Colour me happy :)

How do you decide which colour yarn to knit or crochet your project in? Or which combination of colours?

Deciding on a colour can be as simple as being drawn to a particular shade in the yarn store because it makes your heart sing.

But if you can't make your mind up, here are a few tips to help you decide...

Which colours go together?

This is a colour wheel. The colour wheel is divided into warm and cool colours. Yellows, oranges and reds are warm tones; greens, blues and purples are cool tones. There are transition zones too: you can get a warm green and a cool green, or a warm purple and a cool purple.

When thinking about putting colours together, here are a few rules of thumb...

Colours from directly opposite sides of the wheel are complementary colours. These create high contrast, so use them when you want something to stand out. For example, if you have bright blue eyes, wearing anything orange will intensify the colour of your eyes.

Analogous colours are any three colours which are side-by-side in the colour wheel. Such as red, rose and magenta. Analogous colour schemes are harmonious and often pleasing to the eye. It's good to include a white, grey or black alongside an analogous colour scheme, to provide contrast.

Triadic colours are evenly spaced around the colour wheel. This is another vibrant combination, although not quite as punchy as a complementary colour scheme. Get the balance right by using one of the three colours as your main colour, with the other two used as accents.

Colours behave differently when put with other colours.

Against a black or complementary background, this pink seems more brilliant, it pops! Against the red background it almost disappears and seems smaller. Against the grey it seems calmer somehow.

Black, white and grey are all neutral colours and go with pretty much anything. Grey is not as universal as black and white, but it still can be paired with a wide array of colours. It's a shade you can play about with, mixing with pastels or strong colours to get different effects.

It is also effective to use a monochromatic colour scheme, with black, white and different shades of grey.

Which colours suit you?

Wearing colours that suit you can make you feel great! If you are knitting or crocheting something to wear, here's something else to think about when choosing a colour: your skin tone is the biggest influence on the colours that suit you. You also need to consider eye colour and hair colour.

Colour analysis is all about how your natural skin, hair and eye colour complements or contrasts with the colours you choose to wear. You can get this professionally assessed, but you can also work this out yourself at home.

The gold or silver test is a quick way to give you an idea if you look best in warm or cool colours.

Gold is considered warm and will suit people who have warm undertones and suit warm colours. Silver is cool and will suit people who have cool undertones and suit cool colours.

To test whether you have warm or cool undertones, get two pieces of jewellery, one gold and one silver. Hold the jewellery against your face and look in a mirror to see which makes your complexion look brighter and healthier. Do this in good natural lighting and preferably without wearing any make-up or clothes close to your face.

If you decide both gold and silver suit you equally well, you are lucky! You are likely to have neutral undertones which means most colours will look good on you!

If you suit gold better, it is likely you have:

  • blonde, red, brown or black hair with reddish or golden highlights

  • fair to dark skin colour, with a warm undertone

  • warm or earthy shades to your eyes, like brown, amber, hazel, green, blue with yellow flecks

And warm colours will suit you best.

If you suit silver better, it is likely you have:

  • cool or ash coloured hair, such as ash blonde, silver, white-blonde

  • black, olive, ivory or pale white skin colour, with a cool undertone

  • cool eyes, like blue, grey, dark brown, black

And cool colours will suit you best.

These are just rules of thumb, and it won't always out like this for you. There's nothing wrong with a bit of trial and error. Try different colours against your skin and learn what looks good on you. Get a second opinion too. And it's always worth a browse on Pinterest or Instagram for inspiration.

How do you decide which colours to use for your knitting or crochet project? Comment below...

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Bristol, UK