Tips for Crocheting in Color

Jun 19, 2014

I pick up skeins of yarn everywhere. They are gifted from friends and bought in ones and twos at my local yarn shop. I even find the occasional skein under the couch or in a random bag or purse; I'm pretty sure these skeins are placed there by the yarn fairy.

 
Swirls Pillow by Kathy Merrick  

Actually, most of my skeins are either single skeins or one of only two or three skeins in that particular yarn and color. This collection of yarn means one of two things. Either I could crochet hundreds of single- or two-skein projects, or I could jump into crochet colorwork.

I love stripes, tapestry crochet, intarsia, and multi-colored motifs, but I used to be nervous about combining colors. Thanks to Kathy Merrick I now look forward to combining colors and crocheting colorwork designs. Kathy has written an amazing color book, Crochet in Color, and created an amazing workshop, Colorful Crochet with Kathy Merrick. Here are a few of my favorite tips.

Colorwork Crochet Tips

Lay your skeins our on the table or your living room floor and play with different color combinations by laying the skeins next to each other or laying one skein across coordinating skeins. I will sometimes leave a color combination on the table for a few days. Does one color dominate the others; are the colors too similar? Do you have a good combination of dark, light, and medium tones?

 
  Butterfly Turtleneck by Kathy Merrick

Watch out for "screamers." Screamers are colors, such as yellow or white, that draw the eye, preventing it from moving across the project. Large areas of black or white can draw all attention away from other colors, but they are also great options to create bold designs.

Don't be afraid to use colors that aren't ranked among your favorites. Sometimes that mustard yellow, Kelly green, pumpkin orange, or cherry red (insert your own least favorite color here) is the perfect complimentary shade. You may even learn to love a new color.

 
Granada Shawl by Kathy Merrick  

Finally, while not a tip for combining colors, one of my favorite techniques to use while crocheting with color is the simple bow. To keep the stitches where two colors or yarns join occur tight, I like to tie the beginning and ending tails together in a bow. This also keeps them out of your way.

Take advantage of the Hurt Book Sale and order your copy of  Crochet in Color or Colorful Crochet with Kathy Merrick for amazing prices.

Best wishes,

P.S. Do you have a favorite color combination? Share it in the comments.


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Comments

JodiP@2 wrote
on Jun 19, 2014 10:07 PM

Concerning tying your color changing ends into a bow..........do you later untie them and weave them in?  Nobody likes knots in crochet! lol

Toni Rexroat wrote
on Jun 23, 2014 1:13 PM

Yes, I untie the bow and weave the ends in after the project is finished. The bow is simply to keep the stitches tight and the ends out of the way while I am crocheting. And I'm like you, I definitely dislike knots in my crochet. lol

on Jan 8, 2015 11:04 AM

I look for projects that look good (on internet, in stores, etc.)  and try to think if it is the color combos I like.  If it is,  I use the yarn I have on hand to  recreate the combo, and see if it looks pleasing.   Often, this leads me to try more current colors than I otherwise would.

Gmahedwig wrote
on Jan 8, 2015 12:13 PM

I often use a self striping yarn to guide color choices. Another option is to look to nature.  Collect color photos that please your eye.  Choose colors that "match" the colors in the photo...Mother Nature rarely gets it wrong.

warhogg48 wrote
on Jan 8, 2015 1:36 PM

Hello Toni  YarnAddict411 here.  I began with 3 partial skeins of leftover Red Heart super saver in blue pink and I think a green (lighter pastel type).  Then I went to a yard sale and got a grocery bag of all different colors and only partial skeins there too.  and then on Sunday next, I got a box with different yarns still and all different colors too.  I began with one color projects out of necessity.  I had Red Heart Super saver and a few High end yarns and even Wool.  It was clear that these yarns differed from each other in texture, materials, size and color matching so, I made one color projects.  As time passed I browsed and found color that exploded together.  Mosaics which imitated life and history.  the way yarns can be put together.  Unfortunately, I was born with two left eyes, no artistic abilities at all.  I leaned heavily on the internet and found those color wheels and directions on how to match colors from them and then a big book on crochet  (actually knitting) which shows the ins and outs of differing yarns and colors and what to use for projects and not to blend and why.  this is extremely useful info.  to me. Lately I have been making hates of four matching colors using the color wheels and pastels but am migrating towards more autumn type colors too.  I was shown that the living world is the pallet to drw from.  looking at things int the world that draw my attention and using those color blends as they are available in yarns now.  It has opened up new avenues for me to continue to explore.  cor me its all about color matching and contrasts and nature.  Keeping it simple when not sure a person likes what you like and jumping into the world of the unknown when you feel like it and have the yarn.   Just go for it.  frog it if its not what you wanted and try again.  Dont Be Afraid to try!  I like to create not just follow.Thanks for sharing too I love you posts most of the time.  lol  

warhogg48 wrote
on Jan 8, 2015 1:36 PM

Hello Toni  YarnAddict411 here.  I began with 3 partial skeins of leftover Red Heart super saver in blue pink and I think a green (lighter pastel type).  Then I went to a yard sale and got a grocery bag of all different colors and only partial skeins there too.  and then on Sunday next, I got a box with different yarns still and all different colors too.  I began with one color projects out of necessity.  I had Red Heart Super saver and a few High end yarns and even Wool.  It was clear that these yarns differed from each other in texture, materials, size and color matching so, I made one color projects.  As time passed I browsed and found color that exploded together.  Mosaics which imitated life and history.  the way yarns can be put together.  Unfortunately, I was born with two left eyes, no artistic abilities at all.  I leaned heavily on the internet and found those color wheels and directions on how to match colors from them and then a big book on crochet  (actually knitting) which shows the ins and outs of differing yarns and colors and what to use for projects and not to blend and why.  this is extremely useful info.  to me. Lately I have been making hates of four matching colors using the color wheels and pastels but am migrating towards more autumn type colors too.  I was shown that the living world is the pallet to drw from.  looking at things int the world that draw my attention and using those color blends as they are available in yarns now.  It has opened up new avenues for me to continue to explore.  cor me its all about color matching and contrasts and nature.  Keeping it simple when not sure a person likes what you like and jumping into the world of the unknown when you feel like it and have the yarn.   Just go for it.  frog it if its not what you wanted and try again.  Dont Be Afraid to try!  I like to create not just follow.Thanks for sharing too I love you posts most of the time.  lol