A Choose Your Own Color Adventure

If you were to flip through my closet you would find a large number of blue garments. I have always loved blue and luckily it looks great on me. So when I see a new crochet pattern I immediately wonder what it would look like in my favorite color. And when not in a "blue" mood I lean toward reds, pinks, or maybe greens.

Some of you may already know what colors look great on you or, like me, a look through your own closet  might reveal a distinct color palette. Or perhaps you have a specific shirt that people always compliment you on.

One of the greatest benefits to crocheting your own garments is that you have complete control over color. Recently I was browsing through the eBook Best of 2010: Top Ten Patterns for Crochet Sweaters and fell in love again with many of the designs. Since this is a collection of the most popular sweaters from Interweave Crochet, I was curious to see your favorites. The Astrid Pullover by Kathy Merrick jumped out at me, probably because of the fabulous orange yarn. Unfortunately, orange is not a good color on me, especially this bright of a hue. Of course I could make it in blue…

Thus began our little experiment made possible by a few Interweavers and my limited Photoshop skills. The quest for the perfect color.


The sample garment was worked in a beautiful burnt orange shade (called Sienna) of Morehouse Farm Merino 2-ply. With her dark hair and warm olive complexion, our model has what is often referred to as a fall complexion, making this earthy orange a perfect color for her, but she could also try other colors often associated with fall such as dark browns, golds, or rich grays.

If you, too, have a fall complexion, be careful of yarn colors in pastel shades or with blue overtones. These colors may wash out the beautiful vibrancy of your coloring. 




People with fall complexions can often wear the widest range of colors. While at first glance Heidi may seem to have far different skin and hair coloring from our model,  both have warm skin tones and look best in spicy, earthy colors.

Because orange is not her favorite color though, Heidi would be more drawn to other colors with warm undertones such as deep reds. 



If you have cool skin tones and dark hair, you probably have a winter complexion and you have two very different options when it comes to color choice.

Try rich colors such as black, dark blue, reds, or even colors edging toward the brilliant or "hot". You may be one of the few who can truly pull off these strong colors. You can also play with icy pastels such as cool blues, lavenders, pinks, or yellows.



I have a spring complexion with a warm skin tone and blond hair. You probably noticed that my hair is a very strawberry blond (okay, red…) in this picture. I got tired of the blond and wanted to try something different.

But this illustrates a good point: Your hair color can affect which colors you look best in. When I'm a blond I wear a lot of pink, but as a redhead I've found that color does not always work for me.

I look best in pale, clear, or bright colors such as peach, aqua, true reds, and bright blues, and I try to stay away from browns and blacks. 



Kathy is a perfect example of a summer complexion. When I asked her what colors looked best on her, she immediately began naming pastels.  Summers have light skin and hair and look fabulous in soft, muted colors.

Kathy's favorite color is a beautiful pastel green, and she'd also look great in mauve or lavender. But when she goes yarn shopping I would suggest she steers clear of the vivid hues including black and orange. 



Still not sure what your best colors are? Recruit a friend and go shopping. You don't have to buy anything but take turns holding different colored clothing or fabric near your face and determining which colors work best.

And the next time you see a must-make crochet project but know the sample color just won't do you justice, remember that yarn shopping offers a world of options. Many yarn manufacturers display all of their color choices on their website, allowing you to choose the perfect shade. What color would you make the Astrid Pullover in? Check out  Best of 2010: Top Ten Patterns for Crochet Sweaters and design an entire wardrobe of sweaters in your favorite colors.

Best wishes,


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