For those of us who design our own craft projects, color is a primary design element. Color reflects our moods, our values, and sends a message to those for whom we craft. Choosing just the right colors for our projects can make or break them.
In designing my latest prayer shawl, for instance, I choose yarn with colors that symbolized several communities and causes I hoped would remind the recipient of the support of several groups and causes near and dear to her: hot pink for breast cancer recovery, purple for the school where she worked, and orange for our home of Knoxville, Tennessee. At first glance, the yarn I chose looked a bit too “loud and proud” for my personal tastes. But once I realized that all these colors of significance were reflected in this rich palette, I eagerly grabbed up three skeins and got to work on a prayer shawl packed with meaning.
A couple of new books have just come out to help with choosing colors for crafting projects and home décor:
Love Color: Choosing Colors to Live With by Anna Starmer: This gorgeous book by a color expert gives you lots of excellent ideas for choosing color schemes. I appreciated that the author urges readers to start with items of sentimental significance in creating color design choices. Many palettes are featured in the book, with tips on contrasting colors, working with textures, and use of lighting. The author does a great job of bolstering readers’ confidence in making bolder uses of color and incorporating colors that simply put them in a good mood.
Gradient Style: Color-Shifting Techniques & Knitting Patterns, edited by Kerry Bogert(Interweave): Specifically for knitters, this book helps crafters take advantage of the wide range of gradient colored yarn sets currently on the market. Some basics of using the color wheel are included in the introduction, followed by a good number of projects patterns using gradient colors: socks, sweaters, shawls, and mittens. The editor wisely advises knitters to go to the yarn shop and physically mix and match colors for new projects, rather than simply buying materials online. This book is great for anyone who wants to give their flat knitting some kick by using gradient color combinations.
Happy Knitting, Cindy