How to Pick the Perfect Colors for Your Crochet Projects
Do you struggle with picking out the perfect colors for your next project? Or maybe you have one color in mind, but aren’t sure what to pair with it. Don’t worry, this article is going to give you the tools and knowledge you need to pick amazing color combinations every time! Let’s dive in to how to pick the perfect colors for your crochet projects!
How to Pick the Perfect Colors for Your Crochet Projects
Color Theory 101
The Color Wheel
I’m sure at some point you’ve seen an image or graphic like this of the color wheel.
Here’s a brief overview:
- Primary Colors: red, blue, and yellow
- Secondary Colors: (created by mixing an equal balance primary colors) purple, green, and orange
- Tertiary Colors: (created by mixing an unequal balance of 2 primary colors) yellow orange, red orange, red violet, blue violet, blue green, yellow green.
- Warm Colors: reds, oranges, and yellows
- These colors are typically happy, bold, and visually exciting.
- Cool Colors: greens, blues, and purples
- These colors are typically calm, peaceful, and soft.
Pairing Colors on the Wheel
There are several options to pairing colors depending on the look you want.
- Complementary Colors: (colors across from each other on the wheel) blue & orange, red & green, yellow & purple
- These combinations are bold and striking.
- Many of these combinations can be found in marketing. Think of the colors of a sports team or college. They are especially memorable for their visual impact.
- Analogous Colors: (colors side by side on the wheel) orange/yellow/green, green/blue/purple, blue/purple/red, etc…
- Since these combinations sit beside each other, they’re generally in the same temperature range and naturally compliment each other.
- These combinations are great if you’re going for a cohesive and unified color scheme.
- Monochromatic: (all shades of the same color) blues from light to dark.
- Sticking to the same color family is a really simple way of creating a unified and beautiful palette.
- Triadic Colors: (picturing a triangle on the wheel, the color at each point would be in the triad) red, blue, yellow or orange, green, purple.
- These combinations are bold and vibrant.
- The triad of the 3 primary colors can be visually harsh.
- Tetradic Colors: (picturing a rectangle on the wheel, the color at each point would be in this combo) red violet, blue violet, yellow green, yellow orange.
Whew, I know that’s a lot, but hang tight. I’ve got a few more vocabulary terms for you.
- Value: how dark or light a color is (black to white)
- Saturation: the intensity of a color (from pure to washed out)
Ok, this is great and all, but how do I put it into practice?
Let’s Practice Picking Colors
Since fall is around the corner, let’s start with some fall palettes.
What we’ll do is pick ONE color to start with and then arrange it with other colors using the combinations we learned above. Then we’ll consider value and saturation.
For the sake of this example, we’ll start with orange.
The compliment to orange is blue and you’re probably thinking that it looks crazy. Like way too bold or weird, and I get it, but it’s only jarring because the colors are equal in saturation and value.
Check out this version of Sammie the Turtle with a very soft pale blue body and a bright orange shell.
Now that’s a little easier on the eyes and the orange really pops against the light blue.
I don’t know about you, but this color combo always gives me ideas of vibrant fall leaves or maybe a campfire at night. Yellow and red harmonize amazingly with orange and you can play with so many shades in this range.
Monochromatic color schemes are so fun and make for beautiful gradient palettes. If you’re nervous about being too bold, this simplistic and classic palette will work wonders.
By forming a triangle on our color wheel and using orange as the first point, the other points land on purple and green, which, as with the complimentary combination, is a bit weird.
However, these colors are giving me all the Halloween vibes. Can you picture a cute little crochet witch, dressed in purple, stirring her green potion while she’s surrounded by orange jack-o-lanterns?
Just as I said before, you can go big and bold with vibrant saturated colors or tone it back with more muted pastels. You can even make orange the focal point by having it be the brightest color while the green and purple serve as accents.
If you draw a rectangle over the color wheel with orange as your starting point, your other colors will be red, blue, and green.
This combination contains 2 complimentary color pairs: orange & blue and red & green.
Play with lights, darks, and saturation levels when picking your colors. You could invert these with the darker blue and purple being the main colors and use the brighter yellow and orange to provide pops of color for visual interest.
Neutrals can really spice up your color palettes and give them life. I’m talking whites, grays, blacks, browns, tans, creams, etc…
All these colors can be added to a project to balance out the more saturated colors. Here’s an example:
There’s oranges, yellows, and greens with several neutrals including browns, whites, and grays. The center of attention is the pumpkins, but those pops of color from the leaves and the candles really give this image the fall vibes I wanted.
If you aren’t worried about styled photos and just want your project to shine, you could embellish details with different colors.
For example, if you were to make the Popcorn Pumpkin, you could use white for the regular rows and switch to a fiery orange for the popcorn stitch rows.
Ultimately, color choice is a personal preference. I tend to like odd color combinations like oranges and blues, but that’s just me.
If you want to go for a more modern fall vibe with gold, white, and dark brown, go for it! It’ll be beautiful. Or you could go traditional like the photo above.
Whatever, you choose, experiment, have fun, and make something beautiful!
Oh and if this article intrigued you and you’d like to learn more about color theory here are a few academic links:
I hope you liked this article and if you did, leave me a comment or connect with me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Pin this article for later and don’t forget to share it with friends! Also if you want to head over to Instagram and share which color combination had you most inspired, I’d love to see it!