Uniquely You: Choosing a colorwork palette

A sequel to our 2015 Fair Isle collection, Creative Color is packed with 15 brand new patterns for colorwork knitting from our favorite independent designers!

The projects range from accessories to complex fair isle sweaters, but all are equally stunning! But what happens if you love the pattern, but the color palette just isn’t your style? It’s a bit more complicated to substitute colors for a pattern that calls for many different shades – but it’s definitely not impossible!

To show you just how versatile colorwork can be, we’ve chosen three different projects from Creative Color and knit up swatches in alternate colorways as inspiration. Let’s get started!

1. The Carivel Colorblock Sweater by Megan Spencer


Original: Palette Yarn in Marine Heather, Spruce, Aurora Heather, Teal, Spearmint, Cream, Coriander Heather, Grizzly Heather, Merlot Heather, Fairy Tale, Tidepool Heather and Regal

Alternate: Palette Yarn in Blush, Hyacinth, Urchin, White, Wonderland Heather, Pool, Safflower

The original sweater (shown below) is a dazzling array of deep jewel tones. Our alternate color palette lightens things up with a pastel twist – focusing on fresh pinks, blues and a pop of yellow.

I think this color theme would be lovely continued a deeper purple for contrast and playing up the yellow in the second transition of the pattern repeat.

Carivel Sweater

2. The Happily Sweater by Katy Banks


Original: Palette Yarn in Rose Hip, Salsa Heather, Hollyberry, Currant, Regal and White.

Alternate: Palette Yarn in Clarity, Sagebrush, Tidepool Heather, Shoal and White.

This lovely ombre sweater shows off fiery hues of purple, red and coral – which looks amazing, however, those exact colors just do not look amazing on you. Do you tend to wear cooler tones? You may want to opt for a calming mix of blues and teals. You’ll get the same stunning effect, but with a different mix of colors that suit your style.

Just remember, you want your darkest and lightest color to be far apart enough to create the dramatic ombre that the original sweater has (shown below).

happily sweater

3. The Laver Scarf by Kate Heppell


Original: Palette Yarn in Oyster Heather, Mongoose, Grizzly Heather, Teal, Spruce, Cornmeal, Masala, Celadon Heather, Garnet Heather.

Alternate: Palette Yarn in White, Wonderland Heather, Marina, Semolina, Blush, Rouge and Fuchsia.

This long colorwork scarf is originally worked in warm autumnal hues with rich pops of brassy red, orange and soft yellow contrasted with greens and teal. Personally, I love this fall-inspired palette but the warm oranges and reds don’t do much for my complexion.

For our alternate swatch, we opted for a modern mix of brights to create a fun and fresh color palette. I think adding in black, dark purple and deep navy would be a great way of adding in a “pop” section in the other parts of the pattern repeat.

Laver Scarf

As you  start your colorwork knitting journey – remember, our Palette yarn has 150 colors to choose from – plenty of options are there to customize almost any color combination to suit your personal style.

Want more tips and tricks for choosing the perfect colorwork palette? Be sure to check our blog posts on color theory, there are lots of handy tidbits to guide you in choosing colors that work together.

An Introduction to Color Theory
Color Theory: Exploring Hue, Value, Tint, Shade and Tone

Your iphone may also be a good resource! There are plenty of great apps that help you build out a color palette. You will still have to translate this palette to your yarn choices, but it is an amazing resource and a great jumping off point. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite apps for building color palettes HERE.

I hope these swatches have inspired you to think outside “the pattern” and help you in visualizing your own unique color palette. I’d love to hear any tips or tricks you’ve found helpful, let me know in the comments below!


1 comment

  1. Chouchette / July 29, 2016

    This is sooo helpful, thank you so much. I have always felt that I don’t have a good eye for choosing color combinations. Maybe now I will be more daring and bold.
    Thank you,