Mar 20, 2016

Picture It: Color Combos in Action

Over the past few months, we've been discussing the challenge of choosing the right colors for the people in our lives. We wrestle with this whether we're making something for our favorite fellow, a beloved grandparent, family friends, a new arrival, or a kid heading to college.

We've been exploring color from a variety of perspectives, because knitters often tell me they have no color sense (their words) or have difficulty envisioning how colors work together. In both instances, it helps to 
picture the possibilities, so let's look at assorted color combos in action.


Let's start with a small handful of guy-worthy knits featuring colors that are bold, neutral or a mix of both. (Just click the link below the photo to see details about that specific design, and keep reading, there are more guy-worthy examples to follow.)

        Flashpoint Black and red with deep purple 

        Drumlin Cool neutrals with red

        Twegen Warm neutrals with black and cream

It can be quite challenging to hit a happy balance when you're making something like an afghan that's intended to be shared by several people, whether that's a newly married couple or an entire family. While many combinations above might work in these instances, here are a few that tend to hold crossover appeal:

        Color Check Shades of red, fuchsia, plum, purple and blue

        Color Check Greens, blues and yellows

        Drumlin Rich gem tones

        Twegen Shades of gold, pumpkin and clay


Any of the options above could conceivably work for kids, too. In my family, for example, one kid adores red combined with purple, one loves shades of green and gold, and a third gravitates toward color wheels and rainbows. Another has a passion for the Ohio State Buckeyes, so the red and gray combination would be his pick.

Because the kids in your life have their own preferences, here are a few more kid-worthy examples:

        Breidan Muted rainbow shades

        Breidan Fuchsia, rose, pink and lavender 

        Drumlin Vivid greens, blues, purples and pinks

When in Doubt

Clearly, any of these color combos would work not just for afghans but for almost any item you might choose to make. 

If you're completely stumped and all else fails, remember my tried-and-true knitting rule: When in doubt, make it blue. Both personal experience and statistical results support this rule, since kids and adults of both genders consistently cite blue as a favorite.

        Flashpoint Turquoise and cream

        Breidan Blues with shades of blue-green

The point is this: Color plays a different role for each of us.

For me, it's a powerful force. It drives my devotion to clean lines, non-fussy stitches and unisex designs. These elements quickly shift from strong and masculine to gender neutral or soft and feminine with nothing more than a color change, so it's easy to tailor a piece to a particular recipient. It contributes to my fondness for strip and modular construction, which allows me to alter colors and their placement at almost any point in the processIt keeps knitting fun and interesting, because color makes even a familiar pattern or stitch fresh and new.

But that's enough about me. 

What's your story? From the projects you choose to the yarns you use, how does color influence your knitting journey?

For more guy combos, click here.

For rainbow combos, click here.
For more kid combos, click here.
For more on rich combos, click here.
For thoughts about color and afghans, click here.


  1. I recommend people who don't trust their colour sense, you can also choose colours of any picture, like fashion, fabric, a painting, wild life, landscapes ....


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