Discussion

03/21/2012

The Why’s and Why Nots of Color

Big Needle Lace Capelet

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Reposted from July 6th 2011

I’m not afraid of color, although if you ask any TSA personnel who’ve had the task of going through my luggage, they’d probably argue about that statement. When I travel my wardrobe tends to contain a lot of black, but here’s my reasoning—it doesn’t show dirt the way light colors do and ALL my accessories will go with everything I pack. The knitted accessories are where I get the most bang for my buck, and that’s where the decision making gets a little more interesting. Which colors do I take along?

For me, “What’s your favorite color” is a tough question to answer. It’s a little like asking which of your children you prefer. Maybe you can answer that one but I can’t! I looked through my yarn stash to see if there’s some sort of trend or if I lean toward certain colors more than others, and I can honestly say no. I have an abundance of reds, blues, browns, yellows, greens, as well as neutrals. Not a whole lot of orange, but I’m not adverse to the color. The knitted accessories I’ve created from this stash reflect my embrace of the entire rainbow, so having a basic wardrobe of black (which is the absence or presence of ALL colors, depending on whether you’re a scientist or an artist) makes sense to me.

Color Palette

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So how do I decide what colors to use when I’m designing a pattern? That depends on a lot of things, not the least of which is what’s available from the yarn companies, since I don’t do much dyeing. Designers don’t always have a choice about what colors to use. Publishers have their input and many times that input will reflect what’s in vogue at the moment, and I don’t necessarily mean the magazine of the same name. Fashion does, however, play a large part in determining color palettes offered to knitters and it played a part in the palette you’ll see in our upcoming Big Lace book.

Big Needle Lace Moebius

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Donna and I made the decision to use Pantone’s Fashion Color Report for Fall 2011. It’s interesting to read how they came up with their color choices. While it’s important to us that the colors are pretty, they also have to photograph well. Who wants to buy a knitting book when you can’t tell what you’re going to knit? And while fashion, to a certain extent, can be influenced by the economic climate or politics or the weather, it still comes down to someone’s opinion and whim. Remember the great neon craze of the early 90’s? Pat yourself on the back if you let that one pass you by. Some things are just better left to common sense and good taste!

Susan

Knitting
One Comment
  1. Pantone’s been predicting color trends for a long time — I’d put my money on their recommendations (and not just because that dark teal is so my color).

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