View Full Version : How do YOU choose a color?

08-07-2007, 02:01 PM
I ask selfishly, because I'm deciding on future projects, and choosing the "right" color is hard! There are entirely too many pretty colors out there. :teehee: So tell me, how do you choose colors for your projects? Do you follow the pattern precisely? Choose based on what you already have? Are you completely random in your choice? Do you follow a color wheel?
Please tell me how YOU choose your colors, so I can choose mine! :thumbsup:

Lady Violet
08-07-2007, 02:11 PM
i am currently unemployed, so i don't really have the option of making a lot of what i want to make. but i am really good at making mental plans for my knitting. :wink: i am a mentally visual person. usually when there's a pattern i want to make eventually, i'll see it in a color. or while i'm out and about, a color will just "hit" me and i'll know that project would look great in it. if it's for someone else, i'll take into consideration what their favorite colors are and what kind of knitted project favors them. usually it's not too hard to find a color and pattern that just seem to go together for the recipient. i guess it's like a natural melding process. or maybe i'm just completely off my rocker! :chair:

08-07-2007, 02:24 PM
i go based upon the color scheme for the room the item is intended or based upon the person's favorite colors.

08-07-2007, 03:01 PM
I get a list of about 10 colors I like, and I close my eyes, and roll the list around a few times, and point at the list. Whatever color I point at is the one I make my project with.

08-07-2007, 03:02 PM
I tend to be drawn towards certain colors. :shrug:

08-07-2007, 03:08 PM
it is entirely a spur-of-the-moment decision for me (somewhat fueled by my lys, which advertises 15% off a certain color each month) - i tend to fall in love with a specific yarn in a specific color, and often buy it without any project in mind - then i find a project that fits the yarn i have, and knit away...

08-07-2007, 03:15 PM
I get a list of about 10 colors I like, and I close my eyes, and roll the list around a few times, and point at the list. Whatever color I point at is the one I make my project with.


Thanks for all the great ideas. Keep them coming!

08-07-2007, 03:35 PM
I too have certain colors that I am drawn to. when I walk down the yarn isle my color choice depends on which "candy' catches my eye first. I tend to buy colors I LIKE ( maybe selfishly) but I reason i will spend more time staring at this garment than the receipient ever will. they will look at it but a knitter/crocheter ~studies~ the color, fabric, gauge, stitches KWIM? so by my thinking why would I buy a color that someone else likes ( and I hate) and spend hours and hours staring at it? KWIM? If I am making for certain people I will try to go towards more neutral/ gender specific colors.. that I look or feel "ok" about but ultimately the final decision is mine b/c I will spend the most time looking at it~:aww:

08-07-2007, 04:48 PM
if it requires interesting combinations I get my Mom to help- she's got a great eye. I also like to play with the stripe generator to see what colors look like together.

08-07-2007, 05:15 PM
For me it just depends on the project and what color(s) I think would look best for it.

For the Irish Hiking Scarf I am currently working on, green seemed like the natural choice.

For socks, well, I tend to go with solid colors that a guy like me would actually wear. Boring navy, greens, etc.

08-07-2007, 07:40 PM
Oh yeah, and if you are doing color combinations, I really want the kaleidoscope thingy that KnitPicks sells. It would be great for picking Fair Isle colors.

08-07-2007, 08:41 PM
Well, I look at the pattern and see if I like the color in the picture (according to marketing research that I read somewhere, people are more likely to order the item or yarn in the color that is worn by the model- so I try not to let that affect my decision). I have REALLY pale skin, so I need to be careful about certain colors. I will look online for color swatches to see which color makes me happy. If I get a chance to see the yarn in person, I will hold the yarn against my skin to see which color seems to look the best.

And then after all of that, if I can't decide or I'm not sure, I choose purple. :thumbsup:

"I don't need no steenking color wheel." But that kaleidoscope thingy sounds pretty!

And if you keep Kaffe Fassett's style in mind- the more colors in one item, the better.

08-07-2007, 09:17 PM
i actually have a word document from one of my crochet lists of assorted yarns, the colors available in those yarns and complimentary colors... just found it on my desktop hard drive earlier today..

08-08-2007, 12:11 PM
I can usually pick a color based off of what I think will look good with the pattern, but sometimes, if I can't find the color I was intending on, I'll look at a color wheel for some help, or if I need help coordinating multiple colors. And once in a while, I'll see a picture on the pattern in a certain color that I believe my project must be made with because I think it looks good in that color.

08-08-2007, 12:56 PM
I also tend to be drawn to certain colors. If I'm knitting for another person I try to pick something I think they will like but I usually have to like it too or the FO doesn't look appealing to me.

08-08-2007, 02:24 PM
On different days I find I gravitate toward different colors at the yarn store - some days greens, other days pinks, others black. I haven't figured out the pattern behind it. Overall, I try to knit in colors I like, and which I think the recipient would like. I am currently working on a sweater for my nephew - he requested red, so it's a nice fire-engine red color. His sister will be getting a pink sweater. I'm knitting my dad mittens in the school colors of the college we graduated from. I generally choose a color that means something or appeals to me on that day. I hardly ever choose orange, though.

08-08-2007, 02:47 PM
I have a tendency to wear neutral colors, but I like to knit with vibrant colors. So, I guess I choose colors that I think I will enjoy looking at for the duration of the project.

Also, I have found it a little difficult to see the stitches if the yarn is very light or very dark, so I also take that into consideration when choosing a yarn color.

In one of Sally Melville's books she said that if you are having a hard time visualizing the finished item in a different color, it might help if you make a black and white photocopy. Once you see the finished item without color, it might help you to visualize it in a different color.

08-08-2007, 04:08 PM
Great tip McKnitty!

I am instinctively drawn to a couple of different colors families, but how many teal or coral sweaters can one girl use??? (btw, I am working on discovering the asnwer to this question :roflhard:). I love brights, but also love neutrals...but I have some very conservative people on my knitting list so they always get muted or neutrals... Guess it just depends on who it is for and what it is :shrug:

08-08-2007, 09:30 PM
I love all these wonderful ideas! Please keep them coming, and thanks. :) My main issue right now is deciding between a couple of colors for a sweater for me. I can't decide between charcoal or royal blue.... or maybe taupe...??? See my problem? Maybe I should do like someone else suggested and close my eyes and pick, LOL.

08-09-2007, 12:46 PM
can you post pics of these yarns? we would be happy to help~!:notworthy:( plus a good excuse for more yarn porn~!)

08-09-2007, 12:50 PM
If the yarn is for something to make for me. I choose colors that look good on me.

If it's for a certain room in our house, I get a color that goes with that room.

If it's for a friend or relative, I go with what looks good on them, or one they like.

OR, you can with what YOU SIMPLY LIKE. :-)

Hope it helped.

Then there is always the YEARS COLOR. This years seems to be DARK BROWN - Very Faded Pink/rose. - Dark Hunter Green. (Almost black.)

08-09-2007, 01:20 PM
Well, if it's for someone, then i choose the colors that person likes (for example, i'm about to start a pink shrug for my sister and i hate pink!). For myself, i have the colors i don't like and will not knit myself something in that colour and there are also combinations i don't like. for instance, i probably won't use Noro too much, because they combine so many colors in one yarn and i don't always like the outcome (though i love the things other knit with that!). HTH

08-09-2007, 02:18 PM
I'm definitely an impulse buyer. If I see yarn I like in colors I like, I'll buy 2-3 skeins and then find something to make with it. Or, if I have a pattern I want to make, then I'll hit the online stores and find a color I like and order the correct qty. I am really drawn to bright pinks/blues/purples and greens so all my yarn is in those color ranges. :)

08-09-2007, 02:36 PM
How funny, after the malabrigo sale thread, I was going to post this same topic. I had such a hard time choosing!!! And I was afraid colors were going to sell out while I was deciding :zombie: I finally went with Sunset and Verdes (cleaned those two out), and 2 skeins of lime blue. I would have taken more lime blue instead of one of the other colors, but there wasn't enough for a sweater. I always buy enough for a sweater, especially at that price!

If I just picked the first color I always like first, I would make everything some variation of purple. I just always like purple. I make myself branch out though. I try to get a color I don't already have, something unique and interesting ... which often leads me to colors I end up hating. For example, right now I have a bunch of Atacama in color #501 (http://www.woolieewe.com/views/viewYarnCard.asp?ID=649) but now I think I hate it. I also have a sweater's worth of Reynolds Odyssey in Orange Mix (http://www.simplyknitting.com/colorcard.jsp?yarnID=357) and I am a bit concerned that I hate that too.

But maybe I don't hate them after all? Maybe I just need to knit them up - I even have patterns for them! Maybe if they were in FO form I wouldn't hate them. This has happened in the past, lol.

08-10-2007, 01:22 AM
YAY PURPLE! :woot:


08-10-2007, 10:42 AM
The yarn I'm considering is LB Cotton Ease. I'm working on my third project with that stuff, and I :inlove: it. I want to make a sweatshirt-type sweater.... or maybe Bluebell from Fitted Knits. (Sorry I don't know how to link to the pattern.)

OK so maybe I'm just an indecisive person....:??

I know! I'll write each color on a card, close my eyes, and pick! Or maybe.... make DH pick.:yay:

The funny thing is, I'm organizing my Christmas knitting and I didn't have such a difficulty choosing color for other people.:shrug:

Bip - You described what has been going on in my head, LOL. Just replace Purple with Blue. :clink:

08-10-2007, 10:50 AM
When knitting a sweater for yourself, the best thing to think would be "Which color would I wear the most?"

There are many luscious colors I'm drawn to, but wouldn't actually wear. I don't wear much purple, for instance, so even though I'm often drawn to purples, it would be silly for me to spend the time knitting a purple sweater.

08-10-2007, 11:16 AM
I tend to pick similar colors that I like (usually variations on blue/aquamarine/teal/navy/slate/grey), but I'm trying to branch out more.

I really like the two articles linked below (from Knitty). The second article is especially good because it talks about color values and how to select complementary colors that aren't too close together in value.

On color theory: http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEfall04/FEATcolor.html

Cheating at color theory: http://www.knitty.com/issuewinter06/FEATcolortheory.html

08-10-2007, 02:00 PM
Thanks for those links! They are super helpful. Much better than my close-my-eyes-and-pick idea. :D

08-10-2007, 02:51 PM
YAY PURPLE! :woot:


Lol, guess what? I ordered the Malabrigo in verdes, but she e-mailed me that she didn't have it. Guess what she had? Purple mystery! Can't argue with fate :)!!!

08-10-2007, 03:23 PM
I choose colors based on A) what colors I like B) what colors go with what is already in my wardrobe (doesn't make sense to make a raspberry colored top if the only thing I can wear with it is jeans) or C) what strikes me at the moment - which can totally cancel out A and B which means I would have a raspberry top regardless of what I have to go with it!

I rarely every go by the color(s) that are called for in the project. My son wanted an Animal Crackers hat (from Charmed Knits) to complete his Ron costume. I did make that one per colors suggested for the hat (although a different brand), but then when I made it the next three times (seems as though everyone wanted one) I used the colors but in different orders. So one is mostly black and one is mostly white and one is mostly green and one is mostly pink.

08-11-2007, 01:06 AM
Lol, guess what? I ordered the Malabrigo in verdes, but she e-mailed me that she didn't have it. Guess what she had? Purple mystery! Can't argue with fate :)!!!

bip, I find that the more I resist the purple (for the sake of diversity of my wardrobe), the more the purple comes back to me! You definitely can't argue with fate. :thumbsup: