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Color of the Year for January: Vanilla

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Color of the Year for January: Vanilla

January is for Vanilla.

If you’ve stood in the home improvement aisle, staring at paint chips for a hallway painting project, you know there many ‘white’ tones, and they each give a very different feeling. This year, we’re drawn to warmer, more ambiguous colors… is it cream? Light taupe? When it comes to vanilla, we respond with our appetite. Beloved, classic ice cream. Coffee blend. Vanilla bean pods, surprisingly stiff, yielding so much flavor. It’s this flavor accent that draws us to this color. But it’s not just white. It’s warmer than off-white, richer than cream, sweeter than beige, with undertones of taupe. Wearing vanilla makes as much of a statement as a red lip, or a vintage silhouette.


Our Casual Cardigan Vest & Snowball Hat

Why January?

We’ve transcended the cliche of avoiding white after Labor Day, and good style has always been about knowing which rules to break. In the dreary sea of black and grey coats, statement accessories glow when crafted in vanilla. It’s the perfect color for showing texture, especially if there are several in one garment. Vanilla compliments a variety of skin tones, and is inclusive in its variety – find the shade that works for you! It evokes the coziness of the Danish hygge trend, inspiring us in fashion and especially at home.

Let it flavor your style.

Below, you’ll find some LB-approved suggestions for where to find vanilla in our stash. You’ll find wide variety, intended to give everyone the opportunity to find their perfect expression of this color.

We’ve been pretty thorough, but if you spy another option, let us know, and we’ll add to the list!

And if you’re looking for style recommendations for where to add a little vanilla to your palette, read on to see our fabulous kit suggestions, knit and crochet.

From garments to cold weather gear, to afghans galore, we’ve put together a rich list for this special hue.

Our Most Vanilla Yarns

Our very Vanilla kits:

Garments (Knit & Crochet)

The Alpine Cable Pullover Kit (Knit) is patterned in S/M & L/XL, with a stunning chunky cable running down the front. It’s a Level 3 – Intermediate project, and the details are divine! If you prefer a hook, take a look at the Snow Angel Cardigan Kit (Crochet). This over-sized cardigan is inspired by a peaceful park, blanketed in new snow.

Accessories to Cast On


Sedona Serenity Shawl (Knit)

Mama in a Stitch created the Sedona Serenity Shawl Kit (Knit), and we adore this beautiful piece. Check out her hashtag, #SedonaSerenityShawl, to see some lovely projects.

Wear it as a super scarf, a shawl or wrap, and take a walk in the winter woods.

Fisherman Rib Scarf Kit (Knit) is infinitely customizable – just cast on in a multiple of 2+1. For a slightly simpler pattern, check out the Garter Stitch Scarf Kit (Knit) by All About Ami. This fringed & chunky beauty can add a beam of color to any winter coat, as modeled by the blogger herself! If crochet is your bae, click for the Lorelei Fringed Super Scarf Kit (Crochet). The beautiful details add delicacy to this statement accessory.

A couple more cute accessories to get that pop of Vanilla! Here are the Morning Mittens Kit (Crochet), by the Make & Do Crew. The simple single crochet waistcoat stitch creates a classic knit-like texture – personalize with buttons, or leather! By holding two strands of yarn together, these mittens make for super speedy handmade gifts. This cute Star Stitch Purse Kit (Crochet) is another adorable All About Ami creation, with an extra pop of color.

Afghans: Knit

Three gorgeous knits, each with their own special style. The Textured Afghan Kit (Knit) was featured in a blog this week: click here to read more about all the details! Our Dancing Cable Afghan Kit (Knit) is a formidable challenge – and the variety of cables will add a remarkable focal point to any room you throw it in! If you are looking for maximum wow, the Bird Song Afghan Kit (Knit) might be just right for you. It’s almost impossible to believe, but this beautiful throw is an intermediate pattern, with lovely results.

Afghans: Crochet

Four totally unique projects, all for crochet! The Jane Throw Kit (Crochet) is super bulky, and offers great color variety while still celebrating our Vanilla theme. All About Ami makes her third cameo on our list with the Cross Bobble Blanket Kit (Crochet), with delightful textures to sooth your sense while you cozy up underneath. If you love a pom (and who would say no?), the Aspyn Pom Afghan Kit (Crochet) is for you. Welcome a little whimsy into your abode with this pom-fringed throw! The Heirloom Cable Throw Kit (Crochet) by Sewrella would make an extraordinary gift, maybe for a wedding or a first anniversary? Something to celebrate making home cozy.

A Tip from our Design Team

Have fun!

Any style guide like Color of the Year should be embraced not like rote memorization, but like jazz. What’s most important is that you make it yours, in whatever way you’d like to do! If we profile a color that makes your heart sing, run wild. And if you are more shy to another, wade in with an accessory, instead of going head-to-toe. We’ll be embracing sweet vanilla dreams for the rest of the month (if not the season!), and we’d love to hear if you will, too.

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  • Great post! Love the Jane and the Aspen projects. Was looking for the long vest that looks knitted on the model. Looks like a great beginner project. Please share the pattern. Thanks!

  • Do you have colors antique in cotton

    • Hi, Janet! If you’re thinking about our February color, Antique (the very light pink) we’ll come out with a post soon all about it, and we’ll be sure to include some links for cotton suggestions. Stay tuned!

  • I was incredibly disappointed with the links from the mailing that featured this post. The link to yarn went to general clearance, NOT a selection of vanilla yarns. And when I clicked on the highlighted pattern for the alpine pullover kit, it said the large/xl pattern had a bust size of 25 inches. When you push something out, it really hurts your image if the items are not correct. You lost a sale because I could not trust the kit and pattern would fit, and because it was way to many clicks to get to the vanilla yarns.

  • Outstanding ideas. Brilliant. Love all shades of vanilla. Found the whole presentation to be great.
    I look forward to the other months, too- particularly February and March….

    • Thanks, Marilyn, for the lovely feedback!

  • Forgot to say, that the “Tip from our Design Team” was thoughtful and insightful!

    • I love to get their insight when I can – they are so wise! 🙂

  • oldie but goodie winter white is how it used t be called.

    • Hi, Pat! Yes, love winter white. Vanilla leaves room for warmer white tones, too!

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