Choosing colors for a color work knitting project is not just as simple as picking the colors you like. Consideration must be given to how those colors will look against each other, and whether a high degree of contrast is needed to make the design pop. Even though you might be a huge fan of everything green or blue, choosing the right shades of those colors are essential to getting the look you desire.
Much has been written about color theory, so I won't take the time to repeat it. But, you may want to read a couple good articles:
A trick I use all the time when choosing colors is mentioned in the Craftsy article; take a picture with a black/white tonal filter to see how the contrast measures up.
For the Om Shawl, the three contrasting colors are knit in stripes first - easy, just choose three colors that will look good next to each other. But then we combine them in the fair isle color work section, and this is where it could get tricky. If you look through the finished projects for Om Shawls on Ravelry, you'll see some where this sections "pops" and some where it doesn't. If you want the "pop", then you will need at least one color with a high degree of contrast from the others. This will be your color 3, and form the background color for the middle of the fair isle rows.
The other suggestion I find myself giving all the time when helping customers choose colors is don't dismiss those colors you say you never use. Yellow seems to always fall into this category, and yellow is one of the most important colors for making the other colors shine! Just try this with items in your home - fruit would work good, in fact! Put an orange and apple next to each other, then add in a lemon or banana. Don't they all look so much more appetizing when framed with a bit of yellow? Yellow can help a color combo come to life.
If you need any help with choosing colors, especially if you're trying to choose online, don't hesitate to send us an email. We are always happy to give advice, and even email you a picture of what your colors look like together.
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