Hand-knit and hand-crocheted items make great gifts to be treasured and loved. Make them even more special by making them unique. Pick colors special to you or your recipient and you’re sure to please, says Jackie Smyth, our technical editor. In this interview, Jackie shares more great tips.
Knitting and crocheting are great for handmade gifts that really reflect the giver or the recipient. What’s a simple recommendation about how to customize a project?
One word—COLOR. The great thing about patterns is that it’s easy to choose other colors in the same yarns and get a totally different look. To make a pattern really personal, choose colors that you like or that have representative meanings to the recipient. Perhaps they love autumn colors or spring colors. The right colors can add a lot of depth to a project.
What if you are nervous about choosing colors that will go together?
Going with a yarn that has a great color range is often a good place to start. The Lion Brand Design team works to create yarn collections that are designed that coordinate beautifully.
What’s a yarn you might recommend for someone looking for easy-to-match yarns?
Vanna’s Choice is a great yarn for mixing and matching colors. All of the solid colors in this collection are designed to match and coordinate. You could use three colors in one family—say, Dusty Rose, Rose, and Antique Rose—to get a light-to-dark effect, or you could pick a few contrasting colors like Purple, Chocolate, Pea Green, and Rust that will really pop against each other.
It’s good to look for inspiration from the things around you. Flowers are one place to find unexpected but beautiful contrasting colors. Fashion and architecture are other places to draw inspiration.
|Crocheted Squares Afghan||Knit Boy's Striped Cardigan|
Would you recommend a few colorful patterns for our readers?
For a simple project, I like the Not-Your-Average-Granny Scarf pattern. We’ve carefully plotted the colors for each square, so that it’s an exciting color journey, but I would encourage you to be playful and experiment with your own color combinations. Feel free to exchange the colors between squares–have fun!
Next, I like the Squares Afghan. I think it’s just stunning in the palette we chose, but you can choose also choose colors that go with your own home décor.
My third recommendation, the little Boy’s Striped Cardigan, is a wonderful example of how just a shot of color can spice up a wardrobe basic. It shows that you can add a few or many colorful jolts of color with simple stripes that are easy to incorporate into any pattern.
Don’t be afraid to change the colors in a pattern to suit you better. That’s the great thing about knitting and crocheting; you can really make every item your own.
A version of this article first ran in The Weekly Stitch newsletter in August 2007. Click here to sign up for the newsletter and get articles, free patterns, and exclusive offers in your inbox each week.