Several posts ago, I talked about using color theory for choosing a color scheme for your knitting projects. I talked about using a conventional color wheel and a Grey card (these can be found at most art supply stores).
So, how about choosing your color scheme using a computer? There are a TON of color pickers available. The one I’ve been playing with is Adobe Kuler. It’s a free web-based app intended for RGB spaces (web design) but can be a fun way to think about picking your yarn colors. And you can integrate Kuler into your CS6 Photoshop or Illustrator apps if you use those for charting or schematics.
In the center of the screen is the RGB space Color Wheel.
And what is RGB, pray tell?
RGB is an additive color system using Red, Green and Blue light – meaning the colors we see when light of specific wavelengths is projected, rather than applied (via some pigmented vehicle). Rather than red + blue = violet, in RGB we have red + blue = magenta, and if you blended red and green paint, what you’d get would be some kind of brown. In RGB red + green = yellow. Green + blue = cyan. Red + Blue + Green = White.
You don’t have to adjust your senses to be able to tool around with the RGB space color wheel in Kuler, since color harmonies are based on a sort of subjective notion of what we see. The means for mixing those colors, ie. light vs. pigment, is all that differs in achieving your outcome.
On the upper left you’ve got your Color Rule, aka, choices based on different color harmonies. My only gripe about Kuler is that not all color harmonies are given, and they’ve skipped my favorite, the split complementary. If you don’t care for the harmonies that are automatically generated, you can always choose ‘custom’.
In the above screenshot I have chosen a teal/turquoise hue and chose "Monochromatic" as my Color Rule to get a selection of nearby colors. Hover over any one of your colors and click on the triangle to get your Base Color. From there you can play with other color rules, such as the Complementaries:
PS, if you like where you’re going, you might want to save your color theme right about now.
There are a few different ways to manipulate your colors to get a customized theme. You can make adjustments on the color wheel, you can move the sliders around, you can enter numbers in the RGB fields, or you can enter a HEX code. That way, if there’s a particular RGB or HEX code that you like, you can use that as your base color, and play with its various color harmonies.
You can also use a photo as a departure point. For example, I’m working on a color-work project based on Chinese Jasmine, so I uploaded this image:
… And, viola! …well, these are close, but that pink is a little bright for my taste.
Here you can either play with the Color Mood presets, or hover the dots over different areas of the photo. You can also save your theme, then edit it to get precisely what you want:
And here’s some yarn that will match nicely:
So I’ve scooped up all the yarn I’ll be needing, and can now start charting my designs in my Knitters Graph Paper Journal:
All set and ready to go!
And, if you’re starting a project from complete scratch, and you just want some color inspiration, take a look at the dozens upon dozens of themes already submitted:
In the end, it’s supposed to be fun, so LIGHTEN UP and enjoy the WHOLE process.
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