Playing with colour palettes for Pyukkleen

November 10, 2014 0 Comments

Choosing colours for a stranded colourwork project like Pyukkleen is only the beginning. Once you’ve selected a palette you need to decide which colours should be used for the pattern and which for the background and how either or both should be shaded. Above is the palette I used for the cowl. 

This single palette could be divided and shaded in a couple of different ways. Two colours are choosen for the smaller bands and the larger bands have both background and pattern colours shaded. Let’s focus on the larger bands. I think any pair of light and dark could be effective for the smaller bands and would dramatically change the overall effect of the cowl. 

There are three things which can be used to, first, ensure contrast between pattern and background and, secondly, to control how the colours are shaded: 

Warm — cool

Saturated — unsaturated

Dark — light

The palette split into cool and warm colours and shaded so the cool colours go from light to dark and the warmer hues go from dark to light. I’d be worried that the dramatic difference in darkness between the top colours and the rest of their groups would obscure the pattern. If I was going to use this division I’d probably change each of these colours to one with a similar tonal value as the others in their group. This would also increase the contrast between the two groups as one would now be cool and dark and the other would be lighter and warm. Depending on the pattern, however, keeping one of these as it is for a single central row might result in greater liveliness. 

Here is the palette divided as shown in the pattern. Darker colours for the background on the left and lighter colours for the foreground on the right. Both are shaded by saturation or colour intensity so that the bottom, most saturated colours will be at the centre of the band. 

Bex is making a version using brightly coloured leftover Nash Island Wool from her Jenny at the Fair. The varying amounts mean that she’s unable to use some of the colours as C1 and C2 (the colours used for the I-cord edgings and smaller pattern bands). She also only has 5 colours instead of the 6 shown in the pattern so she’ll use 3 for one of the groups and 2 for the other. 

Bex's palette of five colours.
Bex’s palette of five colours.

We also tried to divide these into cool and warm colours, but the pink and burgundy have too much contrast to work very well shaded. 

Although the 2 colours on the right are almost at opposite sides of the colour wheel they have similar tonal values which contrast well with those on the right. In order to maintain contrast between these 2 groups one is shaded from warm to cool and the other from cool to warm — so that each row will have contrast in both hue and tonal value. 

The lower of the two wide bands shows the first grouping and the higher shows the second grouping. You can see that the pattern is much clearer with the second. 
The lower of the two wide bands shows the first grouping and the higher shows the second grouping. You can see that the pattern is much clearer with the second. 

There wasn’t enough of the teal to use it as C1 so that left the burgundy (although you don’t have to stick with the rule that C1 is the first background colour on the wider bands!). Bex tried swatching it with the pink and blue as the background (there wasn’t enough of the pale green either). Although it doesn’t have as much contrast we both liked the pink more — you can see how much just changing this one colour would affect the overall impression of the cowl. One would read as mostly cool with pink elements and the other would be mostly pink and purple. 




Also in Journal

Learn to knit: the long tail cast-on
Learn to knit: the long tail cast-on

February 03, 2022 0 Comments

The long tail cast on is a great multi-purpose knitting cast on and the perfect place for beginner knitters to start. Learn how to work the long tail cast on and how to estimate the length of yarn needed with our clear step by step tutorial and video.
Read More
How to Kitchener Stitch
How to Kitchener Stitch

December 09, 2021 0 Comments

Kitchener stitch is a knitting technique used for grafting together two sets of live stitches, most often stockinette stitch. Instead of binding off and sewing two edges together, you can use a tapestry needle and yarn to join the stitches completely seamlessly.
Read More
Crochet Provisional Cast-on
Crochet Provisional Cast-on

December 02, 2021 0 Comments

The crochet provisional cast-on is easy to work and unzips perfectly every time! A provisional cast-on can be used anytime you want to pick up live stitches from your cast-on edge, either to knit in the opposite direction from or to create a seamless kitchener stitch join.
Read More