Weaving colour #5

As I’ve said before, colour matters to weavers because when we cross a warp with a weft we visually mix colours. We also like to do things like create stripes and blocks of colour in patterns.

So how do you know that two, three or even four colours will work together? You use a ‘colour scheme’ a bit like those helpful paint brochures that show wall, ceiling and trim colours that work together give a colour scheme! Except you can take yours from the trusty colour wheel.

If you look at any colour wheel (see below) it shows the progression of colours around the wheel, but most of them also show the palest version of the colour in the centre and the darkest on the outer edge. If you look at just one wedge of colour – for example blue – then you’ll see a colour scheme that runs from blue-tinged white through to a dark navy.

That is a monochromatic (one-colour) colour scheme because they’re all the same blue just with more white/black added in to make them lighter/darker.

colour wheel

Of course we’re talking yarn not paint, so sure you might have four balls of yarn that are all blue, but are they shades of the same blue?

If you lay them side-by-side, in order from dark to light, you should see in daylight (beware the distorting power of electric lights!) that they’re shades of the same colour. Though this is where, if you really struggle with colour, you could grab a colour wheel and place the yarns over it to get help recognising if they’re the same blue because they should all belong to the same wedge of the wheel.

The great thing with monochromatic colours is that you can use as many or as few of them as you want (and can find in yarn). Just keep in mind what I’ve said before about the effects of the brightness of colours if you’re planning a pattern so that you draw the eye to part of the pattern you want.

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