View of Canyonlands in Utah

Creating with Color: Value

Value is more important than color. Controversial? Maybe, but contrast in value is what makes your colorwork sing. So let's focus on a simple way to find that contrast.

Mosaic or Scandinavian color-stranding

Begin by choosing two colors to work with.  Take a photo of those colors with your phone, then edit using your grayscale filter. Ask yourself whether these colors have enough contrast, and if not, replace one of the colors. Check your replacement.  


closeup of the Pagosa Rose tee - get the kit

Fair Isle, or multiple color-stranding

For color-stranded work, you'll want to have at least seven colors available to play with.  To begin with, select three darker yarns from one color family, and place them side by side in order of value .  You're aiming for a range of values from dark to the middle spectrum.  Again, use your phone to check value.

Next, choose three more colors from a different color family, in a range of light to mid-tone shades.  Line them up underneath your first three colors. In each of the three columns, check that there is enough contrast between the yarn on top, and the yarn (or yarns) directly underneath.  If the contrast is sufficient, then these two yarns may be used together in your stranded colorwork pattern.  

The Accent

Finally it's time to pick the very important accent color, which makes the rest of your work sing.  Tip: it doesn't even need to be a color you like! In the photos below I've used 3 background colors and 4 foreground colors.

Get the yarns here - or choose your own!

In this case, I've selected two accent colors to work alongside one of the lighter shades.  After swatching, I might decide to go with just one... to be determined.

PS) My inspiration photo from

Facebook is great for seeing new inspiration from around the world.  Then again, so is my garden!

May the sun shine on your knitting, may your skeins never tangle, and have a great day!


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