Colour Ta Da or Disaster?

Continuing my colour theme I thought I would share with you a bit about using three colours – now these could be next to each other on the colour wheel but for the purposes of this post I am focusing on Split Complementary colours – this sounds a bit technical but it isn’t.

Take a main colour and then look for its opposite – that is your complementary colour and I posted about that last time, here.  Split complementary, however, takes the two colours either side of the complementary, thus introducing a load more choices for decorating and crafting projects.

So far I have concentrated on interiors for my colour schemes (probably because I work in an interiors studio) but colour principals apply to all sorts of projects, not just interiors.  So this time I am including some colour schemes for crochet projects (very close to my heart) but this could also be applied to fabric choices which could mean curtains and blinds but also quilts and accessories.

As all of you crocheters, knitters, quilters and generally brilliant crafters know, it takes a hUuuUuugE amount of time to make a blanket or quilt or other garment and you put a little piece of yourself into each project – I know I do!

So you don’t want to get half way through and then realise that whilst your crochet pattern or similar may be beautiful you have TotALLy make the wrong colour choices!  I speak from experience here and have ended up either abandoning the project entirely or frogging it to keep the yarn for something else.

Now some people just choose colour instinctively – I particularly like the way Lucy at Attic24 talks about how she chooses colour (without a mention of the colour wheel I might add!) – however she does mention the importance of tone in her choices and balancing the colours which she does beautifully.

Some other beautiful blanket colour choices that caught my eye, and follow the split complementary principals, are shown here:
This beautiful blanket, which I found on the blog crocheTime shows that violet (as the main colour) has yellow/green and yellow/orange as its split complementary colours – ok, so the yellow orange has been toned down to a beige and the yellow/green has also been toned down, both by the addition of grey and a bit of blue has sneaked in but you get the gist?  They all just work and look, well complementary!  Here they are on the colour wheel (courtesy of In Color Order)
And here they are on my colour wheel (which shows toned and tinted versions of the colours) which makes it easier to see

And here, on the blog Little Tin Bird you can see that the colours complement one another – the main blue/green with tinted red (to make pinks) and bright oranges – with some other colours in-between -and on my interior colour wheel making the tones and tints easier to see
So colour plays an important role in all of our projects, whether crafty or interior or fashion for that matter!  By applying a few basic principals you will hopefully NoT make any disastrous colour choices and ensure that your crochet sits harmoniously in your space!
Have you had any colour disasters?  Or huge successes, like the ones above.  I’d love to hear about them so please feel free to leave me a comment.  Until next time, keep your colours happy…

Understanding Value and Colour

Before we start let me just clarify a few ‘interior designer’ words so that we all know what we are talking about!

Hue is just another word for colour.  Tint is adding white to a colour (in varying degrees).  Tone is adding grey to a colour (again in varying degrees) and Shade is adding black to a colour.  The Value is how light or dark a colour is, as mentioned in the title of this post.

Designers think of Value before they think of actual colours, usually on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is the darkest and 10 the lightest.  If you look at a sitting room, for example, think of balancing the items in it, from the sofas, cushions and curtains, down to the walls, ceiling and floors.  By giving each item a number on the value scale it is easier to get a balance of light and shade which will work in harmony in the overall scheme.

Cool Colours – these are Greens, Blues and Violets and are sometimes called receding colours as they draw the eye towards the background and Warm Colours – Reds, Oranges and Yellows are sometimes called advancing colours as they draw the eye to the foreground.


This is the first type of scheme you can create and, as the name suggests, is a clever way of using a single colour but within that colour many different tints, tones and shades.

It is amazing how many different (but similar) colours can be achieved using just one main colour and then tinting and toning.  This sitting room gives off a calm and ordered feel.
Whilst in this picture, even though it is more or less monochromatic you can clearly see the balance in value.  The sofas are dark, as is the fireplace, so the walls and floor and curtains balance the darkness to keep an airy feel.  And the blue is not cold as there is quite a lot of brown in the scheme – in terms of furniture – and blue and brown are good friends in the colour world – but more about that another time.

In this yellow scheme however, the values are the other way around.  The sofas are light so there is an opportunity to have bold floors and blinds, giving a huge pop of colour but without the scheme being overwhelming.  Yellow can be quite daunting, but this scheme looks fresh and inviting.
Next time, we will discuss two colour schemes using complementary (opposite) colours on the colour wheel.  Until then, I hope your colours are happy ones and please feel free to leave a comment if you have any tips to share on your decorating projects.

Do You Want to Add Some Colour to your Life?

I work in an interiors shop and as such spend a lot of time talking to people about their choices for furnishings in their home.  So I thought it was about time that I learned a bit about colour!

I think I have a good eye for colour and and I can carry colours in my head but quite often I get asked which goes with what and does this fit in with that, and to be honest, up until now I just went with my instinct and what I like – which may not necessarily be of any use at all to anyone!

A quick look on Amazon and a second hand book (for 1p I’ll have you know!) and the purchase of a colour wheel and I seem to have opened a Pandora’s box of ideas about colour!  What a journey it promises to be, although there are rules (apparently)!  Want to come along and learn something at the same time?

Well jump in then, here we go…..

So the book I bought is by Kevin McCloud (of Grand Designs fame) if you are reading from the UK, called Colour Now which gives simple guidelines on how to choose colour for your home.

It is broken down into 67 colour palettes with beautiful photographs and explains the principals behind choosing and putting colours together.  There are four kinds of schemes to choose from  – monochromatic, complementary, split complementary and related and tomorrow I will explain the first of these plus a bit more about understanding value and colour!  Hope to see you then…

Colour Dilemmas

I mentioned last time that I was planning another blanket, this time for youngest hippy (13) who doesn’t wish to be left out of the equation, so we had a look at patterns (well I made him actually) and “we” chose something.  It’s a gorgeous (free) pattern from Yarnspirations – the pattern place for Paton yarn and I was so impressed I uploaded it to my Ravelry page.

My first problem came though when I tried to source the yarn – it is available in the United States (Paton’s Decor) but I couldn’t get hold of it in the UK.  So my next problem was trying to find an alternative as I wanted to keep as true to the colours as possible.  I think I’ve managed it and chosen some yarns from the lovely Wool Warehouse.  They are not exactly the same but I do like the combo – what do you think?
As you can see from the photo, I have chosen yarn in the same weight but from two different ranges.  Is this a good idea?  Sometimes you can’t get all the colours you like in the same range but I did check the gauge so am assuming this will work?  Any advice would be great from your experiences.  Speak soon.
Jane x

4KCBWDAY4 – Colour Review

This should be quite an easy one for me – I am very definitely an Autumn person.  I have been lucky enough to have my colours ‘done’ so when I go shopping for clothes I know exactly what colours to buy and what to leave in the shop!  Makes life a whole lot easier and potentially saves money as you don’t end up buying stuff that you never wear!

Hmmmmm….  How does that translate to my happy hooky world.  I don’t have a huge stash of goodies I’ve made as I am relatively new to crochet but I would like to think that my love of colours autumnal translates into my stash; so greens, browns, golds, reds (but only yellow/reds, not blue ones), navy, teal, all shades of neutral.  No white or black.

After having a good rummage, I see that this colour business does  not necessarily follow!  I have some pinks/creams in a project I am doing at the moment:

but these are not my normal colour choices, even though they are gorgeous.  I am also doing a granny square throw for the back of our sofa and these colours fit in well with the room and also my colour scheme – but they would, wouldn’t they, as I chose the paint colours, sofa and curtains!

This funky flower cushion contains lots of my favourite colours, but also some I would not normally choose, but I do love all the bright colours together and where it sits (in the kitchen on my rocking chair) it looks great.

Finally my first crochet project – my bright granny square blanket. I think a lot of the colours are ones I would normally be drawn to – all except the white actually which is not one of my colours but sets off the whole project – it just wouldn’t have looked the same in cream or a beige background!

So, if I were to relate my colour choices to my choice of house (the Bee) would there been a connection! Hell, yes – just look at all those bright colours and think of all the beautiful flowers that the bee visits to get pollen.  I am a busy bee, flitting from one colour to the next and getting my inspiration from the things around me.  How cool is that!

Happy hooking
Craft Hippy xx