DEAR KNIT NERD
When I am considering combining colours for projects such as brioche, I will pick 2 beautiful skeins that look fabulous together - but when I knit them up, they don't look at all the same. Colour is confounding to me maybe because there is so much to consider - contrast, brightness, hues and tones... Colour sense also seems so individual. Do you have any general tips for starting to play with colours and assessing what will look good combined? Signed Colour Conundrumz
DEAR COLOUR CONDUNDRUMZ
Choosing colours for 2 colour brioche can be quite tricky. You can pick up 2 colours that look wildly different to your eye, but once you start knitting, they sort of blend/fade into each other. The trick with 2 colour brioche is to pick colours that contrast each other. Contrast doesn't just mean that they look different, they have to be different values. The best way to determine if 2 colours contrast each other is convert the photo to black and white (this can be done on your smartphone). You can see below that the pink and light teal below look very different but when you look at the black and white photo, they don't actually contrast very much. The pink and dark teal actually contrast much better, and even the light and dark teal have more contrast when paired together than the pink and the light teal. If you are in a pinch, sometimes squinting at the yarns together can help you see the contrast more clearly.
As for general colour selection for projects when contrast isn't as important of a factor, I tend to follow 2 different methods for choosing colours.
1. Stay all in the same colour family (choosing multiple shades of teal to pair together for example) or choose colours close together on the colour wheel (using pinks, purples and blues together).
2. Choose colours that are complementary (across from each other on the colour wheel).
I also like to look for colour inspiration in the world around me, especially my wardrobe. Colours that I'm drawn to in commercially made clothes are always a good go to. And if all else fails, bright colours usually pair well with neutrals!
Your friendly neighbourhood Knit Nerd