Knitting and Color: Choosing Winning Color Combos

Choosing great color combinations for knitting and crochet projects isn't just for stranded colorwork or fair isle- there are all sorts of amazing patterns that the look fantastic with customized gradients, fun colorful stripes, and other clever combinations. Sometimes a pattern calls specifically for multiple skeins, or you may want to try out combinations of your own when knitting otherwise simple stitches like stockinette, garter, or moss stitch.

It is often easier to combine colors when you get the yarn from the same dyer, as you often see consistencies in shades, depth of tone, and across yarn bases. Some dyers (like us!) allow you to choose your yarn weight for any of our colorways, giving you even more creative control over the combinations you can make. Let's take a look at some examples:

 From left to right:  Two Sweets in  533 Chocolate Mix 3 ,  Frosting in Raspberry , and  Frosting in Oatmeal . The rich browns and color shifts into fuchsia and grape are complemented with the neutral of Oatmeal, and emphasize the berry tones with a rich Raspberry.

From left to right: Two Sweets in  533 Chocolate Mix 3, Frosting in Raspberry, and Frosting in Oatmeal. The rich browns and color shifts into fuchsia and grape are complemented with the neutral of Oatmeal, and emphasize the berry tones with a rich Raspberry.

 From left to right:  Sweets in Dreamsicle,   Two Sweets in 511 Sugar Mix 1 ,  Frosting in Earl Grey .  These three colorways transition beautifully together from the brighter shades of caramel, pink and cream to adding in grey with hints of the same colors, and then moving into a full tonal grey. For those that have been admiring all the patterns that have fades, this is a great combination idea!

From left to right: Sweets in Dreamsicle, Two Sweets in 511 Sugar Mix 1, Frosting in Earl Grey.  These three colorways transition beautifully together from the brighter shades of caramel, pink and cream to adding in grey with hints of the same colors, and then moving into a full tonal grey. For those that have been admiring all the patterns that have fades, this is a great combination idea!

 From left to right:  Sweets in Blackberry ,  Sweets in Grape Licorice ,  Frosting in Grape .  Playing around with the amount of bright and neutral in your color shifts is a fun way to play with your favorite colors, too! If you love purple, playing around with the color while introducing wardrobe friendly neutrals is the perfect way to ease into a bright combination that you know will be wearable.

From left to right: Sweets in Blackberry, Sweets in Grape Licorice, Frosting in Grape.  Playing around with the amount of bright and neutral in your color shifts is a fun way to play with your favorite colors, too! If you love purple, playing around with the color while introducing wardrobe friendly neutrals is the perfect way to ease into a bright combination that you know will be wearable.

 From left to right:  Sweets in Gumdrop ,  Sweets in Green Tea , and  Frosting in Vanilla .  Playing around with the amount of blues and greens in the first two skeins allows for the sea glass tones to move into the simplicity of a warm white. This is an especially great color combination for anyone with blue or green eyes!

From left to right: Sweets in Gumdrop, Sweets in Green Tea, and Frosting in Vanilla.  Playing around with the amount of blues and greens in the first two skeins allows for the sea glass tones to move into the simplicity of a warm white. This is an especially great color combination for anyone with blue or green eyes!

 From left to right: Frosting in  Vanilla ,  Speckles in Strawberry Licorice , and  Frosting in Earl Grey . or those that feel a little more color-adverse but want to broaden their palette, why not try book-ending two simple neutrals with a speckled yarn between them that adds a subtle pop of color and yet still feels like a neutral? Speckles are a great way to bridge your knitting palette and try out the coolest technique in yarns in your knitting or crochet.

From left to right: Frosting in Vanilla, Speckles in Strawberry Licorice, and Frosting in Earl Grey. or those that feel a little more color-adverse but want to broaden their palette, why not try book-ending two simple neutrals with a speckled yarn between them that adds a subtle pop of color and yet still feels like a neutral? Speckles are a great way to bridge your knitting palette and try out the coolest technique in yarns in your knitting or crochet.

 From left to right:  Frosting in Pumpkin, Frosting in Currant, and Frosting in Raspberry . For those that love to pair brights in classic-with-a-twist ways, these fun shades combine beautiful into gorgeous stripes for shawls, socks, or sweaters! A fun take on primary colors.

From left to right: Frosting in Pumpkin, Frosting in Currant, and Frosting in Raspberry. For those that love to pair brights in classic-with-a-twist ways, these fun shades combine beautiful into gorgeous stripes for shawls, socks, or sweaters! A fun take on primary colors.

What about finding your own color combinations? There are lots of ways to get inspired! Here are some techniques to find color combination inspiration:

  • Instagram! When you see great photos of knits or yarn combinations, save them. There is a small rectangular 'bookmark' under each photo in your feed, just below the photo on the right hand side. This allows you to bookmark the image. You can find your whole collection of bookmarks on your Instagram profile page, on the right side just above your previously posted Instagram photos.
  • Ravelry.com: When you see beautiful knits or crocheted items on Pinterest that put together colors in a way you love, be sure to favorite them, and use a helpful tag like 'color inspiration' so that you can review your favorites for inspirations when you are looking to put together colors yourself. As project pages most often have the exact yarns and colorways listed, It cna be even more helpful to see how people are combining colors.
  • All around you: artwork, buildings, the well put-together outfit of someone passing by. Inspiration can be found all a round us - try to tune into the color combinations and ask what about it works for you when you see something you like.
  • Eye shadow palettes. It seems odd, but the makeup aisle could bring all sorts of color inspiration! Eye shadow palettes are already put together to have complementary shades with pops of contrast, and are frequently already assembled in groups of 3 or 4 colors, making them perfect to consider as a source of inspiration for putting together yarn combinations. Colors that work together on your skin are likely to play well together when knitted together, too.

We have a Pinterest Board full of inspiring ideas for colorwork knitting and combining yarn colors, and we are adding new pins to it all the time - Come follow!

Knitting and Color: Choosing Winning Color Combos
Delicious Yarns