Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Design 101: Creating Your Own Color Combination

February 22nd, 2010

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Wax CrayonsHave you ever seen a pattern you like but hesitated to use it because of the colors?   We’d like to help you get started as a designer with some simple steps to choosing the color combinations you prefer.

Today we’ll work with the Mulberry Afghan, #90310.  Think about what colors you would like to use.  Would you like to give it as a gift to a friend?  If so, what are her favorite colors?  What are the colors of her living room?  If it is for yourself, look at the colors of the room where you would like to display the afghan, think about the colors that make you happy, or even draw inspiration from favorite objects like paintings or even a season.

The best way to select colors is by putting together the actual balls of yarn or yarn swatches.  Trying to select colors of yarn based on the way the colors appear on your computer or in the catalog is risky, especially if you are trying to match colors you already have.  The colors on the computer screen or in the catalog will never exactly match the actual yarn.

The best way to look at as many color options as possible is to have a color card.  We’ll be selecting from the Vanna lines of yarn, so you should order the Vanna’s Choice color card for this project.  You may order only this color card for $1.99 and shipping will be free by ordering item #ccvanna.  It includes sample strands of Vanna’s Choice, Vanna’s Choice Baby and Vanna’s Glamour yarns.

Once you receive the card, compare the colors of the actual yarn to the colors you would like to match or the colors you want to use.  Select 2-4 colors for this project.  Then use the diagram above (click to enlarge it, then print it out) to put sample strands of the colors into the spots on the diagram and see how they look together.  You can play around with crayons or paints while you are waiting for your color card to arrive to get a general idea of the color scheme, then see if there are actual yarn colors that look like they would fit your color scheme.

A ripple afghan is a great way to experiment with colors and to unleash your creativity.  Let us know how it goes!

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  • Marny

    I’m finishing up a ripple … my friend chose the color she liked and I designed the afghan based on her and her husband and their children and grandchildren!

    Just a few rows to go and then I’m printing out and framing the guide for each color change, along with a picture of the finished afghan.

    This has turned out to be like a prayer shawl because I crochet only when I’m in a peaceful or laughing mode — honoring the friendship my friend and I have.

  • Marny

    Forgot to mention that the afghan is 3 colors . . . on a K hook.

  • Dollie Kincheloe

    I would like to share what has worked so well for me. I make lap robes for Elder Care locally which measure approximately 38 X 44. I crochet with worsted weight yarn in the chevron pattern with a size “I” hook chaining about 75 chains. Anyway, about the colors, I buy 2 skeins of variegated yarn and choose a solid color from the variegated colors for the second color and alternate the stripes. It works like a charm every time.

  • hetty van buuren

    I’ve already created 3 rippled afghans for an home for the elderly. when tey make a walking trip with the inhabtans through the duthc weather, they can put the afghans over the knees of the people who are sitting in the wheelchair. the sizes are about 1.30 mtr X 1.50 mtr. and the afhans are all made with ‘left overs’ from our knitting cafe. greeting hetty :)

  • Carol Tabacek

    Dollie, thanks for the measurements for lap robes. I have been looking for suggestions to give to an ederly home or rehab facility and this meets the needs.

  • Karen

    Using a kid’s kaleidascope, which can be purchased for under a $1 will show what the color combination looks like.

  • mrs putty

    If you make a chart of your afghan in word (use tables to make the squares, strips or whatever – use squares instead of round, you’ll get the effect), go into ‘shading’ then ‘more colours’. Usually you can play with the colour to get quite close to the yarn you are using. It’s only a guide so the exact shape/size isn’t important as long as it’s close.

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  • Knittingnana60

    This is a pattern that can be done it either knitting or crocheting. Why limit your customers to thinking about this in terms crocheting only? Some people only work from patterns rather than designing something themselves. It would be great to see that chevron knitting or feather and fan as well as crocheting ripple.

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