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How-To Tuesday – Color Inspiration: Choosing Colors for your projects

“Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? no. Just as one can never learn how to paint.”
― Pablo Picasso

I think Mr. Bob Ross may disagree on the “one can never learn how to paint” (happy little trees..ha!), but what a beautiful quote. Some colors do just sing, don’t they? Lovely. I feel the same way about some yarns.. Anyway, on with the post.

When I started this blog (about a month ago! Time sure flies!), I reached out to fellow crafters and asked what they would like to read about. One crocheter asked how to choose colors for projects. Now, I don’t particularly consider myself an “expert” in anything really, but I happen to get quite a lot of compliments on my color choices. I’ve been struggling a little with how to describe my process for you. I think, because honestly, it’s mostly just intuition. My best projects are those I don’t have any problems picking colors for. Sometimes, I decide the color scheme before I even decide the project, like the yarn is asking to be used. I’ve even not started projects in the past because when I started thinking about what colors to choose it would give me anxiety, and who wants that?! This is supposed to be fun, and stress relieving, not inducing!

Tip: When I’m having a hard time envisioning how my colors are going to come together in a pattern, I actually grab my colored pencils and sketch it out. This has led to color scheme changes more times than I can count!

crochet hooks

Sometimes I just like to look at these pretties

So. Here goes. Some *hopefully* useful methods to assist in choosing color schemes.
  • Get Online – We all want to create things that everyone considers beautiful. I’m not saying go copy whatever is popular in cyberspace. I’m saying, one of the best ways to find out what color schemes are “hot” is to do a quick search of your favorite online shopping sites. Let it inspire you. 
  • Get Outside – Mother Nature is gorgeous if you’d just look at her! Head outside. Lift your head and look around. Stop looking at your phone 😛 (I’m guilty of that one sometimes). What do you see? More likely than not, some amazing colors!

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.” 
― Alice WalkerThe Color Purple

Seriously. Look around you 🙂

  • Go Shopping – At the home improvement store. The paint sections at The Home Depot and Lowe’s are wonderful resources for finding gorgeous color palettes — AND they’re already put together for you! For FREE! Go grab some swatches!
Home Depot Paint Swatches

Example of some paint swatches you will find at The Home Depot — pretty, right?!

  • Experiment – Step outside your comfort zone. Go BOLD. Something. Just try something you wouldn’t normally try. If you’re apprehensive about potentially wasting time on the wrong colors — do what I do. Grab your colored pencils and sketch pad and release your inner artist!
bold

Some of us have an easier time “stepping outside the box” ..

I once bought what I considered to be a fantastically beautiful skein of yarn, only to come home and have my teenager announce that she thought it looked “vomit-ish”. Lo-and-behold, when I completed the scarf I intended it for, I was overwhelmed with compliments on, you guessed it, the colors! Even my opinionated teen later admitted that, when paired with the gunmetal grey, the chartreuse (yes.. really) actually looked quite good.

crochet scarf

Scarf in question — what do YOU think?

Color is more complicated than it seems. I’ve taken whole classes centered entirely around color theory and choosing colors that complement each other (in hair school, not for crafting, but someone should offer one!).  Get friendly with a color wheel and learn the basics of color theory. This site has a wonderful (and easy to follow) explanation: http://www.colormatters.com/color-and-design/basic-color-theory. It really is helpful to get to know the basics.

Color Wheel

Even a boring old color wheel is pretty to look at

Happy Tuesday! What colors are you currently working with? I’d love to hear what inspires you in choosing colors! Feel free to add your two cents in the comments. Any totally odd color combos that have just worked for you?

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Happy Tuesday!

I’m afraid I don’t have anything of great importance to report today. I’ve got several projects going, but photographing along the way can make a short project not-so-short.

I couldn’t quite get my How-To Tuesday put together in time for this week, but next Tuesday — be on the lookout. It’s something I’ve never done before, so it’s an experiment for me, and I will post the results however they may turn out!

I’ve also got two DIY projects going at the moment, and will be sharing those with you as well! The first is that set of lovely outdoor rocking chairs I’m refinishing. My husband and I are not in total agreement on what color they should be, so it’s been on hold for a few days. The second is a fun DIY sign for craft booths or whatever you may need signage for. Sadly, it is NOT my original idea. I’d love to take credit for it, but cannot. I’ll link to my friend’s shop/blog/page when I get to that post.

I’m currently working on some post topics that were suggested by fellow crocheters. One was curious how I go about choosing colors for various projects (next post). Another asked where she could find a pattern for a sweater that LOOKS difficult, but is not actually difficult.  I believe I’ve found the PERFECT pattern for her, and as soon as I get it finished I will be sharing it with you. *I would be finished by now, but ran out of yarn ::gasp!:: and when I went to buy more, they… were… OUT!*

Sad Owl

No more Dark Heather Cotton-ish? Oh.. Ok..

So, I bought enough to make a whole new one in another color, and have started from the beginning. Frustrating, but I have a feeling I will be needing multiples and various colors.

On an exciting/cute note, I enrolled my youngest in a summer Pre-K fun camp for the next 2 weeks (a total of 4 days). It is held at the Pre-K she will attend next month, so I figured it was a good introduction. She was SO excited. She woke up at 6 am today sing-song-ing about her “first day of school today!!“. I told her she didn’t have school until after lunch, and she said, “Well.. Let’s eat lunch then!” 😛 I love her. I will have to remind her of this morning when she’s a teenager and I have to physically drag her out of bed to get her to school on time. After all that buildup and excitement, I was a little worried it wouldn’t live up to her expectations, but she loved it. She was still talking about it at bedtime (right before she proved to me that she could, in fact, count to 100, because I told her there was no way she was able to do that).

Oh, yeah, she’s feeling much better from the ear infection.

Happy Tuesday!

I’m still here. Just pluggin’ away — one project  one jumbled, messy desk of projects at a time!


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How-To Tuesday — Fourth of July Headband with Bow

Yay! My first free pattern/tutorial! This is the first of what I hope to be many “How-To Tuesday” posts.

It’s almost Independence Day here in the good ‘ol US of A. In honor of the upcoming holiday, my first How-To is for this cute little 4th of July themed headband/bow combo. My adorable bow model is not feeling well today, but she’s certainly still gorgeous enough to pose for pictures!

fourth of july headband tutorial

A sweet little accessory 🙂

bow modeling

You can just feel her enthusiasm, can’t you?

finished headband

That is just too cute!

These are so fun and festive! And so FAST to whip up, you have plenty of time to hook up a ton of them to pass around to friends and family before the fireworks.

Here is what you need before you begin:

crochet project materials

I’ve made mine with 100% cotton in my favorite shades of red, white, and blue, and an ‘I’ hook. You need a very small amount of each color.

With your main bow color (I used red), chain 13

crochet instructions chain 14

Row 1: HDC into the 2nd chain from the hook

HDC next 4 st

half double crochet into next five stitches

Sl st into the next 2 chain stitches

HDC next 5 st

finished first row

Row 2: Ch 1

HDC next 5 st

second row

Sl st into next 2 st

HDC next 4 st

HDC in last st as normal until last step (3 loops on hook) and change to bow trim color (I used white). Finish last st with new color, and ch 1.

Last stitch step one

3 loops on hook

last stitch step two color change

finish stitch with new color

Trim:

sc in each st all the way around your bow (even in the sl sts from the previous rows)

*Tip — Before you turn a corner when trimming, ch 1 to give your work a little more room. This helps to keep the integrity of the shape of the item, and keeps your corners from bunching up.

single crochet border around

When you get to the very last sc, cut a length of tail to make a clean finish — you don’t HAVE to do this, as you’ll be hiding this part with the center of the bow, but I do it this way. Grab your yarn needle and thread on your tail. Insert into the center (between the top loops) of your beginning sc. Bring the yarn back to the last sc and thread through the middle and back end of the stitch. You should have a clean finishing stitch. Weave in the end.

finish with a clean edge

Insert under the top loops of the beginning stitch

pull back through center of last stitch and weave in your end

Insert needle between the top loops of the previous stitch and weave in your end.

Take what’s left of your trim color and thread it onto your yarn needle. Stick it through the top center and tie a little knot with a small tail.

thread remaining trim yarn onto needle insert into top and tie a knot

Keep that tail out to the side for this next part. Now, take your length of trim yarn and wrap that sucker around the center of the bow. Don’t be afraid to do it a little tightly (not TOO tightly). When you are satisfied with the look of your bow’s center, thread the end onto your yarn needle. Weave it through the middle of the backside of your bow and tie it in a knot with that tail you kept to the side.

finished bow

Cute!

Voila! A bow in 2 of our patriotic colors! Now, on to the headband. This is significantly less complicated to describe than the bow 🙂

With your headband color (I used blue):

headband yarn

Chain 63

DC in 3rd chain from hook and all the way to the end (60 DC)

Fasten off.

headband and bow

Almost done!

I add a button to one end to make it an adjustable headband.

Finished bow

I have attached the bow permanently to this headband, but you could put a button on the bottom to make it interchangeable with other headbands, or you could attach a clip to the bow to make it an independent accessory.

Happy Tuesday! And Happy *almost* Fourth!

As well as being my first How-To Tuesday installation, this is also my very first picture tutorial. Please let me know if you have any difficulty following the pattern, and I will do my best to explain better!

*This is a pattern that I came up with on my own. I did not come up with the idea of a bow in general, or headbands,  nor am I a founder of our country or an originator of the 4th of July holiday. I’ve posted this pattern for you to use for whatever you want to use it for. If you enjoy it enough to post about it in your blog, I’d love to read it, so link back if you don’t mind. I’d prefer it if you would just refer people here to get the pattern for themselves, but whatever. I’m not your mom. The pictures are mine though, so leave those alone.