The colors of Fall are inspiring me so much, I wish I had time to dye them all! The colors I choose to knit with (and that I choose to dye) are usually inspired by the pattern. I have been thinking a lot about what to cast on next. I have a list a mile long of REALLY great patterns I'd like to spend my entire day on. Today I'm taking you down the rabbit hole of color selection.
Are you planning on a sweater or an accessory? For me, there are some colors I can wear as a small pop of color as a pair of mittens or scarf that I wouldn't want to wear as a sweater. I'm thinking of bright yellow, yellowy greens and coral pinks. For sweaters, I keep in mind what I plan to wear with it. Not in a vague "pants" kind of way, but I lay out the actual pants that want to wear with them. This gives you a very visual reference of how many pieces your color choice could go with. If you are knitting an accessory, you may not care if it matches anything, but when my scarf or my mittens compliment my corduroy trench coat, I feel like Agent Skully, Sherlock Holmes, and Starbuck all rolled into one sassy lady strutting down the street. I mean, I really work it. This is why I love Fall.
Do you want your color to compliment your current wardrobe or to be a pop of color? If you know me, you know I wear a lot of navy blue. In my defense, the bulk of my wardrobe is jeans and a geeky tee and those are usually printed in a unisex navy blue. I didn't realize I had so much navy until I knit a dark blue Mama Vertebrae and then had a hard time pairing it with all of my blue shirts (and why I decided to knit another in Miss Fisher's Pearl Handled Pistol). So lay out your wardrobe (again) and take a look at the color scheme you've got going. Lay out the things you really like to wear during the week. You may be surprised. I think we all know we lean to a certain color,but sometimes we own a LOT more than we realized. Take a look. What colors would easily compliment the colors you already have? Are there colors missing in that same scheme that would pop your normal color? Knit your accessories in those colors.
For me, taking a look at my aaaaaaaalllllll of my navy, I like pops of bright purple, or bright green for my accessories. In the same scheme, colors like the wine colored red of Shrewd Lady Mary would be a great sweater color. It is dark like my navy but done in a different color. Plum purple is another great color that would work well in that same theme without having to step too far out of my comfort zone.
To be fair, I don't think that we should all just pick a color and stick with that for the rest of our lives, but we are creatures of habit and I will never be comfortable wearing bright yellow. Be real with yourself. See where your current wardrobe is at and see if you can step out a bit. You can easily expand your color range without a major overhaul.
Having a hard time with color? Pick a color you like, let's say green. Go to the all-knowing Google and type in "green color combination" and select "Images" when the search comes up. There are people who live for creating color schemes like we live to match yarns with knitting patterns. Let them do the heavy lifting. Search through those images and see what catches your eye. Make note of what colors you would be comfortable wearing as a sweater or as an accessory. Look for those colors when shopping for yarn to step up your style. Let's face it, a work from home mom in geeky tees and jeans can use all the styling help that color can offer. It is a very easy way to make yourself look more put together rather than looking like you threw on whatever was clean (guilty as charged).
Look for hints in nature too. If you like bright colorful yellows and pinks, then look to the Spring and Summer seasons to inspire you. If you prefer darker tones like blues and greens, then Fall and Winter will have plenty of inspiration for you. Look at the plants of the seasons. Nature does a great job of putting colors together. Take pictures of these combinations in your season to remind you. Great color combinations are all around. I think of a spring green of leaves and the soft lilac colors of spring. I love the burnt oranges, dark greens, and brick reds of fallen leaves in fall.
Don't let colors intimidate you. If you aren't a color savvy person, then use the help that is out there. Go forth and pick your colors!