrap

The pattern called for lace-weight yarn held double on size 6 needles. Somehow, I thought that if I held a laceweight yarn (in pretty colors) with a dk yarn (that I had a ton of), it would come out alright.

The gauge swatch should have been my clue: it was stiff… but I pressed on. The finished item (and this was a lot of knitting!) is as stiff as a board, and sorta uncomfortable to wear. And, because it’s knitted from 2 strands held together… it’d be a pain to frog. It’s currently living in limbo in my drawer.

The ugly yarn shawl

Fabulous pattern. Fun to knit. But the yarn…

Help! The weird pooling hurts my eyes!

The sadly felted tunic

This one breaks my heart. It took me forever to knit this entire tunic on size 3 needles. After wearing it twice, it had felted under the arms.

I told myself it was no big deal… who looks under your arms? But now, after about a dozen wearings, it’s sprung a few holes and the felting has continued to consume the sweater. I can probably eek a few more wearings out of it… but then it’s off to the trash…

The too-short hat

This one sorta is the pattern’s fault… it’s too short! It doesn’t cover my ears! What kind of hat is that?

The pilling cardigan

I LOVE this cardigan. It’s super-soft. It’s my favorite color. I handmade the buttons. I even did a fair-isle snail on the pocket.

Unfortunately, I picked a 100% merino that probably wasn’t meant for heavy-duty wear. It’s pilling… and bad. Sniff.

So, I brush it with a sweater stone, and hope it keeps hanging in there!

Have you any flops to share?

These are only the ones I’ve had since 2011! Trust me, there are even more if I go back further!

Thanks for stopping by and reading!

If you want to see more great finished items… make sure to visit Tami’s Amis blog, the organizer of this great FO Friday theme!

I hope you have an awesome and craft-filled weekend!

Fibre Space: Alexandria, VA

  • store: Fibre Space
  • address: 102 N. Fayette Street Alexandria, VA 22314
  • website:
  • date of visit: May, 2010

Alright… I’ll be honest. I have a crush on Fibre Space. Yup, I’m infatuated with a store. It’s everything you could want a yarn store to be. It’s beautiful, it’s comfortable, it has an awesome supply of yarn, really knowledgeable staff, AMAZING events and even their logo is cute. It doesn’t get much better than that. But, you don’t have to believe my emotional attachment… I have real, solid evidence that it’s a wonderful shop.

Now, I’m not going to recommend a yarn shop that doesn’t have lovely yarn… but Fibre Space has all of my favorites. They carry Blue Sky Alpacas (which I love), a HUGE malabrigo selection (Malabrigo is notoriously difficult to acquire… and I haven’t seen anywhere else with a bigger selection), Shepherd’s Wool (which is, in my opinion, the softest merino out there… it’s what I used when designing my Yuki Felted Boots) and Miss Babs (which has a near-cult-following). They have all of the standard ‘nice yarn store’ stuff, as well… Louet, Berroco, Queensland, etc. A full list of the yarns that they carry is available online, here. And, as you probably know, I’m a sucker for very neatly stacked yarn, organized by color. Paradise!

The store is very cleverly designed, with a wonderful seating area with sofas, and a separate classroom for classes. The owner, Danielle, started out as a knitting teacher… and it shows. Fibre Space constantly offers really clever classes, and has a dazzling array of guest teachers (read: loads of famous people visit!)

Another favorite thing of mine about Fibre Space is that it’s always fresh. The staff constantly make new sample garments, and change the displays… so every time you visit, you notice something new. And, the owner designs her own patterns! As a customer of the store, you benefit! The beautifully designed patterns are printed & available for free in the shop… seriously, the patterns (in both pattern design & graphic design) rival that of many full-time pattern companies. Also, the store is very interactive… there’s a chalkboard behind the register that says what projects the staff are working on, and the store’s blog is always a joy to read.

To top it all off, the store is situated in the lovely historical downtown of Alexandria, VA and only a couple of blocks from the DC metro. So, if you’re in the DC area, make Fibre Space one of your stops!