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Phaedra28
Gabber Extraordinaire

485 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2003 :  3:50:34 PM  Show Profile Send Phaedra28 a Private Message
Last night, I got out an old Threads magazine with an article about combining colors. The article, which focused on floorcloths, included a bunch of exercises for choosing color combinations. That, of course, got me started thinking about what exercises might be helpful. Which, of course, got me started thinking about what people here might think...

My two biggest color problems are:

I'm too impatient, so I tend to pour some of this color here, that color there and chew my nails waiting to see what happens. It's rare for me to plan much of anything with dyes. (Mind you, I also tend to start sweaters before I decide what they're going to be! Knit halfway up the sleeves without knowing if they'll be on a pullover, cardigan, raglan sleeves, saddle shoulder, round yoke, etc.)

And those color combinations that everyone says just plain "don't work"? Often I like them just fine! Equal portions of all vivid colors? What's the problem? They all scream? And your point is ...?

When I was in 7th grade, I came upon a whole group of girls gossiping, "Did you see her? She was wearing blue pants with a purple shirt! Can you imagine?" Too this day, I have no idea why they thought it was a bad idea, I always liked that outfit! (At the time, of course, I was devastated, as only a 13 year old girl can be.)

Anyway, the article offered suggestions like choosing combinations of all muted shades, two muted and one vivid, etc. I'll get out the crayons, and give some of them a try. In the meantime, does anyone here have any exercises to offer? Is there anything you do to plan a colorway? How do you all choose color combinations? (Not limited to dye play, just in general.)

Thanks!

Atavistic
Permanent Resident

6604 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2003 :  4:36:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit Atavistic's Homepage Send Atavistic a Private Message
quote:

When I was in 7th grade, I came upon a whole group of girls gossiping, "Did you see her? She was wearing blue pants with a purple shirt! Can you imagine?" Too this day, I have no idea why they thought it was a bad idea, I always liked that outfit! (At the time, of course, I was devastated, as only a 13 year old girl can be.)


When I was in 7th grade one of my favorite sweatshirts was bright yellow. I often wore it with black jeans and yellow socks. I looked like a bee or a school bus.

In 6th grade I had these wild pants that were all kinds of colors--they were so cool. I lost them somewhere on some move, which is too bad.

On my second date with my partner I wore--hold onto your seats--striped Converse low-tops (light purple, medium green, blue, white, etc) without socks, a long broomstick style skirt in multiple colors (as those often are, none of which matched the shoes), a Star Wars t-shirt (which, again, matched nothing), and a towel in my hair (she showed up early).

Later she said to me, "I took one look at you and thought, 'this must be a test. Yes, that's it. A test.'"

As for color combos, I don't know. I dig many shades and tones of purple. I actually just knit a top with TWO shades of pink in it--a shock to everyone that knows me.

Amanda

Mindy to Heidi: Did I tell you she knits in class? She knits away and two weeks later she comes in wearing a new sweater!
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Atavistic
Permanent Resident

6604 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2003 :  4:36:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit Atavistic's Homepage Send Atavistic a Private Message
quote:

When I was in 7th grade, I came upon a whole group of girls gossiping, "Did you see her? She was wearing blue pants with a purple shirt! Can you imagine?" Too this day, I have no idea why they thought it was a bad idea, I always liked that outfit! (At the time, of course, I was devastated, as only a 13 year old girl can be.)


When I was in 7th grade one of my favorite sweatshirts was bright yellow. I often wore it with black jeans and yellow socks. I looked like a bee or a school bus.

In 6th grade I had these wild pants that were all kinds of colors--they were so cool. I lost them somewhere on some move, which is too bad.

On my second date with my partner I wore--hold onto your seats--striped Converse low-tops (light purple, medium green, blue, white, etc) without socks, a long broomstick style skirt in multiple colors (as those often are, none of which matched the shoes), a Star Wars t-shirt (which, again, matched nothing), and a towel in my hair (she showed up early).

Later she said to me, "I took one look at you and thought, 'this must be a test. Yes, that's it. A test.'"

As for color combos, I don't know. I dig many shades and tones of purple. I actually just knit a top with TWO shades of pink in it--a shock to everyone that knows me.

Amanda

Mindy to Heidi: Did I tell you she knits in class? She knits away and two weeks later she comes in wearing a new sweater!
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nparkhurst
Warming Up

USA
54 Posts

Posted - 05/05/2003 :  06:44:31 AM  Show Profile Send nparkhurst a Private Message
There's a book written for quilters that might be of interest (at least enough to get it from your local library or browse through it in your local bookstore):

Color from the Heart by Gai Perry (C&T Publishing, 1999. ISBN 1-57120-071-1).

Obviously, not all the techniques will be transferable, nor all the exercises, but I think some of them could be translated. For instance, some of the scrap quilt methods could be used for magic ball knitting. And the method for choosing colors based on a postcard or other multicolored object you like seems apt for any handcraft.

And for those of you who like bright colors, all you have to do is look at the front cover (which I admit made me wince)--turquoise, red, pink, orange, yellow, a dash of lime green....

What I like about this book is that it doesn't focus as strictly on the color wheel as other color choice exercises I've seen. (Many of which produce what I think of as uninspired results).

Hope this is of interest--


Naomi

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nparkhurst
Warming Up

USA
54 Posts

Posted - 05/05/2003 :  06:44:31 AM  Show Profile Send nparkhurst a Private Message
There's a book written for quilters that might be of interest (at least enough to get it from your local library or browse through it in your local bookstore):

Color from the Heart by Gai Perry (C&T Publishing, 1999. ISBN 1-57120-071-1).

Obviously, not all the techniques will be transferable, nor all the exercises, but I think some of them could be translated. For instance, some of the scrap quilt methods could be used for magic ball knitting. And the method for choosing colors based on a postcard or other multicolored object you like seems apt for any handcraft.

And for those of you who like bright colors, all you have to do is look at the front cover (which I admit made me wince)--turquoise, red, pink, orange, yellow, a dash of lime green....

What I like about this book is that it doesn't focus as strictly on the color wheel as other color choice exercises I've seen. (Many of which produce what I think of as uninspired results).

Hope this is of interest--


Naomi

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KathyR
Permanent Resident

New Zealand
2969 Posts

Posted - 05/05/2003 :  2:50:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit KathyR's Homepage Send KathyR a Private Message
I am also going to refer to a quilting book I read a few years ago. I think it was called something like Watercolour Quilts. For the colour schemes for her quilts, the author suggests making a colour palette of scraps. She says that the scheme should always have a deep-dark and a pale colour. These are not necessarily black or navy and white or cream. It just depends on the range of colours you are using. If your scheme is very pale, the deep-dark could be a medium blue, for example. If the scheme is quite dark, the light colour could also be the same medium blue.
Also, the colours in your scheme that some people think might clash (such as bright green with orange) could just be a very small amount used as an accent. Using a small amount like this may just lift the scheme as a whole bringing life to something that may otherwise be quite dull.
If you like certain colours together - go for it! It is your creation after all. You will never ever be able to really please everyone, so who cares if there are some who don't like your colour choices. Life would be so boring if everyone liked, and did, the same things!

KathyR
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KathyR
Permanent Resident

New Zealand
2969 Posts

Posted - 05/05/2003 :  2:50:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit KathyR's Homepage Send KathyR a Private Message
I am also going to refer to a quilting book I read a few years ago. I think it was called something like Watercolour Quilts. For the colour schemes for her quilts, the author suggests making a colour palette of scraps. She says that the scheme should always have a deep-dark and a pale colour. These are not necessarily black or navy and white or cream. It just depends on the range of colours you are using. If your scheme is very pale, the deep-dark could be a medium blue, for example. If the scheme is quite dark, the light colour could also be the same medium blue.
Also, the colours in your scheme that some people think might clash (such as bright green with orange) could just be a very small amount used as an accent. Using a small amount like this may just lift the scheme as a whole bringing life to something that may otherwise be quite dull.
If you like certain colours together - go for it! It is your creation after all. You will never ever be able to really please everyone, so who cares if there are some who don't like your colour choices. Life would be so boring if everyone liked, and did, the same things!

KathyR
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CAJill
New Pal

29 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2003 :  5:43:37 PM  Show Profile Send CAJill a Private Message
I invested in the Color Wheel and Color Book by Nancy Shroyer, which is available at many knitting and quilting shops. The book describes how to choose from 3 to 9 coordinating colors. The nice thing about the color wheel is that it has holes in it so that you put the yarn under the holes and can match it to different colors. I find that this helps because of the very different light quality of my home, work, and LYS. I have chosen yarns I thought went together in the store, and got home and found that one was duller or yellower than I thought when purchased. Since my LYS is a bit of a drive, I avoid returning the unsuitable color. Plus, it means the project sits until I have time to try again.
For people who don't have a LYS, the wheel and book are available from www.KnitPicks.com.
Jill
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CAJill
New Pal

29 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2003 :  5:43:37 PM  Show Profile Send CAJill a Private Message
I invested in the Color Wheel and Color Book by Nancy Shroyer, which is available at many knitting and quilting shops. The book describes how to choose from 3 to 9 coordinating colors. The nice thing about the color wheel is that it has holes in it so that you put the yarn under the holes and can match it to different colors. I find that this helps because of the very different light quality of my home, work, and LYS. I have chosen yarns I thought went together in the store, and got home and found that one was duller or yellower than I thought when purchased. Since my LYS is a bit of a drive, I avoid returning the unsuitable color. Plus, it means the project sits until I have time to try again.
For people who don't have a LYS, the wheel and book are available from www.KnitPicks.com.
Jill
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kdcrowley
Permanent Resident

USA
4773 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2003 :  10:55:55 AM  Show Profile  Visit kdcrowley's Homepage Send kdcrowley a Private Message
You know, I know a little bit about color after a degree in art and working with it for a long time. And after all that, I don't use the color wheel to make color choices. I use intuition and I try things together and go with what feels good. But I have a couple of rules that I follow generally.....that relate mostly to clothing, but let's face it, we are what we wear in terms of color. Let me preface this with this is what works for me, and may not work for others.

EVERYTHING goes with Black (the abscence of color) and White (all colors in equal proportions). Other neutrals are also good but operate a little differently.

Color has value that is inherent to the particular color. Yellow will almost always pop out in comparison to other colors. Blue will almost always recede.

Almost any color will go with another under the right circumstances. In other words, Blue and purple will go together simply because they are neighbors....it will be a calmer mix than say Purple and Yellow, which are opposites, but opposites attract and make lively couples!

Who cares what anyone else says? Most people a) know next to nothing about color and/or b) live in fear of color, as evidenced by the number of american homes with white walls.

If you have seen one color theory explanation, you have seen them all. REd, Blue and Yellow are primaries and make up the rest of the colors, Adjacent colors work, complementary colors work. Really that is all there is to it.

You will not change the way color makes you feel. That is natural...most people enjoy the colors that look best on them. If a color repels you, it probably always will.

Anyway, go with your gut, and know that the kids at school were probably jealous of your brave color combinations, and really, it's been long enough, get over it! (spoken by someone with her own school age developed neuroses about how I would be perceived)

Kelley

Everywhere you go, there you are! Imagine that....
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kdcrowley
Permanent Resident

USA
4773 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2003 :  10:55:55 AM  Show Profile  Visit kdcrowley's Homepage Send kdcrowley a Private Message
You know, I know a little bit about color after a degree in art and working with it for a long time. And after all that, I don't use the color wheel to make color choices. I use intuition and I try things together and go with what feels good. But I have a couple of rules that I follow generally.....that relate mostly to clothing, but let's face it, we are what we wear in terms of color. Let me preface this with this is what works for me, and may not work for others.

EVERYTHING goes with Black (the abscence of color) and White (all colors in equal proportions). Other neutrals are also good but operate a little differently.

Color has value that is inherent to the particular color. Yellow will almost always pop out in comparison to other colors. Blue will almost always recede.

Almost any color will go with another under the right circumstances. In other words, Blue and purple will go together simply because they are neighbors....it will be a calmer mix than say Purple and Yellow, which are opposites, but opposites attract and make lively couples!

Who cares what anyone else says? Most people a) know next to nothing about color and/or b) live in fear of color, as evidenced by the number of american homes with white walls.

If you have seen one color theory explanation, you have seen them all. REd, Blue and Yellow are primaries and make up the rest of the colors, Adjacent colors work, complementary colors work. Really that is all there is to it.

You will not change the way color makes you feel. That is natural...most people enjoy the colors that look best on them. If a color repels you, it probably always will.

Anyway, go with your gut, and know that the kids at school were probably jealous of your brave color combinations, and really, it's been long enough, get over it! (spoken by someone with her own school age developed neuroses about how I would be perceived)

Kelley

Everywhere you go, there you are! Imagine that....
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kdcrowley
Permanent Resident

USA
4773 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2003 :  10:55:55 AM  Show Profile  Visit kdcrowley's Homepage Send kdcrowley a Private Message
You know, I know a little bit about color after a degree in art and working with it for a long time. And after all that, I don't use the color wheel to make color choices. I use intuition and I try things together and go with what feels good. But I have a couple of rules that I follow generally.....that relate mostly to clothing, but let's face it, we are what we wear in terms of color. Let me preface this with this is what works for me, and may not work for others.

EVERYTHING goes with Black (the abscence of color) and White (all colors in equal proportions). Other neutrals are also good but operate a little differently.

Color has value that is inherent to the particular color. Yellow will almost always pop out in comparison to other colors. Blue will almost always recede.

Almost any color will go with another under the right circumstances. In other words, Blue and purple will go together simply because they are neighbors....it will be a calmer mix than say Purple and Yellow, which are opposites, but opposites attract and make lively couples!

Who cares what anyone else says? Most people a) know next to nothing about color and/or b) live in fear of color, as evidenced by the number of american homes with white walls.

If you have seen one color theory explanation, you have seen them all. REd, Blue and Yellow are primaries and make up the rest of the colors, Adjacent colors work, complementary colors work. Really that is all there is to it.

You will not change the way color makes you feel. That is natural...most people enjoy the colors that look best on them. If a color repels you, it probably always will.

Anyway, go with your gut, and know that the kids at school were probably jealous of your brave color combinations, and really, it's been long enough, get over it! (spoken by someone with her own school age developed neuroses about how I would be perceived)

Kelley

Everywhere you go, there you are! Imagine that....
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Phaedra28
Gabber Extraordinaire

485 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2003 :  12:52:09 PM  Show Profile Send Phaedra28 a Private Message
Where's your art degree from? And what do you do art-wise?

(Not planning on stalking you, just curious because I grew up with a bunch of artists -- mostly calligraphers -- and always wonder if I'm corresponding with someone I know.)

And as for the blue and purple, it's just always confused me more than anything else -- I grew up with an artist, I *know* blue and purple work together and that outfit was particularly effective. Dunno what their problem was, the shades of blue and purple involved were neighbors on the spectrum and matched for saturation and shade.

Of course, the lime green and orange with light blue was also particularly effective, so you know their comments didn't *really* bother me that much!

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Phaedra28
Gabber Extraordinaire

485 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2003 :  12:52:09 PM  Show Profile Send Phaedra28 a Private Message
Where's your art degree from? And what do you do art-wise?

(Not planning on stalking you, just curious because I grew up with a bunch of artists -- mostly calligraphers -- and always wonder if I'm corresponding with someone I know.)

And as for the blue and purple, it's just always confused me more than anything else -- I grew up with an artist, I *know* blue and purple work together and that outfit was particularly effective. Dunno what their problem was, the shades of blue and purple involved were neighbors on the spectrum and matched for saturation and shade.

Of course, the lime green and orange with light blue was also particularly effective, so you know their comments didn't *really* bother me that much!

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kdcrowley
Permanent Resident

USA
4773 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2003 :  1:11:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit kdcrowley's Homepage Send kdcrowley a Private Message
UC Davis....ceramics, painting, at the time. Now I knti and spin, with sewing thrown into free moments unhindered by a 2-3 yo boy.

Kelley

Everywhere you go, there you are! Imagine that....
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kdcrowley
Permanent Resident

USA
4773 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2003 :  1:11:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit kdcrowley's Homepage Send kdcrowley a Private Message
UC Davis....ceramics, painting, at the time. Now I knti and spin, with sewing thrown into free moments unhindered by a 2-3 yo boy.

Kelley

Everywhere you go, there you are! Imagine that....
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useratl
Warming Up

74 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2003 :  03:32:08 AM  Show Profile Send useratl a Private Message
Okay, this is OT, but I had to add it, after the comment about people's fear of colour.

I swear that's true!!!

I live in a small town, and have a friend with a tiny little taxi/limo service.

He got the classiest old '85 Cadillac stretch limo, kinda small, and because it needed painting, he decided to do something different, and painted it a beautifully tasteful burgundy.

I have never encountered so many people with such reactions to this car, from love it, to hate it, to can't figure out why it's red.

It's red because 99.9% of every other limousine is black, grey, or white, and my God, once you start paying attn, how boring!

Well, at least its like that on east coast. I think it's a little more diverse on the west coast, thank God!

Just my un-knitting related two cents!

~useratl

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useratl
Warming Up

74 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2003 :  03:32:08 AM  Show Profile Send useratl a Private Message
Okay, this is OT, but I had to add it, after the comment about people's fear of colour.

I swear that's true!!!

I live in a small town, and have a friend with a tiny little taxi/limo service.

He got the classiest old '85 Cadillac stretch limo, kinda small, and because it needed painting, he decided to do something different, and painted it a beautifully tasteful burgundy.

I have never encountered so many people with such reactions to this car, from love it, to hate it, to can't figure out why it's red.

It's red because 99.9% of every other limousine is black, grey, or white, and my God, once you start paying attn, how boring!

Well, at least its like that on east coast. I think it's a little more diverse on the west coast, thank God!

Just my un-knitting related two cents!

~useratl

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useratl
Warming Up

74 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2003 :  03:32:08 AM  Show Profile Send useratl a Private Message
Okay, this is OT, but I had to add it, after the comment about people's fear of colour.

I swear that's true!!!

I live in a small town, and have a friend with a tiny little taxi/limo service.

He got the classiest old '85 Cadillac stretch limo, kinda small, and because it needed painting, he decided to do something different, and painted it a beautifully tasteful burgundy.

I have never encountered so many people with such reactions to this car, from love it, to hate it, to can't figure out why it's red.

It's red because 99.9% of every other limousine is black, grey, or white, and my God, once you start paying attn, how boring!

Well, at least its like that on east coast. I think it's a little more diverse on the west coast, thank God!

Just my un-knitting related two cents!

~useratl

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useratl
Warming Up

74 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2003 :  03:32:08 AM  Show Profile Send useratl a Private Message
Okay, this is OT, but I had to add it, after the comment about people's fear of colour.

I swear that's true!!!

I live in a small town, and have a friend with a tiny little taxi/limo service.

He got the classiest old '85 Cadillac stretch limo, kinda small, and because it needed painting, he decided to do something different, and painted it a beautifully tasteful burgundy.

I have never encountered so many people with such reactions to this car, from love it, to hate it, to can't figure out why it's red.

It's red because 99.9% of every other limousine is black, grey, or white, and my God, once you start paying attn, how boring!

Well, at least its like that on east coast. I think it's a little more diverse on the west coast, thank God!

Just my un-knitting related two cents!

~useratl

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useratl
Warming Up

74 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2003 :  03:32:08 AM  Show Profile Send useratl a Private Message
Okay, this is OT, but I had to add it, after the comment about people's fear of colour.

I swear that's true!!!

I live in a small town, and have a friend with a tiny little taxi/limo service.

He got the classiest old '85 Cadillac stretch limo, kinda small, and because it needed painting, he decided to do something different, and painted it a beautifully tasteful burgundy.

I have never encountered so many people with such reactions to this car, from love it, to hate it, to can't figure out why it's red.

It's red because 99.9% of every other limousine is black, grey, or white, and my God, once you start paying attn, how boring!

Well, at least its like that on east coast. I think it's a little more diverse on the west coast, thank God!

Just my un-knitting related two cents!

~useratl

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