Spice Up Your Color Knitting
Color knitting is a wonderful challenge. Many people shy away from choosing colors for their knitting because they’re not confident in their ability to mix and match color successfully. I have to admit, I used to be one of those people. But the owner of a wonderful knit shop in Seattle helped me begin to train my eye to choose colors well. She is brilliant at building color combinations, and I’m always so impressed and inspired by her original designs. They’re always bursting with an array of perfectly chosen colors, textures, and design elements to show them off.
Knitwear designer, author, and Prism Yarn owner Laura Bryant is also a master of color. I wrote about her a couple of weeks ago, and you’ve seen her on Knitting Daily TV many times, sharing her knowledge on a variety of knitting techniques.
Laura taped a series of workshops to explain, in-depth, her color theories and how they pertain to knitting and other fiber arts. If you haven’t seen the preview for her workshop, A Knitter’s Guide to Color, you can watch it here:
Here’s a note from Knitting Daily TV‘s former Associate Producer, Annie Hartman Bakken, about what she learned from Laura’s workshop.
I can’t stress enough how much you’ll learn from Laura’s A Knitter’s Guide to Color! Even if you feel like you have a good sense of color and wouldn’t venture into uncharted waters when it came to color combinations, because you know what looks good based on putting yarns next to each other when planning your knitwear color designs, this workshop will bring a whole new view of color into your work.
I took a color class in college, cutting up bits of Color-Aid paper and pasting them on top of another, next to each other, spending hours on end training my eye to pick up on color theory . . . the “ah-ha” moment of grasping color is something I will never forget. That color class was my favorite college course because of the impact of that moment, and ever since, I’ve seen colors differently.
With Laura’s DVD workshop, you won’t have to sign up for a class on color theory and spend the time I did to train your eye. You’ll learn how color reacts when combined with other colors, based on weight, based on color value.
This DVD goes far beyond the color wheel, so don’t expect to simply learn about complimentary colors. Instead, you’ll walk away with a sincere approach to color that will broaden your knowledge and allow you to explore color options in knitting to create visually appealing, stunning works of art.
—Pause the workshop, walk away from the television. Training your eye to see colors is not easy. The more committed you are to really looking at color, the more you’ll get out of the video. When you pause the workshop and walk away from the television, take a moment to look at the colors from across the room. Training your eye to pick up on color values and weights from a variety of distances will only increase your knowledge. Think of it this way, when you have two colors next to each other, say a neon orange and a neon pink, from a distance you won’t be able to decipher the line of intersection of the colors if they’re of the same weight. Now, combine that neon orange with a pale, mint green. I bet you could see the distinct place where you changed colors, even from a great distance.
—Use Color-Aid paper. We’ve bundled a set of Color-Aid paper with A Knitter’s Guide to Color so that you can follow along with Laura, using the paper as a learning tool. You can cut up this paper, use it over and over again, and continuously come up with color combinations that you’d never thought of before. Instead of walking into a yarn store and holding up skeins of yarn next to one another, you can walk into your LYS with a plan in mind.
—Watch the video on your computer, your older television, and even your plasma big-screen (if you have one!). Colors look different on different screens. If you have an older television, the colors seen in the video may be a little “off,” but this doesn’t mean you won’t learn about values, weights, color combinations. Try watching the workshop on your newer laptop, and the colors will be more alive and “correct.” This exercise, although it may sound silly, is actually a great way to train your eye. Your brain will automatically tell you what color you’re looking at, or supposed to be looking at, and you’ll ignore the weight and value your eye picks up on. Discovering this difference and relying on what you see, not what you think you see, is just one step in mastering color theory.
As Laura says, “You don’t get WOW! by doing the expected.”
Get your Knitter’s Guide to Color and Color Aid Paper today!
P.S. I love Earth tones with a touch of bright blue or turquoise in a variegated, hand-painted yarn, if I can find it. My favorite color is orange, but I haven’t done an entire sweater in orange . . . yet. Leave a comment and share your color preferences and how you’ve used them.