This tutorial is about a super simple trick that helps us understand how different colours of yarn look together. It does not require any knowledge of the colour theory. We simply trust our own taste and colour perception.
I successfully used this trick for many years when I was running a yarn store. It helped many knitters see whether they like the colour combination they picked before they commit and purchase the yarn.
I quickly mentioned this tip in a tutorial about the Nifty Beanie – a free pattern that you can download from the Resource Library – but then I totally forgot about this helpful method.
A few weeks ago, I came across a wonderful book – “The Colourwork Bible” by Jesie Ostermiller and I saw this tip described in one of the sections of the book. It reminded me how useful this little trick is and I thought that it is time to share it with all of you, my friends.
If you are a visual learner, click here to watch this knitting hack explained in a video tutorial. Or, simply scroll to the bottom of this page to watch the embedded version of the video.
The idea of this mini-technique is very simple – to see how the colours work together, we align the strands and twist them. The colours mix and we can instantly tell whether we like this colour combination or not.
For example, when we twist a strand in a cobalt blue colour with a strand in a golden colour, we get a vivid colour combination that will look great on a project for a kid or an active young adult, and will probably be too bright for everyday sweaters and cardigans.
If we use a strand in a light blue colour instead of the golden one, the colours become more subtle and quiet.
The beauty of this technique is that we can test a number of colour combinations within minutes. You can even do it in a yarn store before you purchase yarn. Simply take an outer strand from one ball and twist it with an outer strand of the other ball.
This way, you won’t damage the balls and upset the folks at you LYS, but you will get a clear idea whether this colour combination is good for your project.
If one of the colours is going to be an accent colour, wrap the yarn that you plan to use as the main colour around the strand in an accent colour rather than twisting the strands equally together.
This will give you a better idea of how the colours look together when the main colour is more dominant.
If you want to get an even better understanding of the colour combination you chose, lay the twisted strands in circles to make a nest-like shape. Watch how to do it in this part of the video tutorial.
This arrangement of yarn is especially helpful when we use more than two colours because we can see all colours in one spot and no colour is concealed by other colours.
No matter whether you simply twist the strands or arrange them in a nest-like shape, it helps to take a step back and look at the strands from afar and from different angles. It is amazing how much our perception of colour may change when we put more room between us and the yarn.
If you enjoyed this tutorial,
here’s something else you might find helpful:
“Neat Side Edges” Book
Learn twelve ways to make side edges of a knitted project nice and tidy. Plus, ways to fix side edges, and a way to improve edges of finished projects.