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Bring Color Into Your Knitting!

Mar 7, 2011

A montage of my dull, drab, and dreary knitted
sweaters. Thanks to my sister for modeling!

"You don't get WOW by doing the expected!" —Laura Bryant

The human eye can discern more than 3 million colors, isn't that amazing?

Everyone has their own color sensibilities, and judging by the photo at left, mine appear to be very earth-tone, specifically brown, black, cream, and the odd red accent.

I think I've mentioned that my sister teases me about my favorite colors being "dull, drab, and dreary," which I don't really take exception to because I honestly love those colors! I see them as rich, deep, and calming.

Back in the 80s my mom and I got our colors done and I turned out to be an "autumn." This color palette is full of earth-tones: oranges, browns, brick-reds, and beiges. I naturally gravitate towards these colors, so I wasn't that surprised at the outcome.

But I'm feeling the need to branch out. I need some color in my life!

Getting Inspired with Color

Laura Bryant is a color expert, yarn designer, and owner of Prism Yarns. She discovered her passion for color and knitting at an early age, learning to knit in her Brownie group at age five. She continued her journey with a bachelor of fine arts from the University Michigan School of Art and never looked back. She started Prism Yarns in 1986.

Laura has a new DVD out called A Knitter's Guide to Color, and it's an amazing master class in the art of understanding and working with color.

I learned so much from my hour and a half with Laura. She starts with lessons on color value, hue, and weight—which is fascinating—and relates this color knowledge to working with yarn. It's so inspiring.

A Knitter's Guide to Color video goes far beyond color-wheel basics. Yes, orange and green are complimentary colors—but what happens when you have different color hues and weights? A pastel, minty green is complimentary to a pastel orange, but not so much to a bright, neon orange. However, a neon orange on a mint green tank top would turn heads—the colors would fight for attention. This could be a good "fight" or you might think it was too much of a mess.  Laura helps you train your eye to know right away if the color combination you've chosen will work.

One of the most exciting things for me is Laura's approach to the yarn stash. She showed me how to organize my yarn stash so I could see the color palette I have at my disposal. I can now see how the colors sit in families and I can decide on color combinations based on the yarns I already have.

When I took a look through my stash, I discovered that I have sweater quantities of brown Cascade 220, gray Alpaca with a Twist Baby Twist, and cream variegated Noro Silk Garden. Clearly I need to go yarn shopping.

Here's a preview of the new DVD. It's really a special production.

I was also really inspired by Laura's lesson on how variegated yarn reacts with solid-colored yarn and nicely adds dimension to a sweater in a striping pattern. I can see a colorful sweater in my future! I'm thinking some sort of red variegated with gray and maybe a blue solid. What do you think?

I'm excited to bring COLOR to my knitwear! Get your copy of A Knitter's Guide to Color with Laura Bryant today and get inspired with me!


Featured Product

A Knitter's Guide to Color with Laura Bryant DVD

Availability: In Stock
Price: $19.99


Understand color and bring excitement to your knitting with A Knitter's Guide to Color DVD with color expert and designer Laura Bryant.


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on Mar 9, 2011 12:24 PM

The Lift and Separate Sweater is actually an eggplant color, it just doesn't show up in the photo very well. You're right again Stephanie--I do love it! XO

on Mar 9, 2011 12:21 PM

Here's the link to Kathryn's website:

If the sweater you're looking for isn't on the site, email Kathryn at

Hope this helps!

Sojustask wrote
on Mar 9, 2011 5:49 AM

Ah Martha, so true about secondaries, but olive and burnt orange look great together.  A royal blue looks good on just about every season. Navy's you gotta watch and lighter shades of blue will wash her out or make her look jaundice.

Kathleen, do try knitting a sweater in an eggplant color sometime, I think you will love the results and it will become one of your favorites. Knitpicks carries a good shade of eggplant. The Lift and Separate sweater would be awesome in eggplant. The Banstead Pullover would look great in that color too.



MarthaD@6 wrote
on Mar 8, 2011 5:32 PM

The last time I checked all my art books (I taught art for 9 years) the compliment of orange was blue, and the compliment of green was red.  Secondary colors always have a primary color as a compliment.

on Mar 8, 2011 3:50 PM

Mamahips: Hi! The wrap sweater is "Lift and Separate" from the book Big Girl Knits.

SoJustAsk: You're right! I'll choose a brick red and make sure it's not close to my face. I like your color suggestions. Thanks.

mamahips wrote
on Mar 8, 2011 4:34 AM

I love your "dull, dreary & drab" but gorgeous wrap cardigan!! (bottom right) Can you please tell me what pattern this is?

Many thanks in anticipation :)

Sojustask wrote
on Mar 7, 2011 8:27 PM


You said:  "I was also really inspired by Laura's lesson on how variegated yarn reacts with solid-colored yarn and nicely adds dimension to a sweater in a striping pattern. I can see a colorful sweater in my future! I'm thinking some sort of red variegated with gray and maybe a blue solid. What do you think?"

My friend, you are an Autumn, yet the colors you just chose belong in a winter's palatte. A better choice would be a rich olive with a dash of burnt orange,

or deep red with an orange undertone. Or if olive doesn't thrill you, try a rich russett. Instead of blue, consider an eggplant instead. Your eyes will POP! Your best colors will have a warm feel. You can do gray as long as it has a yellow and not a blue undertone.

Just a suggestion.


Carole@5 wrote
on Mar 7, 2011 1:23 PM

I really like what Laura Bryant had to say about using color.  How does it happen that she is wearing what looks like either a black or dark navy sweater without so much as a scarf for accent?