3 Easy Tips for Getting More Confident with Color

Back in January, I vowed that “color” was going to be my word of the year. If you’re like me, you probably tend to use the same color yarns over and over again. This can be a good thing if those colors make you excited about crocheting and knitting. But, for so many of us, sticking to the same colors actually puts us into a creative rut. In this post, I’m going to share 3 easy tips for getting out of your color comfort zone to keep your projects fun and to keep you inspired about your favorite crafts!

Add stripes

One of my favorite ways to add some color to my projects is by using stripes. Stripes can easily be added to most patterns. For crochet, add the new yarn color in the last yarn over of the final stitch of a row. For knitting, add the new yarn color when you wrap the yarn in the first stitch of a row.

You can make your stripes in solid colors, of course, but combining a variegated yarn with a solid color used in that yarn will take some of the guess work out of color selection. As an example, these two scarves are designed using Red Heart Super in Cherry Red.

Berry Stitch Scarf, a free crochet pattern by Michele Maks (at left) and Heartwarming Knit Scarf, a free knitting pattern by Julie Farmer (at right).
Berry Stitch Scarf, a free crochet pattern by Michele Maks (at left) and Heartwarming Knit Scarf, a free knitting pattern by Julie Farmer (at right).

Cherry Red is one of the colors that coordinates with Mexicana (at left). The full list of colors that coordinate with Mexicana are (from left to right) Amethyst, Bright Yellow, Cherry Red, Paddy Green, Pumpkin, and Royal. Use any of these colors to create coordinating stripes, or combine just one of them with Mexicana print.

If you’re shopping at the store, hold the variegated yarn up to a solid to see if it matches, or bring the complete Red Heart coordinates list. (Bonus tip: If you want to keep your stripes solid, take the guesswork out of matching by using the solid colors listed as coordinates for one of the variegated yarns!)

Pick a multicolor yarn

Sometimes, choosing your own colors can be overwhelming. In that case, pick a multicolored yarn and let Red Heart apply color theory on your behalf!

As an example, these stunning shawls were both designed using Red Heart Heart & Sole in a solid color.

The Lacy Pineapple Shawl, a free crochet pattern by Marly Bird and the Laid-Back Shawl, a free knitting pattern by Lorna Miser.

You could make your own version using a variegated option. From left to right, try Skyscraper for a neutral look, Lake House for an earthy style, Sorbeto for a festive look, or Jelly Beans for a bold color statement.

Use more than 7 colors

Quilters frequently say that once you are using more than 7 colors, matching isn’t important any more.

Mandala Sampler Throw, a free crochet pattern from Bendy Carter

This is one reason that motif blankets often look great even when the colors aren’t planned in advance. Use leftover yarns from your larger projects, or choose your favorite Super Saver colors.

I hope these three tips have inspired you to try out some new colors in your next project!

3 thoughts on “3 Easy Tips for Getting More Confident with Color

  1. Mary

    Awesome tips Marie! I love the Mandela idea and pattern. I’m putting it on my Christmas present list for someone special this year!

  2. imalefty

    My rule for using color is this- Look at nature. Flowers,bushes,trees,the sky-no matching there. Just an array of color. If nature can mix colors so can we!

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