A Rainbow of Possiblities

Lets talk color.

Specifically, choosing color for color work knitting projects. Obviously I have one specific project in mind.😉 Hint Golden Lion Throne Hint

But seriously, I was lucky enough to work with the talented dyer Shannon Shaw at Hermione Jean Creations to develop precisely the colors I desired for the original. If you are in love with my color combination I am certain she would be happy to enable your re-creation. But I am also aware that a large part of the fun of doing color-work is making the piece your own by picking out your own colors.

So I thought I might give you some things to think about. First off is the idea of contrast. Contrast can be provided by having things be having at different levels of lightness, ie: lighter and darker shades. This can be done within the same color for a monochromatic effect, or across color boundaries for truly stark contrast.

This is not the kind of contrast I chose for this shawl (which is not to say that that kind of contrast wouldn’t work, judging from the swatches I am seeing in the Ravelry group it works very nicely indeed). Instead I wanted to provide contrast by using two colors that were the same level of lightness but with contrasting hues, meaning drastically different colors. You can see what I mean by looking at this photo of the shawl that has all of the color removed.

Black and White version of Golden Lion Throne Shawl

Oooh, mood lighting.

You wouldn’t even know there were two yarns going on here, would you? Interestingly enough – other details leap out that were previously hidden. I totally did not expect the texture of the large spade shaped motifs to have those chevrons running in the opposing direction of the colors. I think it looks pretty cool and it makes me want to knit it without the color changes, just to see what a solid colored version would look like.

But I digress.

In the pattern Color A is the Zircon (blue) and Color B is the Roasted Turmeric (bronze). The shawl starts off with a solid band of A and ends with a solid band of B. When choosing your own combination of colors it is important to keep this in mind. Which of your colors do you want where?

For my process I considered A to be my “background” color and B to be my “highlight” color. Swapping out these emphasis will make the shawl different, but I am not really sure how much. I cannot wait to see one where a knitter has swapped the emphasis. I am pretty sure it will still be awesome.

One thing I do know, it totally isn’t going to work with two highly variegated yarns. That would be a mess. Even one highly variegated yarn might make it a little hard to see the pattern. My suggestion, for best results, is a solid/semi-solid with a tonal. The tonal in the highlight position provides a movement and depth that will not be there with two solids. You just have to be careful about moving out of tonal into variegated.

But then, one of my testers threw out the idea of doing a solid and a long color change gradient. Which got my wheels to spinning … that I would like to see …

Do you have any thoughts on colors?

 

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