It’s fairly easy to find ‘winning’ combinations of yarn colors when you purchase your yarn fresh from the craft store. The difficult part is color matching projects that are meant to use up the yarn stash of leftovers or yarns bought on clearance with no specific project in mind. A really good pattern can look terrible with the wrong color combinations, so take a look at some of these helpful tips for color matching your crochet projects.
Although a yarn might be labeled as ‘medium blue’ there are many different shades that come across in each dye lot that will give you variations of this standard color. If you are working with wool yarns, it is best to stick with all wool, as the colors are slightly different depending on the yarns’ construction. You can get the right hues together by determining the base hue. Does the yarn look like it has a ‘dark’ base or a ‘light’ base; in other words is it a ‘dim’ looking color or is it ‘vibrant.’ Although you can mix dim and vibrant colors together easily, you need to make sure that the contrast is pleasing, not unsightly. In most cases it is best to find all ‘light’ bases or all ‘dark’ bases to construct a garment, though toys are subject to a bigger range of well-coordinated combinations.
Your best bet in coordinating a monochromatic match is to stick with the same company for all the yarn in your project. Most companies have a selection of colors that match together with subtle variations of the same dying process. For example, if you want to work with a worsted weight sweater in stripes of similar blues, you can purchase Caron’s Simply soft yarns in dark country blue, medium country blue, and light country blue or white. These colors are already matched for you from the company and make your job easier.
If you have a really hard time coordinating your colors together, pick up a fashion magazine at your local grocery or convenience store. Take a look at the colors that are matched together throughout the outfits featured inside. You will be able to see what the current trendy colors are, and how basic colors come together. Make a list of color combinations and be sure to keep those on you when you are buying clearance yarn that you don’t have an initial purpose for other than you like the yarn; this way, when you figure out a project it will be in matching colors already.
Make a small swatch
Even if you think the colors should match, you should still do a small swatch (other than your gauge swatch) to see how the colors combine in the pattern stitch you are using. If they don’t look like they will match in a small scale, they aren’t likely to match in the larger scale version either.
Purchase a diagram of a color wheel from an arts and crafts store. This is the same tool that painters can use to determine how to mix paints to achieve colors. For your purposes it will serve as a way to know which colors complement each other and which ones are contrasting. Refer to your color wheel if you get stuck with a lot of leftover yarn from projects and can’t seem to match them.