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Crochet and Colours a little introduction (CAL 2019)

We are about to start with the CAL for the Collar Cowl Capelet! I am really excited, looking forward to all the beautiful makes 💕.

Many of you have the pattern now and might be wondering about the colours to choose. Working with colours is one of the things I love best in designing crochet. I used to wear mostly black and dark blue, but since I design, my bold side has come out and now, I try to wear splashes of colour. This particular pattern is one of my most colourful ones and every time I wear the cowl, I feel a little shy ;-).

So let me tell you a bit about basic colour theory. A colour wheel, based on primary colours, is traditional in the field of art. Sir Isaac Newton developed the first circular diagram of colours in 1666. This is what a basic colour wheel can look like:

Primary Colours: Red, yellow and blue

It all starts with primary colours: the 3 pigment colours that cannot be mixed or formed by any combination of other colours. All other colours are derived from these 3 hues. I have marked these colours with a P in the above colour wheel.

Secondary Colours: Green, orange and violet

Secondary Colours are the colours formed by mixing the primary colours. Yellow and red forms orange, red and blue forms violet (purple) and blue and yellow forms green. I have marked these colours with an S in the above colour wheel.

Tertiary Colours: orange-yellow, red-orange, violet-red, blue-violet, blue-green & yellow-green

Tertiary colours are formed by mixing a primary with a secondary colour. For instance, mixing the primary red with the secondary orange, gives you red-orange. That’s why the hue is a two word name.

These colours form the basic colour wheel, but of course, mixing more gives many more hues and all the colours of the rainbow!

Colour wheel Robson# on Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)


Combining colours for your pattern

That’s all great, you might think, but how am I going to combine these colours in such a way that it looks like a match?! Well, there are several ways to do this, and of course, it is your personal taste which determines your choices.

1. A colour scheme based on adjacent colours means you will line up your colours side by side on the colour wheel. You could for instance work with violet-red, red and red-orange. Or you can choose to make the full rainbow, lining colours up exactly as the colour wheel shows you.

2. A colour scheme based on complementary colours makes you choose combinations of any two colours which are directly opposite to each other on the colour wheel, such as red and green, or orange-yellow and blue-violet. These opposing colours create maximum contrast and you can choose as many combinations as you like.

3. A colour scheme based on nature is another lovely way to go about your choice of matching colours. Nature has a way of harmonizing colours which often leave us stunned. Pinterest is a great source to help you find inspiration in nature. I am collecting many colour combinations myself on my inspiration board here.

My secret to obtain the blur effect in this pattern 

If you want your colours to mix without exactly knowing where they start and finish, variegated yarns are your friend! Ideally, you look for several colourways of self striping/variegated yarns with a little colour overlap.

In the picture here on the side, you see the yarns I chose for this cowl. I used 3ply/light fingering variegated yarn of Made by ME in double strands. This yarn is not available everywhere, but there are many alternatives you can use. Other suggested yarns are Stylecraft Head Over Heels Boho and Lang Yarns Mille Colori Baby. And what do you think of the beautiful Schoppel Wolle Zauberball? If you find a nice alternative yourself, please let us know by commenting below or in the group!

I explained all this hoping it will help you a bit with your own yarn choices. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask, there is no such thing as a stupid question!

I am looking forward to seeing you all from Friday onwards! The CAL will last from the 4th until the 15th of January in the 'Crochet-A-Long-With-Us!' Facebook group.

Happy crochet,



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